Crunch-Munch Maple Pecan Granola

October 30, 2013   |   20 Comments
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Granola – alone or on yogurt – is one of our favorite ways to start the day.  The salty-sweet-crunchy trifecta is a powerful way to lure the boys to the breakfast table.  The only hiccup: the truly best granola is homemade.  And once I got a taste of this stuff, I vowed never to buy it again.

Over the summer, I did a cooking class with Kristen Miglore of Food52’s Genius Recipes.  Among nearly a dozen dishes, this gem of a granola recipe is the one that I make time and again.  After the first few batches, I realized the pecans mysteriously disappear before the oats, so now we add extra.

The trick to making granola with very young children is to measure some or all of the ingredients ahead of time.   A two year old (even my angel, Beluga) is just too young to put his heart into measurement.  Precision is a four year old trait.  I’ve learned over time that small Mason jars hold 1 cup and the larger ones hold 2 cups.  This gives us enough containers for all the ingredients.  Granola isn’t an exact science, so with Mingus helping, I load up the jars with oats, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, brown sugar, pecans…

Mingus’ eyes widen, looking at them all and declares, “I want to taste everything!”


He fetches a spoon and scoops little tastes.  Fortunately, it is headed to the oven, so I can look the other way when he double dips to taste the maple syrup again.  “It all tastes good!  The coconut, the maple syrup, all of it,” Mingus reports.

I explain how we’ll pour all the ingredients into our biggest pot and stir them together.


Mingus decides to try a pair of tongs to transfer the pumpkin seeds.


Then, when he realizes how long it would take to move all the seeds into the pot, he lifts the maple syrup jar and pours it over the oatmeal.


Once all the ingredients are in the pot, Mingus stirs the pot until he has very tired arms.  I scoop around the edges a few times, to make sure none of the ingredients are dry.


The tongs come out again as Mingus tries to transfer the granola mixture to a baking tray.


He tastes the mixture and looks very concerned.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t think we should cook it.”

“It’s that good?”


I assure him it will taste even better after everything is toasted in the oven.


“Ok, but that’s enough!” Mingus tells me, looking at just a few spoonfuls left in the pot.  We pat the granola mixture flat on the tray, and put it in the oven.


Forty minutes later, it’s a beautiful golden brown, clumpy and crisp.  Cooled, we sprinkle it over yogurt.


Beluga digs in.


Crunch, crunch, crunch.  Munch, munch, munch.   And a few days later, it’s time to make more.

Crunch-Munch Maple Pecan Granola
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
This recipe is slightly tweaked from “Nekisia Davis’ Olive Oil and Maple Granola”, a Food52 Genius Recipe. That recipe, is slightly tweaked from an Early Bird Foods granola recipe. The thing is, a lot of granola recipes are similar. This one, however, is spectacular. It’s worth the minimal effort and makes a lovely house gift. If you’re making the recipe with kids, don’t fret over exact measurements because a little more of this or a little less of that will give the granola a nicely varying taste from batch to batch.
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 2 cup raw pecans, left whole or coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Stir together all the ingredients and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Pat the granola flat.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes or so.
  4. When you remove the sheet from the oven, let the granola cool. Then taste it. Does it need a little more salt? You can pack the granola away in jars or tupperware and it keeps nicely for up to a month.

 A quick note for those who have been following this blog from its infancy: I’ve decided to give my boys a little extra privacy and will refer to them by their family pet names: Mingus and Beluga.  


  • Brea
    November 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Oh. My. Wow. I am drooling! This looks like something my Piggle would love to help make. He’s two, and loves to help *ahem* taste in the kitchen! I’m hoping he won’t like it, though—if it tastes as it looks, I don’t want to share!

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Love your blog and love your latest post about making Granola!!!

  • Nikki
    November 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    This looks very tasty! I like your first image in particular. It’s got me thinking that this homemade granola would be a great, thoughtfully homemade treat to give coworkers during the holidays!

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I’m thinking of a satin red ribbon around the jar for holiday gifts would look classy. The teachers at my sons’ schools are only allowed to accept homemade gifts at the holidays, so this might just be what we make them.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    November 2, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Nothing beats home made toasted muesli does it? And it looks like the kids had fun making it which is a real bonus! 😀

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      I’ve been eating it for breakfast with almond milk. It’s also good with yogurt. But, really its good just snacking too.

  • addie | culicurious
    November 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I love granola but seldom make it. That needs to change. About 10 years ago I was making it all the time and I think I might have burned out on it.

    But I LOVE the idea of giving this as a gift. I’ve been looking for something homemade to give as Christmas gifts. This is pretty perfect for that :)

  • Melanie @ HappyBeingHealthy
    November 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    That granola looks amazing! I love every ingredient in there….yum, yum, yum. I think my kids would like it too! Oh, and your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      The ingredients really matter. I’m a huge pecan fan, but other people love cashews and I could see using those too.

  • Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    November 3, 2013 at 12:39 am

    You’re so right. Once you’ve had homemade granola it’s hard to be happy with store bought. Love your adorable helpers.

  • Eat Good 4 Life
    November 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I left my comment on the wrong spot :-) Anyhow, I was just saying of how awesome this granola looks. I will be sure to add this variation to my granola repertoire :-)

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks! I ‘m always looking for variations – if you have a favorite, let me know!

  • Rosa
    November 4, 2013 at 4:25 am

    A scrummy granola and cute little helper!



  • Amy @ Elephant Eats
    November 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I’ve been waiting for a new post from you! I always love your stories of kitchen adventures with your boys. This granola sounds great…I keep meaning to try making my own! Cute post :)

    • Laura Clark
      November 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement! It worked out so well with my boys that we did it with a whole group of their friends yesterday. The whole thing went fabulously, so I think granola is completely fail-safe for kids. A little more of this, a little less of that, it doesn’t matter. It’s all good…

  • Pam
    November 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Homemade granola is the best! It looks wonderful.

  • Joanne
    November 5, 2013 at 7:18 am

    What an adorable granola team you have here!! I love that he taste tests all the ingredients before they go into the granola. Adorable.

  • Lisa H.
    November 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Awesome homemade granola and adorable little helper 😀

  • Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry
    November 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Granola is always such a fun activity for kids and adults as well! Not to mention delicious.

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker
    November 17, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Love anything homemade and with maple syrup. Delicious!

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