Granola is a bit like banana bread: there are a zillion different recipes out there, and many of them are good. But over time, you find that one recipe that checks all the boxes for you, and it becomes your house standard. This is mine. It’s my favorite because it’s crunchy, has clusters, and isn’t overly sweet. Paired with fresh berries and Greek yogurt, it’s one of my go-to quick breakfasts. But I’ve also been known to eat it by the handful for a mid-afternoon snack and sprinkle it on frozen yogurt for dessert.
The method and base recipe are from Tara O’Brady’s cookbook Seven Spoons. The original recipe calls for candied ginger and cacao nibs, which I omit (they sound delightful but aren’t normally stocked in my pantry). I’ve played around with different nuts and seeds, and the version below is what I typically use. But like most good granola recipes, this one is easily adaptable. Swap the sesame seeds out for flax or chia; use whatever nuts you have in stock; switch up the spices to suit your palate; omit the coconut if it’s not your thing.
Basic Granola Recipe
Adapted from Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady | Makes about 8 1/2 cups
- 60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 100g (1/2 cup) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 455g (5 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 140g (1 1/2 cups) nuts, chopped if large (I like a mix of almonds, cashews, and walnuts)
- 65g (3/4 cup) unsweetened flaked coconut
- 35g (1/4 cup) sesame seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 150g (1 cup) dried fruit, chopped if large (I usually use figs and/or raisins)
- 35g (1/4 cup) raw, hulled sunflower seeds
- 70g (1/2 cup) finely chopped candied ginger
- 70g (1/2 cup) raw pepitas
- Raw cacao nibs
- Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds.
- In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter into the olive oil and maple syrup. Add the brown sugar, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the brown sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.
- In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups (180 g) of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups (275 g) whole oats, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds, and cinnamon. Pour the butter and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.
- Line two half sheet pans or standard baking sheets with parchment paper. Using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted, 40 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from top to bottom and front to back.
- Remove from the oven and leave the granola on the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger and pepitas (if using). Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the dried fruit and the cacao nibs (if using).
- Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.