the perfect granola with whiskey barrel maple syrup, coconut oil, cardamom and ginger

"I go to great pains to find the best yoghurt and granola"

- Ezra Koenig

   I just recently realized that I am of the wildly unpopular opinion that simple granola is the best granola. I was perusing the cereal aisle in a grocery store the other day and just could not find a granola that was without chocolate, dried fruit or nuts. Not a single option available, full stop. You might be thinking to yourself "what's your objection to chocolate/fruit/nuts? They're yummy/healthy/filled with protein. Like come on.". My reply to this is simply that, in my opinion, there is a time and a place for these things. I love all of those foods, don't get me wrong, but I find that they rather than elevating my granola they actually limit it. If I have a guest with a nut allergy, a granola with almonds (which soooo many of them have) is a problem. If I want to use granola in a savoury dish (which I get into more detail about below) chocolate chips in the granola just won't work. If I'm making a parfait with fresh, seasonal fruit, I want those flavours to shine. I don't want the tart-sweet flavour of ripe cherries to be buried under an avalanche of cheap, almost-plasticy tasting dried cranberries. 

   And this, my friends, is why I make my own classic granola, which just so happens to be the recipe that I have for you today. It's simple, yes, but that's not so say that it's plain in any way. This gorgeous granola recipe is far from boring, with delicate notes of coconut, whiskey, cardamom and ginger that pair perfectly with everything from your morning yoghurt parfait, to your after dinner baked apples with cinnamon and vanilla bean ice cream. 

  What else can you do with this granola, you ask? Well let me tell you:
    *  Use it as a bread crumb substitute for vegetable gratins, breaded and/or fried meats, casseroles and baked pasta dishes. Can anyone say maple-bacon mac and cheese with smoked cheddar and whiskey barrel maple granola crumble? How about whiskey barrel maple granola-breaded chicken and waffles with a honey-sriracha glaze? Umm, yes. All you have to do it pulse it in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs before using and then substitute it for all or half of the breadcrumbs in your recipe.
    *  Use as a crunchy topping in salads that feature sweeter ingredients, such as a baby spinach salad with figs, sliced nectarines and crumbled goat cheese.
    *  Use as a topping for fruit crisps, baked fruit, muffins and coffee cakes as an alternative to streusel.
    *  Mix into pancake or waffle batter for an extra layer of flavour and an intriguing crunchy texture.
    *  Use as a topping for avocado puddings, chia puddings, smoothie bowls overnight oats and yoghurt parfaits.
    *  Make your own trail mix- Add 1 part granola to 1 part cashews, 1 part dried blueberries/cherries, 1 part yoghurt chips/dark chocolate chips and 1 part pretzel sticks for a killer trail mix
    *  And the list goes on! 

   This recipe is incredibly easy, inexpensive, super quick and requires almost no equipment to make. It's endlessly customizable, naturally-sweetened, calls for under 10 ingredients, is meal-prep and freezer friendly, and, on top of everything, is vegan, gluten-free, and FODMAP friendly. Can I get a hallelujah? Give it a shot, people,- you won't be disappointed!

*Note: Though I typically don't add nuts, dried fruits or chocolate to granola myself (I prefer to just keep it classic and then mix in nuts and such on a case-by-case basis if they call to me), I've included instructions and amounts for the addition of those ingredients in recipe for those that are so inclined. 

the perfect granola with whiskey barrel maple syrup, coconut oil, cardamom and ginger

Makes: approximately 2 cups     Prep time: 5 mins     Total time: 25 minutes

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Kinsip whiskey barrel aged maple syrup*, or your favourite pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional add-ins:
  • 1/2 cup nuts and/or seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews or pecans
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as pineapple, mango, blueberries or cherries (Note: Add in after baking if using)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Note: Add in after baking if using)

1. Preheat oven to 350* F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add the rolled oats, salt and spices to a medium mixing bowl and stir well. If using nuts, seeds and/or coconut flakes, add these to the bowl as well. DO NOT add any dried fruit or chocolate chips at this point,- they get added to the mixture after baking. 

3. Pour the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla into the rolled oat mixture and mix well to ensure an even coating on all of your granola.

4. Distribute the oat mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread it evenly to ensure even cooking. 

5. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack of your oven. 
6. Remove the tray from the oven and stir the oat mixture well to prevent burning. Re-distribute the oat mixture evenly across the pan and pack the mixture down a bit to encourage granola clumping.
7. Return the tray to the oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the granola is  a light golden brown. The granola will continue to crisp as it cools, so resist the temptation to over-cook the mixture. 

8. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely on the tray at room temperature before disturbing it. 
9. Break the granola into chunks, mix in the dried fruit and chocolate chips (if using) and store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to enjoy or for up to two weeks.

*Note: You'll notice that I specifically mention Kinsip whiskey barrel aged maple syrup in the recipe below. The reason for this is that it's my absolute favourite maple syrup in the world. It's made in Prince Edward County, Ontario, aged in whiskey barrels at the Kinsip Distillery and is absolutely awesome. If you're interested in giving it a try, you can pick up a bottle of their maple syrup from Amazon, Indigo, basically any cocktail shop across the city or from the distillery itself, which offers free shipping on orders over $50. 
Highly recommended!
Their website is: 

Popular Posts