olive oil granola

IMG_2184All of last week I was thinking that homemade granola sounded really good. I haven’t had any for at least three months- since the last time I made it. I have a recipe I use as a standard for granola that I like very much, but yesterday I wanted to do a little bit of experimenting. The recipe below is what I came up with. I used olive oil, a bit of cocoa powder, and honey as well as maple syrup. Granola is fun because there are SO many variations!

 
3 cups oats (certified gluten free, if necessary)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder* (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 1/4 cup honey*
About 1/4 cup maple syrup*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon molasses (you can add a bit more if you like)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I pulsed mine in the food processor a few times to make the flakes a little smaller)
1 cup dried fruit (I like to use the Golden Berry Medley from Trader Joe’s)

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut flakes out in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 4 minutes. The edges should just start to turn golden. Take care not to burn it- it happens very fast! Transfer coconut to a small bowl to cool, and reduce oven heat to 225 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats with the nuts, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and molasses. *If you are using the cocoa powder, you will want to be generous with your honey and maple syrup measurements, since the cocoa powder is bitter. As you measure each one, let it spill over the sides of the measuring cup just a tad. Later on, after the granola is mixed, you can drizzle a little more in if needed. If you’re not using the cocoa powder, you can be a bit skimpy with the measurements.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spread the granola out with a rubber spatula in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (it helps if it has a rim).

Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven every 10 minutes to stir it around so it all gets toasted. If you prefer a chewy granola, bake for about 30 minutes. If you like a crunchy granola, bake it for longer, but make sure it doesn’t burn! Remember that as the granola cools, it will get harder.

After the granola has completely cooled, transfer it to a bowl. Mix in the toasted coconut and dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks… if it lasts that long!

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