Granola is this mythical American thing.
While living in non-America (Australia; London) I had always heard about granola watching American TV shows, reading recipes in American cookbooks and magazines, and thought, isn’t it just oats an’ stuff? What’s the big deal? Then I moved to NYC.
Granola is on every breakfast menu, and market shelves are filled with dozens of brands of artisanal granola. You can’t pass a farmer’s market without a hippy chick selling her bespoke/seasonal/small batch granola.
As a savory breakfast person (on the rare occasion I have breakfast), I would never think to reach for sweetened oats and nuts. And then Ivy introduced me to Haven’s Kitchen granola. It’s the Le Bernardin of granolas. It has this magical mix of oats, sesame, sunflowers and pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, dried cherries, cinnamon and a most necessary hefty sprinkling of salt. It’s $11 for a small pouch, which is nothing for the joy it brings you when you sprinkle it over yogurt, or eat it by the handful late at night. I was a convert.
Then listening to Molly Weizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton‘s Spilled Milk podcast, Molly shared her granola recipe, and as that podcast makes me want to do, I had to go and make it immediately. It’s a very simple combination of oats, coconut chips, nuts, maple syrup and olive oil.
My granola recipe is a little more stripped back, and I think no less delicious. I skip the coconut chips, and instead of chopped nuts, I stir through a handful of sliced almonds and pecans that I crumble in my hand (to save messing up a chopping board). It’s perfect on its own, or you can stir through chopped dried fruit when serving. Sweet-tart dried apricots and fudgy Medjool dates are delicious with the almonds and pecans.
My new favorite way of devouring granola is adding it to a banana and date smoothie – one banana, two dates, and a tablespoon of granola, with enough milk to just cover. Blend till smooth. The maple-y oats give it texture and you don’t need to add any sweeteners.
The one and only granola recipe you’ll ever need, adapted from Orangette’s granola recipe
Makes 4 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Handful nuts like sliced almonds and chopped pecans
A really good pinch of salt flakes like Maldon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle the oats over the parchment paper. Add the nuts and salt and mix with a spoon. Gently pour over the maple syrup and olive oil and stir until all the oats and nuts are wet.
3. Spread the oats thin and flat with the back of a spoon, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, gently mix the oats with a spoon, but you don’t need to be too precise. Bake for another 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven (the oats will still be a little pale and soft) and allow to cool. Letting it to cool will form a combination of clumps and loose oats, my favorite combination. Once cool, spoon into a jar or container.