Let's talk granola, seeds and goji berries for a second, shall we? I know there are many recipes out there and it's no wonder why... it's pretty great and handy to have around. Have it as cold cereal or make it a hot oatmeal, top on non-dairy yogurts or non-dairy ice creams, or simply take some to-go in a small container...it's a great snack or meal that is filling, healthy and just plain good. It's so versatile too. You can pretty much add anything to your base and come out with something wonderful. That happens to be the case here. I have a ton of goji berries in my fridge along with pumpkin (pepitas) and sunflower seeds that needed to be put to good use. Seeds are a great replacement to nuts, especially for those who have nut allergies. They have all the same benefits as nuts, including fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals that the body requires. Some of the best seeds in whole form are hemp, sunflower, chia, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Flax seeds are great too but unless they are ground you're not going to get their full benefits as they will pass straight through the body without much notice. As for the goji berries, well I love them because they don't have any added sweeteners like most dried fruits do (I also like raisins for this reason). They are full of anti-oxidants just as other berries and are a great alternative when you want to mix it up a bit.
Seeds and Goji Berry Granola [Vegan]
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup goji berries
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts or the entire seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (sunbutter), optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add your maple syrup, sunbutter and vanilla. Mix until well coated.
- On a greased or ungreased, baking sheet (use two sheets if you like), add your granola, laying it flat and bake for about 30- 35 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. If using two baking sheets, you may even like to switch their positions in the oven once after stirring. If using a smaller baking dish such as a 9×9 or 11×13, bake for up to 1 hour or so, or until golden throughout. Be sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so.
- Once done, remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an air-tight container of choice. Will keep up to one month.
- Add additional syrup per your preference. The more syrup you use the more likely you are to create larger granola chunks throughout.
The more syrup you use the more likely you are to create larger granola chunks throughout. Feel free to add 1/4 cup or so unsweetened shredded coconut to the dry mixture as well.
- Chia Seeds