I’ll be honest with you: This granola basically came about by me dumping every half-open bag of nuts in my fridge into a large bowl. But even so, it created something magical, warming, and delicious.
I like to improvise a lot with granola. The key is to make sure the dry ingredients are coated well in a liquid. For me, that usually means lots of olive oil and maple syrup. The combo might sound disgusting to some, but it actually works really well here. Olive oil gives the granola a slightly savory flavor, and the maple syrup gives it some sweetness and smokiness. It’s really a win-win situation.
For this granola, I used rolled oats, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernels, maple syrup, olive oil, light brown sugar, and some salt. I tossed it all together in a big bowl and spread it out on two baking sheets. I roasted it for about 30-40 minutes, raking the granola around with a spatula every 10 minutes to make sure the ingredients were toasted evenly.
You might be tempted to skip the raking step. I know I was. But commit to the rake; it will yield granola that’s more evenly done, slightly caramelized, and crispy. No one wants sad granola with undone or overdone pieces.
Feel free to make substitutions in this recipe. Like I said, mine came about through dumping the contents of my fridge into a bowl. I bet dried fruit, cacao nibs, or coconut would also taste great in this recipe.
Jim and I ate some of this for brunch yesterday with lots of milk and fruit. It’s so good, though, that you’ll probably want to eat it straight out of the storage container like we’ve been doing.
Here’s a song to get you started on your homemade granola journey.
500 g rolled oats
100 g sliced almonds
170 g sunflower kernels
70 g pumpkin seeds
160 g light brown sugar
135 g maple syrup
170 ml olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spread the contents of the bowl across the two baking sheets so they’re more or less in an even layer. Bake the sheets for about 30-50 minutes, raking the granola with a spoon or spatula every 10 minutes to turn over pieces and make sure they bake evenly. The granola will be ready when it’s golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving (or as long as you can…it’s hard to wait!)