This rustic, two-fisted granola, loaded with fruits and nuts, has an extra virgin olive oil at its heart to pull all of the flavors together and add the tiniest savory twist to this breakfast classic.
All granola recipes need an oil so that the nuts and grains will brown properly and crisp up in the oven — but most call for something flavor-neutral. This recipe, developed especially for the flavor profile of Séka Hills Premium Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with its buttery, green notes, brings out the rich flavors of the granola’s nuts and underscores the sweet toast-y goodness of the oats. The little bite of pepper — classic in a good extra virgin olive oil — pumps up the spices and sharpens the flavors of the fruits. Even the sweeteners — honey, maple syrup, brown sugar — benefit from the savory edge of the olive oil, showing off richer, rounder flavors in the finished granola.
You may vary the fruit and nut add-ins as well as the spices and flavorings to suit your tastes — just keep the proportions the same, and you’ll be fine. Refer to the end of the recipe for suggested variations.*
Sweeteners for this not-too-sweet granola are also flexible: you may swap ¼-cup agave or maple syrup for the 2-tablespoons of honey – but be careful about adding more honey, it will make the finished granola sticky.
Séka Hills Premium Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is a high quality California extra virgin olive oil with an all-purpose flavor profile and is priced for everyday use. It is widely available in San Francisco Bay Area markets (refer to the online store-finder for a location near you) and online everywhere from the Séka Hills website.
Granola-making short-cuts, and tips for avoiding common mistakes: “Eight tips for perfect granola every time”.
Séka Hills Olive Oil Granola
makes about 10 cups
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 1/3-cup Séka Hills Premium Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼-cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1½-teaspoon kosher salt (if you use regular table salt, reduce the quantity to ¾-teaspoon)
- 4-cups old-fashioned oats (the cooks-in-five-minutes kind)
- 2-cups unsweetened, flaked coconut
- 1-cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/3-cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1/3-cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1-1/3 cup diced apricots
- 1/3-cup diced, candied orange peel
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Heat oven to 300. Line two 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheets with baking parchment and set aside.
- Using the biggest bowl you have, combine the beaten egg white, honey, brown sugar, olive oil, five-spice powder and kosher salt; mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the old-fashioned oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and stir until completely coated.
- Spread the oat mixture evenly onto the two prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the center of a pre-heated 300 oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir – or if it’s easier, pour the partly-cooked mixture back into the large bowl, give it a stir, then return the mixture to the two baking sheets as before and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Check for doneness – if it’s browned to your taste*, remove from the oven and pour into a large mixing bowl. Don’t leave granola on the baking sheet to cool; it will continue to brown.
- Stir in the dried fruit, orange peel and almond extract.
- Cool completely in the bowl, stirring occasionally.
- Store in an airtight container. Don’t put granola in a covered container until it has cooled completely, or it will lose its crispness.
*If not, continue to bake-and stir the granola in 5-minute increments, stirring in between, until it is browned to your taste.
- Peaches and Pistachios: 2/3-cup diced, dried peaches + 2/3-cup dried cherries, 1-cup coarsely chopped pistachios, 1-teaspoon cinnamon, ½-teaspoon almond extract
- Cherries and Plums: 1 cup diced, dried plums (not prunes) + ½ -cup dried cherries, 1-cup coarsely chopped pecans, 1-teaspoon ground allspice + ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1-teaspoon vanilla
- Pears and Pecans: 1-1/3 cup diced dried pears, 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, 1-teaspoon cinnamon, 1-teaspoon vanilla
- Apples and Walnuts: 2/3-cup diced dried apples + 2/3-cup chopped dates, 1-cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla