High summer fruit season in nearly here, and I want us to be ready. Ready for easy, delicious breakfasts topped with peaches, plums, nectarines, berries...whatever sweet abundance is available where you live at this time of year. Enter my Nordic Morning Granola, summer fruit's new best friend.
I have made this recipe so many times, I can practically do it with my eyes closed. This granola is a pantry staple around our house, perfect with milk, yogurt and/or fruit for a quick breakfast, or by the handful for an afternoon snack. It is easy, delicious and nutritious. And, fair warning, slightly addictive. If you are currently in the habit of buying granola at the store, this recipe will most certainly ruin that experience for you. It's nearly impossible to consider going back to the store-bought stuff once you start making your own granola at home.
Lucky for us, homemade granola is super easy to make. It comes together in less time than it takes to heat up the oven and bakes for a short 30 minutes. The ingredients themselves are simple, straightforward and wholesome. It's perfectly crunchy and contains just the right ratio of nuts, seeds and oats. It's also vegan and gluten-free (assuming you use gluten-free oats) if those things matter to you. And of course I've added a little Nordic touch in the form of freshly ground cardamom, sliced almonds and almond extract. The result is a simple and straightforward granola that is easy enough to whip together once or twice a week.
Granola Making Tips and Tricks
A few things to keep in mind for ensuring that your granola is the very best that it can be:
- Stir the dry ingredients well before adding the oil, syrup and extracts. This will help distribute the salt and spices evenly throughout the mixture.
- Heat the maple syrup slightly. Because the coconut oil solidifies when it comes into contact with cold ingredients, I've had greater success with my granola when I take the time to warm the syrup. This helps the oil remain liquid and coat the dry ingredients more evenly.
- Stir the granola half-way through the baking process to redistribute everything on the baking tray.
- Firmly press the half-baked granola back into the pan in an even layer with the back of a metal spatula. This is a really important step if you want your granola to clump together.
- Let it cool completely before removing from the pan. If the granola is still warm when you package it, you run the risk of soggy granola.
- Freeze for long-term storage. Granola keeps well in an air-tight glass container at room temperature for about a week. For longer storage, freeze in zip-loc freezer bags. When we are really on top of it around here, we will make four batches of granola on a Sunday morning and stash it away in the freezer for a month's worth of breakfast and snacks. And granola straight from the freezer is oddly delicious, especially in the warmer months of the year!
So go ahead and bake up a batch of homemade granola, and buy that box of ripe peaches, those pints of fresh berries! You're set for easy and healthy breakfasts all summer long.
Nordic Morning Granola
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup raw pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds ground to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin coconut oil warmed until liquid
- ½ cup real maple syrup warmed slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine oats, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Stir well, ensuring that the salt and spices are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Add coconut oil, syrup and extracts. Using a rubber spatula, stir well to combine.
- Transfer granola to prepared pan. Pat down with a rubber spatula to distribute the mixture in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove granola from the oven and stir with a spatula to redistribute on the baking sheet. Firmly press down on the mixture using the back of your spatula, creating an even and tight layer of granola. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until granola is toasty and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Use a spatula to transfer the granola to glass containers for storage (or freezer bags if freezing). Granola keeps for about a week at room temperature, several months in the freezer.