This jazz trio of the granola universe strips granola down to its basic elements – oats, coconut, and nuts – toasted slowly with olive oil and honey. No excess sweetening, heavy spices, or dried fruit. We’re choosing to share this recipe first not only because it is addictively good, but it features honey, an ingredient that will be created in beehives right on the rooftop of the Castro Valley Marketplace (just as they do at the Alameda Marketplace). A great place to begin.
Olive oil in granola? Don’t worry, it won’t taste like salad dressing. It adds healthy fat and aslightly savory warmth to the finished granola, and a modest amount of honey and maple syrup add just the right amount of sweetness.
We love (shocker) Amphora Nueva olive oil and owner Nate Bradley has a few favorites for granola – “Persian lime, blood orange, butter and Arbequina or Barnea extra-virgin olive oil”. Having tasted them recently, the blood orange would be fantastic here. For the sweetener you are free to use 100% honey, but you might need to heat it. A 50/50 mix of honey and maple syrup is much easier to work with and adds depth of flavor. Try Coombs Family Farmmaple syrup from Brattleboro, VT (available at Alameda/Castro Valley Natural Grocery).
Weighing out ingredients on a scale makes this recipe especially fast to put together (read: less dishes to wash). You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you like, but we prefer to keep it simple with sliced almonds, whole walnuts or pecans (also, seeds are messy). This is fantastic with plain yogurt and fresh fruit (our favorite), with milk or on its own.
OLIVE OIL GRANOLA YOU NEED TO MAKE
6 cups (600 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
2-3 cups (100 to 150 grams) unsweetened coconut chips
3 cups nuts and/or seeds (400 grams, see headnote)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (240 ml) maple syrup
2/3 cup (160 ml) olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Line two rimmed baking/cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients into a very large bowl (if you’re using a scale, you can do this directly into the bowl), and stir well.
Measure the maple syrup and olive oil, add to dry ingredients, and stir to evenly coat. This is usually easiest with your hands.
Divide the mixture between the two prepared sheet pans (no need for precision here), and spread it out evenly.
Bake at 300F for about 45 minutes, stirring the granola and flipping the pans a few times (about every 15 minutes), until golden brown, but not dark. You will know it’s done when the coconut chips look toasted and the entire mixture has gone from pale to an even golden brown color. Be sure to stir the granola in the corners of the pan inward as those tend to darken faster than the rest of the batch. Don’t overbake – granola only develops its crisp crunch as it cools.
Allow to cool completely, then transfer the granola to airtight containers. Keeps up to a month at room temperature, freezes well for at least 3 months.