The old days of granola are gone: it's no longer a food reserved for hippies and flower children, instead it's just about as common as Corn Flakes in the average American's breakfast rotation and the variety of available flavors is vast. While grocery store shelves are stocked with any number of delicious options, we find that granola is best made at home, because it's incredibly simple and produces excellent results.
Granola is one of those recipes that is endlessly customizable; it can be easily adapted to suit just about any taste or dietary restriction. Using a really simple formula, you can fill in the blanks based on your preferences, and have a little fun experimenting in the kitchen at the same time.
Below is one of the recipes that's in continuous rotation at my home, and it speaks to our personalities and preferences pretty clearly: I like to keep things on the savory side with a kick, so this recipe isn't overly sweet and has just a hint of heat. My husband avoids coconut in his diet, so you'll see this is coconut-free. And we are both tahini fanatics, so we thought, why not try adding that, too? Of course, you can switch this up as you please, adjusting the sweet-to-salt ratio as you prefer. Or go totally off the rails and try something that's completely your own! Have fun with it - granola is like a blank canvas, waiting for your personal stamp to make it all your own.
1/4 c tahini
5 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c crisped quinoa
1/4 c pepitas
1/4 c walnuts
1/4 c pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, quinoa flakes, crisped quinoa, pepitas, walnuts, and pine nuts.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the tahini, honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Add in the cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper and whisk until well combined. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until entire mixture is well coated.
- Pour the granola mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread out evenly using the back of a flexible spoon or spatula.
- Bake until crispy, about 45 - 50 minutes, stirring and re-smoothing halfway through (note: smoothing and flattening out the mixture will allow for large chunks, so don't skip this step if you enjoy big clumps of granola).
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before eating. This is going to be difficult, because it smells amazing, but do yourself a favor and hold out! It will be so nice and crisp once it's cooled, and you can crumble it into big or small chunks, depending on your preference. Store in an airtight container for one to two weeks.