This maple granola has turned me into a cereal blogger (pun totally intended). Why not make this for Mother’s Day?
So, how do you often start the day?
I’m an easy camper, happy with a slice of multigrain toast; or a tartine of toasted baguette with a scraping of good Normandy butter; or sometimes my favourite homemade brioche and jam. If we have more time together as a family on Sundays, the ultimate treat are the flakiest, buttery croissants from the local boulangerie.
Breakfast cereal somehow dropped down the shopping list since I moved to France. Why? The answer is simply Paris; wouldn’t you also be tempted, surrounded by all those amazing bakeries with croissants, pain au chocolats and pain aux raisins, just for morning starters?
It’s confession time: each time I saw homemade granola on friends’ blogs, such as Kim of LivLife’s lovely cinnamon and coconut cereal, I should have picked up on it like a good cereal blogger.
My final “Just-do-it” push came via an old thumbed Elle magazine at the orthodontist’s waiting room. One of the only recipes that wasn’t ripped out was for a maple granola, so I tried it. Boy was it overly sweet! Read ridiculously sweet.
Cutting out the Sugar
It took many experiments to come to this to suit
our Antoine’s taste – not too many nuts, more oats please, oh I love the graines de courges (pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds) for that crunch but not too crunchy. The magazine’s recipe has, as a result, changed beyond recognition and its original whopping 140g sugar has now been omitted entirely. You don’t need it; the dried fruits and the maple syrup are naturally sweet. You could use the coconut oil but I honestly prefer it with the neutral oil. So here is our favourite cereal, totally subjective, of course: adapt the quantities and ingredients to your own liking but try this first!
Warning: you’ll discover that this has to be made at least once a week. The good news is, by going to our local organic health food store (La Vie Claire), I’m cutting down costs on bigger packs of oats and seeds and they’re better quality too. Ensure that your ingredients are organic. Your body will thank you.
Maple Granola – Homemade Breakfast Cereal
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
100g pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
75g walnuts, broken
pinch salt (fleur de sel)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (neutral tasting oil or coconut oil, melted if solid)
5 tbsp maple syrup
10g flaked/slivered almonds
100g dried cranberries, blueberries, or raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan).
2. Measure* all the ingredients (except the almonds and dried fruits) in a large bowl and stir to mix them all well together.
3. Grease a large rimmed baking tray with more oil or use a baking tray covered with baking paper (or a Silpat) and spread out the oat mixture by shaking the tray gently from side to side.
4. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, turn over the mixture and sprinkle on the slivered almonds and bake for a further 10 minutes.
5. Leave to cool then add the dried fruits.
Serve with milk or yogurt and fresh berries. I love to sprinkle on a teaspoon of bee pollen, which is not only natural tasting of honey but it’s good for boosting the body’s immune and digestive system a couple of times a year.
* I use digital scales. If you’re used to using ounces, then just switch over to grams.
I just about forgot that it’s Mother’s Day in the UK this weekend. As I have a French diary where Mother’s Day is highlighted for 25 May, I had it in my mind that the UK was at the end of the month!
That’s a great excuse to make macarons again. What favourite flavours do you think would be ideal for Mother’s Day?
After our visit to Brazil, I’ve replaced this maple granola dried fruit with pineapple and guava, replaced the walnuts with broken brazil nuts, and added a touch of ground cinnamon and cloves. Try it!