Getting Earthy with Homemade Granola

I've been in love with granola for the longest time, and some of the best granola-filled bowls I enjoyed were with plain yogurt, fruit (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries), all generously drizzled with honey.

Out of all the different brands, I found Whole Foods brand to be one of the best. The square clear plastic box displays its deliciousness, and contains whole oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, cracked rye, cracked wheat, wheat bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This box of granola is addictive.

I tried Chef Daniel Humm's recipe for granola (Eleven Madison Park) as recently posted by The New York Times:

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats 1 cup shelled pistachios 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds 1 tablespoon salt 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries


1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.

2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

Adapted from Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York.

I made my version much the same but I added more pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, pine nuts, honey, vanilla, and fair amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom are aphrodisiac spices. Pumpkin seeds are beauty replenishers and contain beneficial nutrients for skin and hair. 

I set the oven at a little bit lower than suggested because I burned my first batch. Also, when it was done, I turned off the oven and left the sheet pan of granola to cool in the oven overnight.

In the morning, I filled my many containers to the brim with this marvelous granola and have already eaten two bowls of it today. A few jars will be gifted to a friend/food blogger who made batches of his own using the Eleven Madison Park recipe. We've all been obsessed with this granola, and I am very pleased to say that it compared to my favorite Whole Foods granola. I will be making my own batches of granola now that I have a good recipe. Makes tasty little holiday gifts and it's better than fruitcake.