Crunchy Maple Granola

By Ann Fulton

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Typically, dishes like spaghetti and chili are thought to improve with age.  But I have always thought that this concept applied to my Chunky Granola, a longtime family and reader favorite. While the taste is absolutely delicious straight off the baking sheet, the flavors really do develop a little something extra by day two or three.

The same holds true for this newer, slightly different type of granola.  The flavor is actually much like my original chunky recipe, yet I accomplish it this time around with less sweetener and the addition of a new grain.  Buckwheat groats are technically a seed and, despite what the name implies, these crunchy little nuggets are wheat- and gluten-free.  As for taste and texture, they’re actually much like steel cut oats and develop a delightful nuttiness when baked or toasted.  They also provide a light and satisfying crunch to this mildly sweet granola.

Unlike my chunky granola recipe, this variation is looser and more cereal-like.  I love it served in a bowl, topped with milk and a handful of berries and sliced banana.  For added texture, it’s terrific sprinkled over yogurt and oatmeal, and it’ll add life to your favorite boxed cereal. Despite the absence of big chunks, this healthy granola is also quite satisfying by the handful. Oh, and because it holds up well to an overnight soak, it’s also a delicious option in this recipe for No-Cook Oatmeal Cups.  (Simply use an equal amount of this granola in place of the oats.)

Almonds and sunflower seeds ramp up the protein content, giving this granola definite staying power.  As an added benefit, the entire batch uses just a half cup of pure maple syrup, keeping the recipe all natural and incredibly flavorful.

Crunchy Maple Granola
Buckwheat groats are the secret ingredient in this crunchy, healthy granola. You may use more rolled oats in their place, but the little nuggets make this easy granola a little different...and really good.  

Yields 1+ quart.
Dry ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat groats (I like Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 3/4 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (or 1/2 cup shredded coconut–a combination of both is delightful)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Wet ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (grade B/dark amber offers best flavor)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (could use olive oil or oil of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Optional mix-ins
  • 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries or dried fruit of choice
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (excluding any optional mix-ins). In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to fully incorporate.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, and then stir well.  Bake for 10 more minutes, and stir again.  Bake for 5 more minutes, or until the granola is evenly golden and mostly dry.  Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely.  Stir in the dried fruit, if using, and store in an airtight container.  The granola will keep for a week or more at room temperature.  I like to store in the refrigerator where it will keep indefinitely–not that it’s likely to last very long!–if sealed in an airtight container or zipper-top bag.
  • Many readers enjoy adding flax meal to a variety of recipes for it’s fiber and heart-healthy benefits, so I have tried it in this recipe (adding to the dry ingredients). I prefer the recipe as written above, but if you’d like to add this wholesome ingredient, you can add up to 3 tablespoons with little effect on the taste.
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Crunchy Maple Granola

Crunchy Maple Granola

Buckwheat Groats

Bob’s Red Mill’s buckwheat groats are what I prefer to use in this recipe.  Unlike some bulk brands I have tried, they do not need to be rinsed prior to using.

"Buckwheat Groats 101"

For more on this wholesome option, follow this link to “Buckwheat Groats 101.”


You may also enjoy Overnight Buckwheat Groats.


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  1. Sonya

    As a fan of your original chunky granola recipe, I made this recipe yesterday since you said the flavor is similar. It is and I love the crunch of the buckwheat groats. Thanks for another great recipe and the reason to try a new ingredient–that I wouldn’t have had the foggiest idea what to do with before now!!