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.

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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.

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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.

Cardamom Maple Granola

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 300F
  2. Mix oil, brown sugar, maple syrup in a steel bowl
  3. Mix all the nuts, coconut and oats in a separate container
  4. Add the nut mixture to the oil and sugar mixture.
  5. Mix well
  6. Add salt and stir once
  7. Take a cookie sheet and line with a parchment paper
  8. Spread the mixture evenly on the sheet
  9. Bake
  10. Bake for 45 mins
  11. Stir every 10-15 mins
  12. After 45 mins take it out of the oven and stir in the cardamom powder
  13. Let it cool on the sheet for an hour
  14. Store it in a airtight container
  15. Serve
  16. You can serve this with milk for breakfast
  17. You can make parfait with yogurt, some fresh fruit and this granola
  18. You can eat it as a snack
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