I’ve been making my own granola for a little while now, probably over two years. It took me a while to find a good recipe and a good technique, but I have finally got it down. I owe it all to a blog article from Food Junta, which I am not even sure how I stumbled upon way back when.  Since I’ve mastered Crucny Granola for Dirty Hippies and Everyone Else recipe, I decided it was time to try out something new. Sure, dried cranberries, raisins, and cherries are fun, but I thought it was time to explore what else home made granola has to offer.

Recently I found an interesting article from the New York Times on incorporating Olive Oil into your granola, instead of regular cooking oil like vegetable oil or canola oil. I use Olive Oil for mostly all of my cooking, and I have really become fond of the distinct flavor, as well as the Omega 3’s that it’s packed with. I was intrigued and enthused- so I gave it a try.

Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistacchios

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup coconut chips
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine. Serve with ricotta and fruit, if desired.

I made quite a bit of changes to this recipe, but that’s the beauty of granola. As long as you follow the basic recipe of sweet, salty, and sticky, you can add whatever you have on hand. My version is as follows:

Taylor’s Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots, Raisins, and Pistachios

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup salted pistachios, shells removed
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins

I followed the same instructions as the original recipe. I only had salted pistachios so I added them and chopped them up, then halved the salt that I added. I only had a few dried apricots left so I chopped them up and added some golden raisins. I didn’t have pumpkin seeds so I subsituted roasted sunflowers. And I didn’t have all natural high-grade maple syrup, and regular syrup is full of high-fructose you-know-what, so I substitute honey instead. It is a little stickier, but its extremely tasty. I’ve been eating it by the handful, and over Greek Yogurt for lunch every day. Stu said it tastes like a saltier version of Baklava! Mmm, I can’t wait to get crazy with more combinations of this awesome healthy treat.