Who doesn’t love a good bag of granola? Sometimes it gets a bad rep for not being very healthy, but if it’s homemade and you’re putting quality ingredients in it then why not make a batch for the week (it probably won’t last any longer than that, anyways).
My love affair with granola didn’t start till late into high school and early college. The beginning of my childhood is riddled with memories of what my grandma made for breakfast, which was usually cream of wheat and pancakes on occasion. In later years, eggs were the first thing I learned to cook myself for breakfast. Weekdays kept me to milk and cereal in high school thanks to 7:30AM Spanish and my “not a morning person” tendencies. But on the weekends, my mom would make us a bowl of greek yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, and granola. In college, I upgraded from milk and cereal to milk, granola, and fruit for breakfast.
But in all these years, I’d never thought to make my own granola. Now that I have, I’m not sure I can go back! Homemade granola is perfect. I’ve been loving it with milk or as a snack all packed up for that afternoon lull. But I especially love a generous spoonful of it in the morning with yogurt and fruits, just like my Mom makes it.
I feel like I say this about every recipe I post, but this stuff is good. Like, seriously really good. In between taking shots of the yogurt bowls, I was sneaking little bits granola off the baking tray. Later on that night, at I was standing in the kitchen at 10:00, staring out my window while I ate granola straight from the bag. I just couldn’t help myself. I really couldn’t. It’s that good. And the best part is that it takes no time at all to bring together. Grab a large bowl, throw in the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients, mix, then spread out on a baking tray and ta-da! That’s it. The rest of the cook time can be spent off your feet and on the couch with a good book while your amazing granola is toasting in the oven and making the house smell like heaven.
My favorite part about granola is it’s so customizable. If you don’t like almonds or hazelnuts, you can substitute those choices for another type of nut. If you don’t want to add nuts at all you don’t have to either! I left out any dried fruits in this recipe because I wanted to keep the granola neutral so I’d have more room to play around with any fresh fruit and yogurt. But you can totally throw in some dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, or blueberries. Just make sure to leave them out of the initial mixture and add them to the granola within the 10-15 minutes left in the oven. The only rule you need to follow is to keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients consistent.
ALSO. Did ya’ll not know that granola made with olive oil was a thing, or was that just me? Granola is usually made with vegetable oil or butter, but olive oil gives it such a robust and full flavor – a taste that I have a hard time describing as anything other than simply delicious. I also can’t forget to mention that EVOO is also good for you too! Now I don’t think you have much of an excuse not to try this one out 🙂
Olive Oil Granola w/ Almonds, Hazelnuts & Quinoa
Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food.
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup almonds and hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dry quinoa
pinch of salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 c maple syrup or honey
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, nuts, quinoa, and salt. Add in the olive oil and maple syrup. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine everything together. Make sure all the dry ingredients have been evenly coated with the wet.
3. Transfer the granola mixture to the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, making sure to rotate the tray half way in between for even browning.
4. When finished baking, remove the granola from the oven. Don’t worry if it still looks wet, it’ll harden up when it cools. If you like loose granola, stir around immediately in the pan then let cool. If you prefer a clumpier granola, wait a few minutes for the granola to cool then break up into larger pieces.
5. Once completely cooled, store the granola in a ziplock bag or air-tight container. Serve over yogurt and top with fresh fruit for an amazing breakfast!