Maple Pecan Granola made with a few simple real-food ingredients...grain-free and full of flavor!
This granola is probably one of the recipes I'm most excited about. My family loves this special treat and you just cannot find one out there that is grain-free and actually tastes good. I am very picky about taste and texture when it comes to granola. I do believe I have just come up with the BEST granola I have ever tasted... and it all happened by accident. Stay with me until the end to hear all about it and exactly what I mean by that.
For a while, I purchased grain-free granola at my local health food market. I wasn't just thrilled about it because it is expensive and doesn't have much of a flavor or texture. It wasn't that great to eat just on it's own either. So you can now see why my granola is EVERYTHING! My family raves about it too...it's addictive. But that's ok because the great thing about it is, it's made with healthy, real-food ingredients.
To make this granola you will need:
To keep this granola grain-free, I like to use nuts in place of the traditional oats. You can use whatever nuts you have on hand, but my preference is pecans and walnuts for best flavor and texture. Do make sure whatever nuts you choose...they are raw and do not contain any inflammatory oils. I also added coconut shreds, raisins, cinnamon, flax meal and almond flour for extra texture and nutritional benefits.
Maple syrup and coconut sugar give this granola the perfect sweetness. These two natural sugars are great because they do not increase inflammation markers in the body like your traditional white sugar or corn syrup would. And on top of that, there are antioxidant benefits being that maple syrup is a source of essential minerals, including calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.
I love using coconut oil when baking sweet recipes and it will help to crisp up the granola when it is baking.
One more ingredient I must mention...almond butter. Oh my, it is the star of the show! And can I tell you something, I didn't even mean to put almond butter in the recipe initially. A few weeks back, when I was testing out this recipe, I accidentally followed one of my granola bar recipes that includes almond butter. Well, I had already mixed the almond butter into the ingredients so I just went with it to see what happens. Maybe it was meant to be. Oh my goodness YES! Yes, it was meant to be for sure! I can't even describe the texture...it is perfect! And it's all because of my little mess up. Ok, now, let me get to telling you how to make it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Next, add the pecans and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until slightly chopped to your liking.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients...pecans, walnuts, raisins, almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut shreds, cinnamon, flax meal and sea salt. Make sure all ingredients are completely mixed together.
In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter and vanilla together. Make sure to stir until fully smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until completely mixed really well.
Pour the mixture onto a parchment lined sheet pan. To get bigger granola pieces, pour the granola onto the sheet pan somewhat crowded together and flatten the pieces with a large spatula so the granola will stay together.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. After about 15 minutes of baking, flip the granola with a spatula and this will help it stay together as well. Flatten the granola again and then put it back into the oven to finish baking. Start checking at 20 minutes. All ovens bake at different temperatures. I usually bake 23-25 minutes. See recipe notes.
The granola will be soft when you take it out of the oven. Let it cool completely for at least 30 to 45 minutes for it to harden and crisp up...this step is very important to get the perfect crunchy texture.
Enjoy as a snack, with a yogurt bowl or with almond milk for a delicious cereal!
Grain-Free Maple Granola is a staple around here that I make every week. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy it.
Let me know if you give my granola recipe a try, I would love to hear!
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