Eating well – and being well – includes getting a good start to your day with a healthy breakfast. The very best kind – the kind that will keep you going straight through until lunchtime – is a balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Homemade granola provides all these things, especially when made with mild, heart-healthy olive oil. It packs and travels well, so it’s perfect to grab and go if you don’t have time to eat at home. And if you do, crunchy granola is perfect for curling up and lingering over in a bowl, with a spoon, doused with milk or layered with yogurt, or eating by the handful while you’re doing your thing in the morning.
Customize your granola with your favorite nuts and dried fruit.
Olive Oil Granola
6 cups old-fashioned (large flake) oats
2 cups chopped, sliced or slivered nuts (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup mild (not extra-virgin) olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, dried cranberries, cherries or chopped figs or apricots)
Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
In a small saucepan, combine the oil, brown sugar and maple syrup and simmer over medium heat until everything is melted. Pour over the oat mixture and toss until well mixed.
Spread out onto two large rimmed baking sheets and bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Divide the dried fruit onto both sheets, stirring them into the mixture, and let cool. Store in a tightly sealed container. Makes lots.
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