This recipe for maple sesame vegan granola came about because we have a great love in our house for cold cereal. A bowl of cereal has been the go-to after school, before bed too tired, or too hot, to make supper meal here for as long as I can remember. When my kids were little, we would go through boxes of cold cereal and while we tried to make good quality choices, there was no getting away from the fact that they are highly processed and over priced.
When I searched for a good granola recipe, most had too many ingredients and too many steps for where I was in my life. I created this simple recipe because it uses only 2 bowls and 2 cookie sheets. I can make it in five minutes and let it cook on its own. No constant stirring and babysitting this granola! After an hour in the oven, it comes out, cools (it is good warm from the pan if you cannot wait) and is ready to eat. For people who don’t want any fat, I’m sorry. This is granola (vegan granola, but still…). Some have tons of fat and sugar. I use sunflower oil and maple syrup and believe it is sweet enough and not too heavy.
It all starts with a big bowl of oats
This vegan granola also makes a great on-the-go snack. There are so many situations when you just need a little something and you find yourself struggling for some vegan snack. I have stood in front of a vending machine and realized that the only things available that were vegan were Oreo cookies and Fritos. Now, I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t tempted, but I know that those things never make you feel good even if the tastes bring you back to the school lunches we ate as kids.
A small container of granola in your car, purse or backpack can be a lifesaver. If you are hiking or working out, it is easy to increase the nutrient and calorie density by throwing in nuts (before or after baking) and/or dried fruits. One of my favorite combinations is cut up dried apricots and roasted almonds. Raisins and dried cranberries also make great additions.
Having a nice big bowl and a good, solid, mixing tool makes the work easier
The recipe makes enough to easily cover two cookie sheets
The biggest problem I have with this granola is keeping up with the demand. The basic recipe makes about 16 cups of granola. It nicely converts to a gluten-free recipe if you substitute gluten-free flours like rice flour, oat flour or prepared all purpose gluten-free flour. I have used combinations of all of these based on what is on hand. A little buckwheat flour is nice mixed in as well.
- 2 cups wheat flour (whole wheat, white or a combination) or gluten free alternative*
- 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sunflower or safflower oil
- 1 cup maple syrup (any grade)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
- Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets
- Combine first four ingredients well
- In a second bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients until well blended and add to the dry ingredients
- Mix thoroughly
- Spread evenly on the two cookie sheets and place on the center rack of your oven.
- Bake for 1 hour
- Cool thoroughly. Granola will become crunchy as it cools.
- Store in sealed container.
- Nuts can be added before or after baking.
- Dried fruit should be added when the granola is cool.
- *My preferred gluten free flour mix is 1 cup fine brown rice flour, 1/2 cup white rice flour and 1/2 cup oat flour.
- Oat flour can be purchased, or made by putting oats in a dry blender or food processor.
- A delicious, but a little more calorie dense, option is to replace 1 cup of flour with almond flour/meal.