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Maple Nut Cranberry Granola

I know what it looks like, people. Round girl running in the rain early on a Sunday morning, four days into the new year. To people in their cars at the intersection, couples enjoying some bacon and eggs while I run by on the other side of the rain-speckled cafĂ© window, I look like a resolution runner; a woman who has finally had enough of her ample bottom and will likely spend the next several weeks detoxing, dieting, and running miserably around town until she gives up and abandons the routine to binge-watch Netflix and eat Valentine's truffles. But that's not me, people. I've been doing this for 9 months now.

Since last March, I have been dragging my butt to my local Running Room two to three times a week for running clinics. In the cold and the wet, and even the dark, there I am, one foot after the other, ignoring the little aches and pains, and putting in the effort. I have met some rather nice people along the way. Misery loves company, so you make friends quickly running up hills in the dark together. I feel stronger. I feel more energetic. There are even moments when I can honestly say I enjoy running. But here's the kicker - I look exactly. the. same.

So, I'm trying to change up my nutrition to see if I can give myself a little less body weight to get up those hills. I'm starting with a healthy breakfast, like this Maple Nut Cranberry Granola. A single batch will last up to two weeks in an air-tight container, so I can make a quick batch and be good to go for quite a while. My littlest boy loves this granola too.

Am I completely overhauling my diet? No, that's just not me. I love cooking for my family and enjoying classic comfort foods together from time to time. But I am making small daily changes, like this balanced breakfast.

Want to try my Maple Nut Cranbery Granola? Get the recipe below...

Maple Nut Cranberry Granola
Makes about 8 cups of granola

6 cups (1.5 L) quick oats
1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ
1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup
1/3 cup (75 mL) light-tasting oil such as canola
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
3/4 cup (175 mL) nuts (I used a mix of sliced almonds and chopped walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats and wheat germ and set aside.

In a medium frying pan, stir together the maple syrup, oil, cinnamon and salt. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to an all-over bubble. Pour the hot liquid over the granola and stir well to evenly coat.

Spread out the granola on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir the granola and return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan.

Transfer the granola to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cranberries and nuts. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Are you starting off the year with some changes to the way you eat? What healthy foods are you making a part of your day?