New years’ resolutions aside, I love maple syrup. Indulging in pure maple syrup brings back memories of my younger days, sitting with a gaggle of classmates on a sleigh in the snow of Ontario’s wilderness, eager to taste the sugar tapped from the trees. These days, I source my maple syrup from my local farmers’ market at the Wychwood Barns, selecting my favourite winter-time treat from a row of syrup bottles in rich shades of brown.
Granola is a wonderfully versatile breakfast food, though if you’ve searched your local grocery store, you’ll find this cereal product can carry a hefty price tag. But granola is so incredibly easy and cheap to make, you’ll be asking yourself why you never tried sooner. Maple walnut granola is delicious with yogurt, milk, or on its own, and makes a great gift for friends and neighbours. This recipe is incredibly flexible, and allows you to toss in pretty much anything you choose, so go nuts (any kind you like)!
Maple Walnut Granola
4 cups of old-fashioned whole oats
¾ cup pure maple syrup
5 teaspoons of oil (or a couple of spritzes of Pam cooking spray)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup dried fruits (e.g. dates, figs)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees farenheit.
Step 2: Oil up a rimmed baking sheet, and place the sheet in the oven to warm as it preheats.
Step 3: Mix oats, nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, and dried fruits in a large bowl.
Step 4: Remove your baking sheet from the oven, and spread granola mix evenly on the sheet. Lightly coat the mixture with oil from the sheet and any remaining oil you have.
Step 5: Warm your maple syrup on the stove top or in the microwave for about 1 minute, then pour it over your mixture. Mix up the syrup and granola mixture so that the syrup is evenly distributed.
Step 6: Place your baking sheet back in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, making sure to mix the granola every 15 minutes to avoid burning. Let the granola cool and store the mix in a sealed jar. In theory this supply should last you through winter’s harshest mornings. But, it’s delicious, so this hasn’t been the case in my house.
2010 is going to be a sweet year, as we usher in the 5th anniversary of the Greenbelt’s creation! From January to March, we’ll be hosting some fantastic events to celebrate with you, so make sure you stay tuned for all of the details of the fun and fare in your local Greenbelt.
Join us at our first event, this Sunday January 24, 2010, for an exciting “Greenbelt Night” hockey game with the Oshawa Generals! Discounted tickets will be offered at $14.00 in advance, and $16.00 at the door, and there will be all kinds of fun for families! Proceeds from the ticket sales will support a Greenbelt initiative in the Durham community!
You can follow us on Twitter and on Facebook for more details about these exciting events!