Gra! No! La!

by | Jul 29, 2009 | baking, Food | 13 comments

There was a recipe in the New York Times a week or so ago for granola, and the whole pre-recipe descriptor was so drool-worthy that I’m surprised it took me this long to try it. Recipe author Melissa Clark went to some fancy little shop where people were forming an unruly mob around the granola samples, and hording them, because they were so crazy good. And then she tries some and buys it and eats the whole bag on the short walk home because it’s so spectacular. She had me as soon as I got to the part about it having olive oil and salt in it.

So I finally got around to making it, and it is, indeed, insanely good. Of course I had neglected to get any of the ingredients. You can see the original recipe here, and below I’ll give you my what-I-had-on-hand recipe. The original recipe has nuts and dried fruit in it, and I ended up adding those sometimes (almonds and cranberries), and sometimes not. That seemed better because then everyone in the World of Julie can adjust to taste. I tried making it again later with the almonds, and I actually like it better with them added right before you eat them. They got a little soft when they were mixed in with everything in the oven.

You will be shovelling this in by the handful, and then you will feel virtuous for putting it on yogurt for breakfast. The thought of it on good vanilla ice cream actually makes me a little lightheaded. I don’t think I could do it because I’d eat it all.

This is a make-in-the-background kind of recipe. It takes five minutes to throw together, and then you just occasionally have to wander back into the kitchen to stir it. It doesn’t demand a lot from you, and gives you back a hell of a lot in return.

Olive Oil Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or a mix of both)

1 cup coconut (orig. recipe calls for coconut “chips” but I had shredded coconut so that’s what I used)

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup dried fruit…I’d try it with anything from raisins to cherries to blueberries to cranberries. Orig. recipe uses apricots.

1 1/2 cup nuts (original recipe uses pistachios, I’ve been putting almonds in)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine everything but dried fruit. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet [I used a roasting pan] in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. You can add the dried fruit and nuts now, or later.

Melissa Clark actually calls this “health-conscious crack.” I think that’s all you need to know.


  1. Elizabeth

    Thank you! I’ve been on a granola and yogurt breakfast kick and the tiny $5-6 bags of the good stuff is killing me. I’m making it today!

  2. Julie

    Elizabeth, you are going to LOVE it. And SO much cheaper than buying it premade.

  3. Anne

    I’ve never heard of coconut chips. That would normally be the one mysterious ingredient that would cause me to mutter and toss aside the recipe, but now I have to try it!

  4. Julie

    I’m kind of assuming coconut chips are those flakey bits you find in commercial granola. Ah, yes: I’m hoping to stumble on them somewhere out in my food-buying travels. I don’t really think you need to go to the trouble to buy coconut chips online in order to make the granola.

  5. Sarah

    Must make this!

  6. Clog

    As I mentioned to you, I cut the sugar (maple syrup and br. sugar) in half and it was still really good.

  7. emily

    HOLY CATS THAT’S GOOD! It’s like cookies, but without the guilt of cookies! ANd so much BETTER than that cereal from 1980 that purported to be cookies but really wasn’t!!! THIS IS REALLY REALLY AMAZING STUFF! EXCEPT IT MAKES YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS!! I’VE HAD TO HIDE IT FROM SCOTT SO WE HAVE SOME FOR CAMPING TOMORROW (camping in hot weather, now that will bring out the lower case letters…) but WELL HAVE GRANOLA THERE!

  8. Julie


  9. kaia

    I should definitely try it. I’ve been on a Bear Naked/Fage kick lately…

  10. Julie

    Kaia, you would lurve it. Bear Naked is good, but it’s much nicer to be making your own granola for like one-thousandth the cost.

  11. Angie


    I finally made this yesterday (actually, I made Jason make it with our kids yesterday) and you are soooo right! It is frickin’ crack! I love it and haven’t been able to stop eating it. I passed it on to Jes and Rand and I think she was making him make it last night. I’m telling everyone I know about it–I even made another friend stop by and try it yesterday! She was going to go make it as well.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Lisa

    Hi Julie–

    I’ve mad this a couple times–amazing….I’m making it for X-mas gifts…any idea how long it will last in a baking tin or glass jar??? (it’s usually gone one day after I make it, so have no idea what kind of “shelf life” it has…)

    Thanks for your input,
    Lisa in Saco

  13. Julie

    It actually lasts a pretty long time. When I got sick from being pregnant, there was a half-full jar that I couldn’t even look at. Weeks (maybe six weeks?) later, the kids were eating it. I tried it, and it still tasted pretty fresh, I have to say.


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