I've always liked granola okay, but it was only when I made my own that I became a true fan. And when I discovered this recipe I became a granola junkie. The recipe was inspired by Early Bird Granola; it involves extra virgin olive oil, sweetness from brown sugar and maple syrup, and just enough salt.
On top of plain Greek yogurt with some fresh or dried fruit, it is my ideal weekday breakfast (stay tuned next week for my latest weekend breakfast obsession). It is also great with milk, or eaten plain (just beware that once you start snacking on it, it's really hard to stop!) I'm not going to pretend that it's easier than buying a box of granola at the store, but the recipe is really mostly a matter of simple mixing and baking. I've tweaked the recipe a bit to my taste (switching up the nut mixture and omitting the cinnamon and cardamom), but it's very flexible so feel free to play around with it. But once you're hooked, don't say I didn't warn you!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 cups nuts and seeds (I use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and walnuts, but you can use any combination)
1 cup shredded coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened works--if I'm using unsweetened I usually throw in an extra tablespoon of maple syrup or brown sugar)
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts/seeds, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the olive oil and maple syrup, mixing to combine. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake until golden all over, 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes for the first 30 min. and every 5 min. thereafter.
Makes enough to last me two weeks, provided I don't get carried away.