This is my favorite granola. Without a doubt. Hands down. No questions asked. End of story. (I’m out of cliché phrases for indubitably.)
Here are some reasons why I love this granola:
- Pecans are my favorite nuts. They make everything taste good.
- Maple is a delicious flavor.
- Pecans + maple is a stellar combination.
- Dates are incredibly naturally sweet.
- I have five or six sweet teeth – not just one sweet tooth, like most people.
- This granola is sweet.
- This granola is like dessert for breakfast, only healthy and filling.
- I love food.
- I love breakfast.
As with most things, this granola is a combination of things that taste good with each other. It goes like this: Maple and pecans is a good combination. Pecans and dates taste good together. Dates and maple couldn’t be a bad combination. So, dates and maple and pecans would certainly be delicious. Ahhh, logic. It applies even to food.
I first made this exactly a year ago in April of 2012. I based it off of one of my first ever granola recipes, Spiced Cashews and Date Granola, which I’d come up with in September of 2011, right before leaving for Peru. That recipe included puffed wheat cereal as well as oats, which made for a unique texture combination. I was pleased with hint of warm spices along with the soft sweetness of the dates and the buttery crunch of the cashews. Swapping cashews for the even more flavorful pecans and adding maple syrup was the obvious next link in the chain of granola evolution.
Since last April every time I’ve made granola, I’ve made this Maple Pecan with Dates one, along with my other recipes. After tweaking it here and there, I think I have the amount of liquid and dry ingredients as well as the spices just about right, at least for my taste. It’s sweet. It’s crunchy. It’s oil-free, just like all of my granola. And it’s pretty healthy, as carbolicious breakfasts go. I love it.
You know what else I love? Having four days of classes left in the school year! YIPEE! Happily for me, my two exams fall on the first two exam days, so I get to leave on May 1st. Now if I can just make it through these three papers this week… I’ll be snacking on a lot of granola to get me through.
- 4 cups oats
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 + 1/2 cups dates, chopped
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Toss all the ingredients – except for the dates -into a big bowl and mix well, until everything is evenly distributed. Spread on a baking sheet or two. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Mix in the chopped dates after the granola is finished baking. Enjoy by the spoonful, the handfull, the bowlfull!