Last week, I was overcome with the need to make granola. It had been months since my last batch and I missed the simple act of measuring, mixing, and baking. There was a bag of mixed nuts and seeds sitting in the fruit basket that had been there since Christmas that needed to be used. And finally (and most motivating), I just really wanted to eat some.
I bought this one pound bag of mixed nuts and seeds during the holiday rush, thinking I would include them in a batch of brittle. It never happened and so they languished. However, it seems that granola was actually the higher calling for this assortment of cashews, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. So much variety with such ease!
As I was sorting through my pantry to determine what else would go into this granola, the jar of chia seeds caught my eye. I’ve long been interested in chia, not so much for its nutritional ability, but for the fact that it has the ability to thicken, bind, and sometimes act in the same manner as an egg. I decided to grind a few tablespoons in a spice mill and add them to the mix, to see if they’d lead to a clumpier granola (much in the way an egg white can do).
I combined the ground chia seeds with the liquid ingredients (maple syrup and olive oil), and let them sit for a bit to activate the chia goo. While they sat, I measured out thick-cut rolled oats and some of the mixed nuts, as well as a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Then I poured the maple, oil, chia slurry on top. I took a goodly number of pictures of that process and so threw them together into a GIF. I’m afraid it might be a wee bit too speedy for some, but it’s my first one, so I’m going with it.
Stir it all together until the liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.
Spread it out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, turning the mix every ten minutes or so to ensure even baking.
Once I was happy with the color of the toast on the oats, I pulled the pan out of the oven. To further encourage clumps, I used a spatula and compressed the hot granola.
In the end, I don’t think that the chia played a huge role in creating clumps. However, I do feel like this batch of granola is crisper and has retained its crunch better than granolas I’ve made in the past. And since it does add a bit of extra nutrition, I think this will be a regular addition to my homemade granolas going forward.
Maple Chia Seed Granola
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment.
- Measure the oats, nuts, and seeds out into a large bowl.
- Combine the maple syrup, olive oil, and ground chia seeds in a measuring cup and let them sit for a couple minutes.
- Add the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the oats, nuts, and seeds.
- Pour the maple, oil, and chia slurry into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir gently to combine.
- Spread the mix out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to distribute it evenly.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the granola is fragrant and golden brown.
- Remove pan from oven, compress the granola with a spatula to encourage clumping, and let granola cool undisturbed for at least an hour.
- When granola is fully cool, lift the corners of the parchment to break up the granola into manageable pieces.
- Funnel the finished granola into an airtight container to store.
- It will keep for at least a couple weeks at room temperature. For longer storage, stash in a ziptop plastic bag and freeze.
My secret to big clumps is to just not stir it while it’s baking. I’ve never had problems with it burning, and I just break it into whatever size I want once it’s cool.
Got a great deal on them through overstock.com. Use them a LOT in the kitchen while canning!
Cover your countertop, prep tomatoes, fruit, other juicy goodness…what doesn’t hit your bowl is absorbed quickly and neatly. Cleanup is a breeze!!!
Been reading you through my RSS feed for years. Thanks for all the tips and recipes!
This looks wonderful! I usually use coconut oil in mine but am intrigued by your use of olive oil. May have to try that on my next batch. I am in the camp of loose granola lover; don’t like when sharp chunks cut the roof of my mouth when I am shoveling it in. 🙂
I recognize the Nuts to You bag! I recently bought their “Slightly Sweet” mix (pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, roasted soybeans, raisins and carob chips) and it’s so tasty. This granola looks great, love the use of chia seeds (Nuts to You has a great price on those too!).
So happy to see this recipe! I happen to have just bought a big bottle of real maple syrup (which I don’t usually have on hand). So many of the commercial granolas use coconut oil and I don’t care for it. Looking forward to trying this with olive oil. Thanks!
And I’m making it again. P.S. this granola is wonderful with some home-dehydrated fruit added. This time going for peaches and cherries I think.
I love making granola – your recipe looks yummy. I use coconut oil instead of olive oil and molasses instead of maple syrup, although I have used maple and like it. I do use chia seeds but I don’t grind them. I love your use of nutmeg – I will try that next time. Sad to say, the best crunch comes from adding sugar (melt in the oil before adding), although one of the reasons I make it is so I can have my granola without sugar. It also helps to have a rather thin a layer in the pan.
I’ve been making the Curry Cashew Savory Granola from Oatrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester. She uses the ground flax seed slurry in addition to olive oil. I’m playing around with the spices (working on a pumpkin pie mix and Mediterranean mix) and the “extras”. I’ve cut the fat way back, and that makes me feel virtuous when I add more nuts. I also like that the only sweetness comes from whatever dried fruits I’ve added. Also try the Nori Granola presented by Heidi Swanson in Near & Far. I also cut back the oil, but the nori pieces come out really yummy. The Japanese chili pepper mix adds a real zing.
This is such a nice granola recipe that you can change and adapt. I just added 1 tsp of this chai spice blend I ordered on etsy to it and it put it over the top!