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Going Homemade | Spiced Olive-Oil Granola

25 April 2011


Notice any trends in my current to-do list?

  • learn how to compost
  • make ice cream
  • make granola
  • make sandwich bread
  • make cheese
  • make yogurt
  • make beer
  • make cardiologist appointment for Inka

With the exception of addressing my poor kitty’s heart murmur, this list belies my drive toward the homemade. I realize I’m a little late to the Animal, Vegetable, Miracle party, but it has quickly become a favorite. It can be a challenge for me to really get into a non-fiction book, particularly during leisurely bedtime reading. But with this one, it’s been more of a challenge lately to resist interrupting whatever Mike is reading on his Kindle to share with him descriptions of a mature asparagus plant, how roosters mate, and the evils of Monsanto. Judging by the well-worn paperback copy I borrowed from the library, I’m not the only urbanite dreaming about life on the farm.

Also on my to-do list: convince Mike we should move to the country. Until then, I’m anticipating when the farm will come to me. Before CSA season starts in a few weeks, I’m determined to figure out how I can compost all of its inevitable scraps. Maybe at some point I’ll even be able to grow something in the clay and rocks masquerading as soil in my postage-stamp backyard. Meanwhile, I’m content to produce in my kitchen all matter of homemade, if not yet homegrown, comestibles.

I’ve started off simply. Although it’s only April, 80-degree days are already turning me off from my regular morning oatmeal. In summer, cold cereal or smoothies are more my thing. I threw this granola together with leftover bits I had on hand in my pantry, and you could certainly replace the pepitas or walnuts with whatever seeds or nuts are lingering in the jars on your shelves. The egg white keeps some of the granola in clusters, so you could omit it if you prefer yours looser. You might also up the maple syrup or add a bit of brown sugar if your tooth is sweeter than mine. Granola like this is infinitely adaptable. I find that this particular mixture goes well with plain yogurt and sliced pear; dried cranberries are also a nice addition.

Spiced Olive-Oil Granola
Adapted from A Good Appetite

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3 ounces maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg white

Combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom; stir well. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and egg white; stir well. Spread the granola onto a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 300˚ for 40–55 minutes, turning twice. (I used a large spatula to help keep the clusters together when turning.) Granola is done when it is browned to your liking; it will firm up upon cooling.

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