So Granola

March 30, 2015


My upbringing was very "granola." You know, soy milk and birkenstocks and aroma therapy- that kind of granola. Perhaps appropriately, I consumed a lot of granola. My Mom make it from scratch and the recipe evolved over time. I think it probably always hugged the crunchy side of the granola spectrum (which I still prefer), and usually included cinnamon, almonds, vanilla extract, sunflower seeds, oats and either honey or maple syrup. I probably ate it with soy or rice milk. Don't worry: I never got into hemp milk. I have standards!

Since we moved in together (going on 6 years ago?) Ben has been our household granola chef, usually improvising but more recently adapting Molly Wizenberg's Granola No. Five recipe. It's pretty much perfect, thanks to the use of olive oil (I know- you wouldn't expect that to work, but it does) and a good amount of salt. It's well in line with what I like best in a granola recipe:

#1- Crunch (and ideally, clumps)
#2- Heavy on the nuts
#3- Moderate sweetness

For the past few months Ben has been on a sugar-free/fruit-free/grain-free/fun-free diet, not due to his own choosing (who would choose that?), and has given up the temptation of granola baking. In a move which I admit is less than totally supportive of these dietary restrictions, I have made giant batches of Granola No. Five twice. The most recent version was particularly good and worth raving about (and writing down to remember). I added cinnamon and nutmeg, which I think Molly would totally disapprove of. It was really good. I also cut down the sweetness a bit, and used more nuts and fewer oats. Here's the final version. I eat it with full fat plain yogurt and occasionally, milk. Milk from a cow! How my life has changed.

I'm Still So Granola (adapted from Molly Wizenberg's Granola No. 5)
4 cups oats
2-3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
5-6 cups nuts (I combined cashews, walnuts & almonds- a great combo!)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (don't reduce this- it's what makes the recipe so delicious!)
3/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup olive oil
vanilla extract (2 teaspoons?)
cinnamon (to taste)
nutmeg (to taste)

(note: I also added sesame seeds to this batch, as seen in the photo, but I regret that addition.)

Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine the maple and olive oil and stir. Combine everything and mix well. Divide the ingredients between two cookie sheets. Bake at 300 for around 40 minutes, checking/rotating the cookie sheets every 15-20 minutes. It's done when the coconut flakes are looking nice and brown. 

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