This gift was for my three dear friends, Allyn, Nesrin and Liz, who threw me the sweetest baby shower. I wanted the gift to be homemade, and since it’s spring and a time of health and renewal, I wanted it to be healthy.
My cousin Kelli is a registered dietitian in Dayton, so I asked her for help finding a recipe. She pointed me to this Maple Apricot Granola recipe. The sweetness comes from maple syrup, although it’s subtle in the finished product. I love the nutty mix of sunflower seeds, pecans and pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), but you could easily switch it up if you wanted. The teaspoon of salt doesn’t exactly make it salty, but enhances the other flavors. This is a scrumptious recipe, and healthy to boot.
“The oats, unsweetened coconut and nuts are great sources of fiber, and the maple syrup gives it a smoky sweetness allowing you to use less sweetener than is normally in granola,” Kelli says.
So true. The next time you buy granola at the store, check how much sugar is in it. Some of them are loaded! Kelli also added to keep serving sizes to 1/3 cup, which is tough, because this stuff is delicious. Kelli posts her recipes to Instagram at @kellipitrone. She’s worth a follow.
Yield: 60 ounces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
This recipe makes about 60 ounces of granola, or enough to nearly fill two of the large, half gallon-size mason jars. I doubled the recipe to make plenty for three hostess gifts. Gifting them in the mason jars makes for a nice presentation, too.
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp almond oil extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped apricots
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix syrup, oil and extract in a large bowl. Add next six ingredients (through salt). stir well to combine.
Spread granola mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake 25 minutes, stirring every six to eight minutes, until beginning to brown. Don't overcook or granola will taste burnt.
Once cool, mix with apricots and raisins. Store in an airtight container up to two weeks.
Kelli Pitrone, RDN, LD