This homemade maple pecan granola is vegan, gluten free, and so easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, it’s both delicious and addicting!
Are you a granola fan? I certainly am. But after my diagnosis, I put it to the side for awhile. I am trying to avoid excess sugar and overly processed foods. Unfortunately, most store bought granolas are loaded with sugar (often multiple kinds) and inflammatory oils, like sunflower oil. Even the “healthy, organic” granolas are guilty of this.
I love to bake, though, and I love baked goods. So, I set about trying to find healthier alternatives for some of my most loved baked items. One of the first recipes that I started working on was berry cobbler. After trying and tweaking a number of crumble toppings, I finally came up with a crumble that I absolutely loved. Then, I thought, if I tweaked this just a bit more, would it work as granola?
The answer is YES! It was so much better than I even expected it to be. And I can’t tell you how excited I was to be able to have granola again, with the confidence that I wasn’t getting any nasty ingredients or excess sugar. Plus, it is so easy to make. Get ready for your new pantry staple with this homemade maple pecan granola.
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- Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – Since giving up most gluten, oats have been a great source of grains and carbohydrates for me. The benefits of oats are vast, such as potentially lowering blood sugar and/or cholesterol, supplying many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds, providing an energy boost, and increasing good bacteria in your gut. They are very filling and can help with weight loss, as they keep you full for a long time, but they can also help you maintain, or even gain weight, if you are thin, by providing good calories.
- Pecans – I love pecans and pecan flavor. They are one of my favorite tree nuts. Pecans are packed with anti-oxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. Numerous studies have shown that a higher intake of nuts is related to a reduced risk of death from cancer, as well as reduced risk of recurrence. Just two servings a week can reduce your risk!
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil has been become one of my favorite baking oils. It is great for cooking and baking, as it can withstand high heat and has a high smoke point. It is also easy to digest because of the medium chain triglycerides. One study also showed that it may have anticancer efficacy, particularly against liver and oral cancer.
- Maple syrup – Maple syrup has also quickly become of my favorite natural sugars for baking. It’s sweetness and distinct flavor allow me to use much less in my recipes and still be satisfied. Maple syrup is full of antioxidant compounds, and may actually have some anti-cancer benefits. One study showed maple syrup may help to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and inhibition. And while this information certainly needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as maple syrup is still pure sugar and intake should definitely be limited, it’s nice to know there may be a few health benefits tucked away in there.
- Coconut shreds – Pretty much the same information I covered under coconut oil can be applied here. I love the taste of coconut and often try to incorporate it into my baking. It provides nice texture, too.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a popular spice that has a number of pharmacological functions, including anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-cancer activities. There is increasing evidence that cinnamon has anti-cancer effects, as well as the potential to lower blood sugar, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Make sure as you are mixing this together that you get all of the dry ingredients coated well with the wet ingredients. This will help create better clumps as the granola bakes.
- I used a 10″ x 15″ jelly roll pan to bake the granola. This is a great size to naturally create clumps. If you like chunky/clumpy granola, do not stir! If you prefer not to have clumps, use a larger pan, in which you can spread the granola thinner, and give the granola a quick stir about half way through baking.
How to Store Your Maple Pecan Granola
This granola can be stored in an air tight container, or mason jar, in the pantry for about a month or two. It likely won’t last that long, though!
I hope you love this maple pecan granola as much as I do. If you make it for yourself, let me know in the comments what you think of it!
Homemade Maple Pecan Granola
- 1 c. gluten free old fashioned oats
- 1 c. chopped pecans
- 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line a 10 x 15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper (optional)
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Add wet ingredients and mix well, making sure all dry ingredients are coated with wet ingredients
- Spread evenly over jelly roll pan
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes
- Slowly break granola up into as small, or as large, chunks as you like, and store in an air tight container
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