I had no clue what granola was until a few years ago. In fact, any time I saw granola in a coffee shop or a bakery, I would think that it must be a oatmeal resin cookie experiment gone bad, or maybe some got the wrong type of oats. But then a few years ago we visited Mendocino.
Mendocino is a quaint little town north of San Francisco along the pacific; it has a picturesque shoreline, a cute little downtown with art galleries, and chocolate shops galore. This is one of my favorite places to visit. We usually end up renting a big place with friends and cooking and spending time in the jacuzzi- it’s a lot of fun. Anyway, back to my granola, I had a chance to taste some amazing granola on one of my trips to Mendocino, and I loved it. I could see how easily you can customize it to your taste or preference. I started making granola and played around with different ingredients, tried various recipes as well. But the one I liked the most was from Genius recipes. I use that as a base and make changes as needed.
I love making it at home as I can control the kind of ingredients used, I use all organic ingredients which is perfect for my family and friends.
I packed this Granola for my kids, and they both came home asking for three times the quantity. It seems like their friends also loved it. I like it because it stores well, you can eat it as a snack, or for breakfast with milk, or add to your parfait, the possibilities are endless. The process is super simple- it’s literally just mixing ingredients and sticking it in the oven, you don’t even have to babysit. I normally make it in the evening and let it cool overnight.
Today I served this with fresh apricots I picked up in the farmer’s market. Some chopped apricots, blueberries, yogurt with a touch of salt and topped with crunchy granola. Everyone loved it. You can serve the parfait in a clear glass bowl, and it looks so pretty.
The recipe which inspired me to make this version is from Genius Kitchen. I love the nutty flavor of Olive Oil that compliments the earthy maple. I make many variations of this but our favorites are this one with cardamom and another with star anise, I add some fennel seeds in that along with popper sorghum.
You can use anything you like, its like a blank canvas.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 1 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Chopped cashews
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1pinch coarse salt, to taste
- 1 tsp Cardamom powder
- Heat the oven to 300F
- Mix oil, brown sugar, maple syrup in a steel bowl
- Mix all the nuts, coconut and oats in a separate container
- Add the nut mixture to the oil and sugar mixture.
- Mix well
- Add salt and stir once
- Take a cookie sheet and line with a parchment paper
- Spread the mixture evenly on the sheet
- Bake for 45 mins
- Stir every 10-15 mins
- After 45 mins take it out of the oven and stir in the cardamom powder
- Let it cool on the sheet for an hour
- Store it in a airtight container
- You can serve this with milk for breakfast
- You can make parfait with yogurt, some fresh fruit and this granola
- You can eat it as a snack