Honey & Maple Syrup Granola

When making homemade granola, I usually experiment with whatever nuts and dried fruits I have on hand in the pantry. It is a great alternative to store-bought options that are packed with sugar and who knows what else. And after years of tinkering with my proportions, I think this is one of my best renditions yet. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of your favorite fruits and nuts. Just make sure any purchased dried fruit is unsweetened or break out your dehydrator to work through any surplus from the yard.

Like cocktails, when it comes to grabbing a snack I don’t like anything cloyingly sweet. The combination of honey and maple syrup is the key. Not only does it add a small but not overly sweet punch of flavor (much like mixing fresh citrus and vinegar in a vinaigrette) it also adds depth.

I don’t regularly eat breakfast, but I make this to have on hand as a favorite snack. When we do have it for breakfast I serve it with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some fresh berries. I also package it for gift-giving during the holidays or as a thank-you gift to friends.

Keep your finished granola in the freezer. It will last longer and the dried fruit will take on a delightful texture similar to that of chewy candy (just don’t tell your dentist).

Honey & Maple Syrup Granola

2 quarts

2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1½ cups unsweetened, shredded large-flaked coconut
1 cup whole raw pecans
½ cup raw pepitas
½ cup raw pistachios or hazelnuts
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted if solid
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 cup unsweetened dried figs, cut in half
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. Combine oats, coconut, pecans, pepitas, pistachios or hazelnuts, coconut oil, honey, syrup, cinnamon, and salt on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss well — I use my hands. Bake for 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, stir to mix and continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Cool granola on a baking sheet, then mix in the dried fruit. Scoop ingredients into an airtight container and store in a cool place. It will keep a solid week — if it lasts that long!

Recipe from the pantry chapter of Lush Life