Maple hazelnut homemade granola is a light, crunchy, but not too sweet, take on homemade granola. With crunchy granola clusters made from old fashioned oats, roasted hazelnuts, and hints of maple and vanilla, it’s a delicious and nutritious whole grain breakfast treat. Enjoy it in a yogurt parfait, with milk, or as a topping for your favorite breakfast muffins. Psst!! Don’t skip the part about my not-so-secret ingredient for clusters without a lot of sugar: egg whites.
When it comes to my favorite breakfast foods, a yogurt parfait with homemade granola is usually in my top three. For me, it’s got to have full fat, plain greek yogurt (it keeps me feeling fuller longer), in-season fruit or small batch jam, and some type of homemade granola.
Why homemade granola? Partly because it’s so much cheaper to make it at home, but mainly because of the lower sugar content.
Since I don’t like starting my day with a sugar rush, my perfect granola is lightly sweetened but it also has to have crunchy granola clusters. The problem was that so many of the recipes I was finding relied on the sugar to binds those crunchy clusters together.
While struggling to get the right balance between granola clusters without the sugar overload, I thought I had to sacrifice one in order to get the other. Recently however, I stumbled across the missing not-so-secret ingredient that finally made my version worth sharing with all of you: egg whites.
Making Homemade Granola
Making granola at home is a fairly straightforward endeavor, especially my version. It’s made in two parts, which I refer to as the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Combine them together, then bake the granola in a medium to low oven until it turns golden brown – just over thirty minutes.
The hardest part is waiting for the granola to cool completely before breaking it up. However, it’s necessary in order for the clusters to fully form. The patience will be worth it!
The Dry Ingredients
Dry ingredients include your oats, nuts, plus any optional seeds or dried fruit.
My nut of choice is hazelnuts, aka filberts. While they aren’t as common as pecans, walnuts, or almonds, they are a tasty nut that works so well in granola.
I prefer to start with dry roasted hazelnuts. Raw nuts will work, but the dry roasted ones obtain an amazing crunch when roasted a second time in the granola. Don’t worry about the thin papery shells, they add a bit of flavor and easily blend away in the granola.
While I opt not to add seeds or dried fruit to this version of homemade granola, as I like to mix it with fresh fruit, you are welcome to adjust for your own taste. For best results make sure the total quantity of dry ingredients is four cups, half of which should be oats.
The Best Oats for Homemade Granola
Most grocery stores are going to carry three types of oats: instant, steel cut, and old fashioned. Knowing the differences between them, makes choosing the right one for homemade granola even easier.
- Instant oats are the most processed as they are steamed, rolled, and cut into tiny pieces. Great for instant breakfasts and smoothies, not so great for adding texture to granola.
- Steel cut oats are the least processed. They aren’t steamed or rolled, just cut into 2 -3 pieces. While they do a great job of adding texture to your morning bowl of slow cooked oatmeal, they add a little too much chew for a crunchy granola.
- Old fashioned oats fall somewhere in the middle. They are steamed and rolled, but not cut. They retain their texture in granola, but also crisp up perfectly when baked, making them my ideal choice for homemade granola.
The Wet Ingredients
The wet ingredients in homemade granola includes the fats, sugars, seasonings, and egg whites.
My fat choice is good old fashioned butter. If you are looking for an alternative, try substituting coconut oil or another solid fat. My experience with liquid oils has led to greasier granola, which is not the goal.
As the name maple hazelnut homemade granola implies, the main sugar in this recipe is maple syrup. I chose it strictly for the flavor and how well it plays with the hazelnuts. I also use a little bit of brown sugar, to add a pinch more richness.
For spices, I rely strictly on vanilla bean paste to draw out the flavors in the maple syrup. You can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract if you don’t keep the bean paste on hand, but I highly recommend trying it.
Egg Whites: The Secret to Crunchy Granola Clusters
The egg white in this granola is the not-so-secret ingredient to getting the granola to cluster without overloading the sugar. I first discovered it when I stumbled across this Easy Homemade Granola over at House of Nash Eats. Her recipe is delicious, but a bit sweet for my tastes. I highly recommend you check it out.
The reason I call it a not so secret ingredient is because while it took me a while to figure it out, it turns out that everyone from Martha Stewart to Bon Appetit to Epicurious has recipes for homemade granola with an egg white.
Seems like everyone but me knew that egg whites helps to bind the granola into clusters. Now I know and so do you! One thing, make sure to beat the egg white until it starts to foam before adding the rest of your wet ingredients.
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Maple Hazelnut Homemade Granola Recipe
This maple hazelnut homemade granola is made with old fashioned oats, roasted hazelnuts, and hints of maple and vanilla. Slow bake then cool completely for crunchy granola clusters that make a tasty addition to any breakfast table.
Looking for more oat based treats? Go check out my Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Pear Maple Cinnamon Overnight Oatmeal, or my only gluten free recipe: Jenni’s Oatmeal Cookies. For more great ways to start your day, see all my breakfast and brunch recipes.
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- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup dry roasted hazelnuts - chopped
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter - melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 300º. Prepare a standard baking sheet by lining it with parchment, a silpat sheet, or a thin layer of butter.
- In a large mixing bowl combine together the old fashioned oats and chopped hazelnuts.
- In a smaller mixing bowl beat the egg white until foamy. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, melted and cooled butter*, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine.
- Spread the granola in an even layer on the baking sheet, pressing firmly to pack down. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven 30 - 35 minutes or until it's golden brown.
- Granola won't be crispy when you remove it from the oven. Allow to cool completely in the pan to crisp up.
- Store in at room temperature in an airtight container
*If the butter is too hot, it can cause the egg whites to cook. The best way to avoid this is to allow the melted butter to cool. To speed up the process, heat the butter in the microwave for 30 second bursts at half power, stirring between bursts, until it's mainly melted. The residual heat will melt the rest of the butter without overheating it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 8mg Sodium: 101mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 8g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g