Recipe: Starter Granola

Granola and toppings!  Consider this a base granola - it is great on its own and it starts you off on a path to experimentation - you can add to it depending on your mood, likes, etc. After much trial and error we found a wonderful granola recipe from this cookbook (an essential in our kitchen). Our recipe is an adaptation of their  granola recipe:

5 cups organic old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups slivered unsalted almonds
1 cup cup shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoons cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 F. Add oats, almonds, seeds and cinnamon to a large bowl and mix well. Add oil and syrup and stir until all ingredients are incorporated well. Spread mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and toast in oven. Stir granola on cookie sheet at the 20 minute marker. Stir again at the 40 minute marker. If you feel this is a good level of toastiness for you take granola out and set on a cooling rack. I let ours go for another 10-15 minutes (total of 50-55 minutes) before allowing it to cool on cooking rack because we like a strong toasty flavor.

-Trader Joe's has a large variety of affordably priced nuts and dried fruit. We shop for all of our granola ingredients there. Trader Joe's organic maple syrup comes in a cute glass jar that is perfect for reusing for homemade oils or teas or even as a bud vase. We're going to make a batch of rosemary olive oil in our jar.
-When stirring the granola while it toasts be sure to get the mixture up from the bottom and edges of the pan as this where is tends to crisp up or burn the most.
-We often omit the cinnamon (some say a sin when it comes to granola!), but we find the flavor bold enough without it and we tend to add other components to our granola after toasting to add lots of flavor.

You can get creative when it comes to granola and this recipe is a perfect canvas to play around with flavors. Sesame seeds, pecan, coconut, flax seeds and walnuts are popular additions. Playing around with spices is also fun - try adding some sea salt or cayenne pepper to add a little interesting snip of flavor.
This recipe fills two quart size mason jars which means one batch will last for a while.  We find mason jars to be excellent storage for granola (and any other nuts/grains) as it keeps things fresh for a long while.


  1. mmmm who doesnt love granola? I bet this would be a great gift! i shall try this! thanks for sharing!

  2. Making this today! Thank you for posting this recipe :)

  3. Made it with the cinnamon and peanuts and toasted it on a stone for 55 minutes, added choc chips and craisins after is cooled...perfect!