Here’s a fruity, nutty homemade cranberry-pecan granola that keeps you full and satisfied all morning, and that can be enjoyed as an anytime snack.
To my mind, store-bought granola is a pale imitation of the homemade version. It take minutes to mix, a short time to bake, and taste fresher than those bought in bulk or in boxes.
Though this recipe calls for pecans and dried cranberries, feel free to use it as a template and swap in walnuts, raisins (or other dried fruits, chopped). Serve for breakfast with plant-based milk; add some sliced banana or other fresh fruit if you’d like.
Fresh granola is also good incorporated into baked goods, used as a topping for vegan ice cream and parfaits, or just eaten out of hand as a snack.
Recipe adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. Photos of granola by Hannah Kaminsky.
A bit about pecans
If there’s such a thing as an all-American nut, then pecans surely fit that definition. Native to the American South, pecans grow on a tall tree that’s a species of hickory.
A culinary trip through the South, whether in real time or virtually, through books and other media, confirms that the rich-tasting pecan is still quite a favorite.
Oil-rich pecans are susceptible to rancidity, so especially if you buy in bulk, make sure to choose a source that has good turnover. Store in the refrigerator during the warmer months. Pecans are 70 percent fat, second only to macadamia nuts.
Pecans are a good source of potassium and certain B vitamins, and their vitamin A content is appreciable compared with other nuts.
The warm, mellow flavor of pecans makes them especially welcome in baked goods like the famous pecan pie, as well as muffins, cakes, and, as demonstrated by this recipe, granola. They’re lovely as a garnish for squash and sweet potato dishes like Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans.
Pecans aren’t the most economical nut around, so walnuts, with which they can be used interchangeably, are often called for as a substitute.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup wheat germ or oat bran (or half of each)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup sesame or hemp seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg, optional
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 275º F.
- Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
- Combine the syrup with the oil in a small container. Drizzle into the oat mixture, stirring continually, until and mix thoroughly until the mixture is evenly coated.
- Spread onto one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, stirring every 10 minute or so, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture is golden.
- Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheets, then stir in the dried cranberries. When completely cool, transfer to jars to store.
If you like this DIY granola, you might also enjoy …
Here are lots more vegan breakfast recipes.