As we move into September, I can feel myself craving cooler air and comforting meals. If you want your house to smell like fall, look no further than my maple almond granola! This divine recipe is layered with Kern County almonds (which are being harvested right now!) warm spices, dried cherries and a satisfying crunch. I guarantee you'll be eating it by the handful and won't believe this "treat" is actually good for you!
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup raw whole cashews
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas
2 tablespoons flaxseed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt (I love using Maldon salt for added texture!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Coarsely chop the raw, whole almonds and raw, whole cashews in a food processor, blender or by hand. Place them in a mixing bowl. (Lots of differently sized pieces is a good thing!)
Add in your sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, flaxseed, sesame seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes. Be sure to leave all of this whole!
Sprinkle in your cinnamon and salt.
Whisk together your maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla in a small bowl and pour over the granola, stirring until everything is evenly coated.
Place the granola on a foil lined baking sheet and then into the oven.
Bake the granola for 15 minutes.
Then, remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently stir the granola around.
Bake for another 10 minutes.
At this stage, the granola needs some time to clump, so let it cool on your counter for at least an hour.
Gently break apart the granola and mix in the dried cherries. You'll most likely need to chop them first since they typically come whole.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor! Serve this granola over yogurt and fresh berries, eat like a bowl of cereal with milk or just snack on it by the handful! I'm telling you, this will become a STAPLE in your household, just like it has in mine! Plus, it lasts for about a month in an airtight container. I keep mine in my pantry!
This granola fires on all health cylinders. It's paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan and Whole30 friendly. Not to mention, it's PACKED with protein and essential vitamins. From the almonds which aid skin hydration and strengthen your cells, to the metabolism boost of cinnamon and coconut, this is the type of nutritional powerhouse everyone should be eating. Flaxseed is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber, and the maple syrup adds natural sweetness that won't cause your body to crash. So, make this, pass it out to your neighbors in cute mason jars, and enjoy fueling your body with happy, healthy, wholesome food this holiday season! Enjoy!