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Cherry (or whatever you want) Granola Recipe!

September 16, 2009

Granola Close-Up

As a vegan, I eat mainly granola.  Sometimes fruits & vegetables.  Oh, and twigs & leaves.  Because I don’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy, there is hardly anything left for me to eat & I am starving much of the time.

Juuuuuuust kidding. However, you may be surprised by the number of times I have been asked by people what, exactly, I “can” eat as a vegan.  “So, uh, do you just eat like, granola?  Twigs & leaves?  Grass?  What on earth can you eat if you don’t eat anything ‘normal’?”

Well, I can say with absolute certainty that I have never made a salad out of leaves, or gnawed on a tree branch.  I remember trying a fistful of grass when I was maybe four years old – but haven’t done that since.  So, no – as a vegan, I definitely don’t eat grass, leaves, or twigs.

But I do eat granola.  Tasty, delicious, healthy, sweet, salty, crunchy granola.  For the record, I also eat beans, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nondairy milks, nondairy yogurts, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and everything else under the sun that never came from an animal!  Although it might be hard to imagine when animal products are at the center of your plate, vegans have an amazing variety of foods from which to choose – and I truly have never eaten better than I do now as a vegan!  I want for nothing – just ask my jeans, which have become a little more snug since I started scarfing delicious vegan food.  Seriously, I guarantee that for pretty much any of your favorite foods, there is a wonderful vegan alternative (or recipe for a vegan alternative) available.  Lasagna, ice cream, meatballs, chicken wings, cheesy nacho dip, crab cakes, sushi, quesadillas, mac & cheese, tuna salad, pot pie, and on & on.  And on.  You name it, I eat it – just in a plant-based, cruelty-free version!

Anyway.  Granola.  Mmmm.  In my opinion, the most awesome thing about granola is that besides being ultra delicious, it’s also incredibly versatile.  The basic recipe is oats, a sweetener of some sort, oil, and any add-ins that suit your fancy.  Not a fan of nuts?  Don’t add them!  Prefer your granola without dried fruit?  Leave it out!  Want to add coconut?  Go for it!

Here’s my recipe, and I would not be lying if I said that everyone who has tried it has declared it the best granola they’ve ever had.  In fact, I sent some with my boyfriend to work this morning, and he just texted me saying, “This granola is off the chain!”  (He’s very hip…)

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • Generous ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Wet Ingredients

  • ¼ c. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar (or more maple syrup)
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • ½-¾ tsp. cherry extract (optional; you don’t have to buy it for this recipe, of course, but it adds a little extra “YUM!” if you happen to have it)

Mix-Ins

  • ½ c. pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ c. pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. whole flax seed
  • ½ c. dried cherries
  • ¼ c. dried blueberries
  • ¼ c. raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Mix the dry ingredients together, and in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.  Add the wet to the dry, and stir to combine.  The mix-ins listed above are what I personally love in my granola, but as I already said, add whatever you want!  Word of warning:  If you add pecans or walnuts, don’t put them in until the last 15 minutes of baking or they’ll burn.  Also, don’t add the fruit until the granola is done baking (unless you want hard, charred little pebbles of what used to be fruit…  I speak from experience).

To bake, spread the oat mixture evenly on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 75-90 minutes (until golden brown), stirring every 15 minutes to ensure that everything bakes evenly.

Once cooled a bit, mix in fruit (if using), and enjoy!  I like mine with a bit of soy or almond milk (or, my favorite, coconut milk yogurt) – topped with some fresh or frozen blueberries & some ground flax.

Granola

By the way, I typically would not have this much sugar in the morning, but damn – granola is so good that I treat myself sometimes!  And there are other healthy aspects of it (especially if you add some nondairy milk for calcium & more protein), so whatever.  Feel free to cut back on the brown sugar if you wish – but don’t cut back on the wet sweeteners or else the granola won’t crisp up properly.  Nutrition info is based on 8 servings, which works out to be about 1/3 c. (almost 1/2 c.) per serving using the ingredients I listed above.

Granola Nutrition Label

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2009 12:10 pm

    Holy yum granola there!

  2. VeganChristine permalink
    September 16, 2009 1:57 pm

    Looks yummy!

  3. Taymer permalink
    September 16, 2009 3:21 pm

    I have not made granola in years. I have to channel my inner granola eating vegan ways to whip it this. All jokes aside. This looks amazing. I need to round up some ingredients.

  4. September 17, 2009 9:20 am

    I would not mind to live off granola alone! It’s delicious stuff.

  5. September 17, 2009 4:49 pm

    Ooh, I’m glad your back!!! I’ll add this to my blogroll. Missed ya. I even left the Domestic Vegan on my blogroll, just in case you came back. 🙂

    I’ve never made my own granola, I’m ashamed to admit. I should start with this recipe.

  6. September 17, 2009 8:32 pm

    Your granola looks amazing. I get the same questions about what do I eat being a high raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free athlete. You answered it great, there are so many options now it is crazy. There still is plenty of food out there that contains no meat, LOL! I love your site!

  7. September 20, 2009 6:43 am

    I’ve never made granola, but now I’m tempted!

  8. January 18, 2010 5:36 pm

    I am finally making this!!! I had a craving for granola and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • Jessica permalink*
      January 18, 2010 6:03 pm

      Let us know how it turns out, Anabell!

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