The cooler weather has had me thinking about fall. Whether we want to admit it or not, August is almost a third of the way through and Labor Day is just around the corner. I like the summer, minus the July heat wave, but fall has always been my favorite season. Produce is at its peak, leaves change, and just enough chill enters the air. Too warm for a winter coat, but just perfect enough for a brightly colored scarf or light blanket. To me, fall is the perfect time for a stroll or hike in the woods, apple picking, or a long train ride to take in the foliage.
With the new season brings new flavors too. Berries and fresh melon are traded for crisp apples and hearty butternut squash. And flavors of maple. I can remember grade school field trips, spent apple and pumpkin picking or learning how to tap maple trees to draw out their coveted syrup. It takes between 20 and 50 liters of maple sap to produce a single gallon of syrup. Until recently I used to think Grade A was the best syrup you could find. It was only last year, during a trip to Vermont that I learned Grade B was much darker and richer in maple flavor. My thought process made sense–you’d rather get an A in class over a B, right? But tasting them side by side, there was no debate. Sadly B seems to be much more difficult to find unless you head to the source. Here’s hoping I can track some down next month during our trip to the Adirondacks. But for now, I’ll take the purest syrup I can get.
It was Nekisia’s recipe on Food52 that first inspired me to mix maple and olive oil. I’m always anxious of things getting too sweet. This combination was perfect, the olive oil distracting from the sweetness just enough. The first time I set out to make Nekisia’s recipe, I had hardly any of the right ingredients besides the maple syrup, olive oil and oats. I mixed a bit of this and that and produced some of the most amazing granola I’ve ever tasted. I, of course, forgot to measure and write everything down. A few attempts later, I believe I’ve finally found that perfect combination. Feel free to substitute your favorite nuts or other ingredients to make it your own.
Maple-Olive Oil Granola (Inspired by Nekisia from Food52) Makes about 6 cups
- 3 c oats
- 3/4 c flaxseed
- 1 c pepitas
- 3/4 c walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 c pecans, chopped
- 3/4 c olive oil
- 3/4 c maple syrup
- 1 c coconut flakes, toasted
- Generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all dry ingredients except coconut together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk olive oil and maple syrup until emulsified. The mixture will become thick and sticky, like a batter. Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula until evenly coated. Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until granola is toasted. Cool completely then stir in toasted coconut. Store in an airtight container for storage.
- Peanut Butter Granola (chocolatemedals.com)
- Delicious Homemade Pumpkin Seed Granola (americanfood.answers.com)
- Ouzo & Maple Syrup Sauce (kouzounaskitchen.com)
- Homemade Granola (markettomakeit.wordpress.com)
- Vanilla Maple Granola (dizzybusyandhungry.com)