Last year, after racking my brain trying to come up with a homemade gift for my team of Stonyfield co-workers, it struck me – granola, duh! The sheer volume of yogurt consumed here requires all kinds of creative mixing-in to keep things fresh. And nothing could be fresher than the perfect DIY granola.
After doing more research on granola recipes than I care to admit, I settled on creating a version of olive oil granola, because the oil makes the oats nice and crispy. I chose tidbits from a few different recipes and experimented a little on my own until coming up with this beauty.
WARNING: This granola fresh out of the oven is nearly impossible to resist munching. Be sure to make enough to “test” and to share.
SUPER EASY OLIVE OIL GRANOLA
3 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. each: roughly chopped almonds, roughly chopped pecans, hulled pumpkin seeds, hulled sunflower seeds (or, your own favorite nuts and seeds totaling 2 cups)
3/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
(Confident with flavors? Try your own combo of spices, too!)
1/2 c. coconut flakes
1/3 c. dried cranberries (or cherries, or whatever floats your boat. This recipe is so great because you can make it your own nearly every step of the way)
Pre-heat oven to 300° and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
Spread granola mixture onto baking sheet in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove granola from the oven and add coconut flakes. Stir only the top layer of the granola enough to mix in the coconut flakes (leaving the bottom and edges alone throughout baking will give you yummy clusters).
Bake for 15-30 more minutes depending on your oven. Granola should be crispy when you taste it and a toasty brown.
Remove from oven and stir in cranberries.
Let cool before packing into your gift container of choice (I usually end up cooling the granola in a bowl and reusing the parchment paper and baking sheet for multiple batches).
I like to package my granola in pint-sized canning jars. One batch fills up a little over 4 pint jars (after copious amounts of taste testing).
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s also a perfect activity to do with my 4-year old on a December Saturday afternoon. He can help with nearly every step of the way from measuring to spreading it out in the pan, and, of course, he’s the ultimate judge of granola deliciousness.