One of my closest friends from my early teen years went out to Boulder, CO for college and I was lucky enough to have had the chance to visit her there, many many years ago. We spent a lot of time outside, exploring campus and going on a variety of hikes. My favorite thing that we did was wander up and down Pearl Street, which is the pedestrian-friendly center of Downtown Boulder. At one point, we stopped in a cooking store to look at dishes and there was a local woman who was selling homemade chocolate chip granola. I was a goner as soon as she said the words organic and chocolate to me.
I fondly remember slowly strolling along Pearl Street, arm-in-arm with Caitlin while munching from a package of homemade chocolate chip granola and looking in all of the cute stores that lined the walkway. It’s funny; later that night, I somehow found myself in the same exact situation, except the granola was on top of some frozen yogurt. It was only appropriate that in those moments, in the granola capital of the world, I resolved to teach myself how to make it from scratch as soon as I got back home. You can do it, too!
This recipe is unique because I used apple cider to sweeten the mixture rather than a primarily relying on sugar to do that trick. I added a little brown sugar too… couldn’t resist. I love how the olive oil coats each oat, seed and nut, leaving a glossy finish and a deliciously buttery taste.
What will you need?
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
How do you make it?
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until each piece is evenly coated. Spread the mixture into a large, rimmed baking sheet and pop into the oven! After 12-15 minutes, check on the mixture and toss it a bit. Continue baking for another 15 minutes or until it is done to your liking.
You’ll notice how golden the oats will get. This mean’s they are ready to go! Don’t take them out of the oven right away, though. I want to share with you a trick that my mom discovered! Instead of pulling the pan out of the oven and allowing the granola to cool on the counter top, leave it in the oven with the door open and allow it to slowly cool that way. The results are awesome.
Remove from the oven after the pan has been cooling for about 20 minutes. I ate had an afternoon snack right away with bananas and almond milk. You can pack this up in an air tight back and eat it plain, use as cereal, a topping for yogurt or ice cream throughout the week.
You also might want to package it up in cute jars and give some to someone you love! Happy experimenting!