Hear me out. I know I bombard you with granola recipes at every opportunity, and if granola isn't your thing, you've probably long checked out of this blog and decided that I am a tree-huggin' hippie who lives on nuts and seeds and chants in my backyard.
But the trouble is, I want to believe everyone likes granola. I mean, don't get me wrong, I feel like a loser every time I try to explain to someone just how fantastic that last batch of homemade granola was! Then I realize they are staring at me like I've got three heads and they smile politely and walk away.
Olive Oil and maple granola
(Adapted from Food52 and Nekisia Davis)
Yields: 7 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1 1/4 cup raw pecans, left whole or coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dried cherries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut chips, pecans, brown sugar, and a hefty pinch of coarse salt.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the maple syrup and olive oil. It won't really come together in any sort of cohesive manner, but give it a good stir and then quickly pour it over the oat mixture. (I've made it before just by mixing everything together in one bowl from the get-go, but I got it into my head that some bits were becoming saturated in olive oil, others in just syrup, and vowed to just mix the syrup and oil together and sleep peacefully at night.)
Toss it all together with a rubber spatula until well coated - really make sure you get all the way to the bottom of the bowl where the dry bits of oats and coconut shards tend to hide. Tip the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it evenly.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, stirring and flipping the granola every 15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. As soon as you remove it from the oven, sprinkle it once more with a good pinch of coarse salt and toss it every 30 minutes or so until the granola is completely cool. Mix in a handful of dried cherries, if you like.
The granola will keep in a plastic bag or container at room temperature for about a week, but we keep ours in the freezer. I find the dried fruit will soften the crisp of the granola after a few days unless it's frozen, plus my baby Daddy says he enjoys the ice cold milk that results from frozen granola.