Before we bring our maple syrup season posts to a close we wanted to share just a couple more yummy recipes with you.
Up next is our favorite homemade maple granola cereal.
This cereal recipe is so easy to make. We make it at least once a week. It's very forgiving and you can add just about anything you want to it to change it up or give it a different flavor. We store our cereal in large mason jars but you could use anything that you have that has a good seal on it to keep it fresh. It's very filling so you really don't need a lot in one sitting which makes it last for at least a week. I'm sure it would last longer, but we have never had it sitting around long enough to find out just how long it can stay fresh for. :)
You will need:
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of honey
5 cups of old fashioned oats
1 handful of almond slices (you can use slivered or whole)
1 to 2 handfuls of craisins (we like them in every bite!)
1 handful of chopped walnuts
1 handful of chopped dates
1/4 cup of oil (sometimes I make it with oil and sometimes without)
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of vanilla flavor
In a large mixing bowl combine your oats, almonds, craisins, walnuts, oil, and cinnamon.
In a small saucepan dissolve the brown sugar with the maple syrup and the honey. When the sugar is dissolved remove the mixture from the stove. Stir in your flavor.
Stir all the ingredients together in your large mixing bowl. Make sure all the oats meet the syrup-y mixture by mixing it real good.
Pour onto a large baking sheet. Mound the granola mixture. Don't spread it out over the whole pan. You want to keep the oats from being burned so keep them away from the edge of the pan.
Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes you are going to mix the granola around. This keeps the granola from getting too brown and cooks it evenly. Make sure you have put the granola back into a mound before putting it back into the oven.
Here is a little tip: Sometimes the craisins can get a little hard if they get over cooked by being left on the edge of the pan or underneath the mound of granola with direct contact to the pan. So what I like to do is either take the chance some may be hard, or I add the craisins after the granola comes out of the oven.
Did you think I forgot to add the dates? No, I didn't. You add the dates after the granola is finished baking. The dates will become hard like little rocks and have a burnt taste to them if cooked.
Once you have mixed in your dates and craisins (if you wanted to add those in after you baked the granola), let your cereal cool before storing it. I leave mine right on the pan till it's cooled. Then we just spoon it into the jars.
Usually we can't wait till it's completely cooled.
Please do not feel like you have to follow my directions or portions exactly. I wouldn't venture away from the sugar, syrup or honey portions because you need that to make sure your have enough liquid to cover those oats! You can omit the canola oil if you want to. I have and I like it just the same as with.
I have also made this with almond flavor instead of vanilla. You can add any dried fruit you can get your hands on. Just don't add them till after you have baked the granola. Add flax seed or wheat germ if you'd like. Add raisins if you don't like craisins. You can also just make it oats and nothing else. Have fun with it and let us know what you tried!