I don't have the habit of eating cereal since young hence after a few months eating granola for breakfast (see my peanut butter and chocolate ones), I stopped because I wanted a break from it. When the craving for granola came back again, I decided to make a different flavour of granola, just so I have new recipes to blog about! I stumbled upon a vanilla granola recipe and I absolutely love the simplicity of it.
Vanilla granola may sound a bit plain - yes it's simple, but it's definitely a classic. The oats and nuts are coated with a light vanilla flavour and sweetened minimally with maple syrup. I used a mix of almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and pecans which I blitz briefly with my food processor. Each of these nuts retain their original nutty deliciousness as the vanilla did not overpower their nutty taste. Dried blueberries were added at the end after the granola was baked, adding a fruity sweetness and chewiness to the granola. So is it plain? Definitely not plain at all to me!
To put together this vanilla granola recipe cannot be any easier - just dump, mix and bake (hence no step-by-step photos today). The key is to use a good-quality vanilla paste, the kind you will use in an homemade ice cream. My favourite brand is Nielsen-Massey, but you can use whatever brand that you like. If you can't find vanilla paste, vanilla extract or even vanilla powder can be used instead, just make sure it's of a good quality!
I'm off to snack some granola, so I'll leave you all with the recipe!
- 2 cups oats (any kind is fine, as long as it's not instant)
- 1 cup chopped nuts (almond, peanut, pecan, hazelnut etc)
- ⅛ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon good-quality vanilla paste (extract can be used as an alternative)
- ¼ cup dried blueberries
- Preheat oven to 150C / 300F (non fan-assisted), or 140C / 285F (fan-assisted). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.
- Combine oats, nuts, olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Stir to coat the oats and nuts well with liquids.
- Scrape the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread it out with a spatula until it's ¼-inch thick. If your oven/baking sheet is small, bake the granola in 2 batches.
- Bake the granola for 15 minutes, give it a stir with a spatula then bake for another 15 minutes until the oats and nuts are toasted and fragrant. (Total 30 minutes baking time.)
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir in the dried blueberries.
- Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet, it will harden and become crispy as it cools. Store cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature.