Olive Oil Granola with Coconut and Cherries

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Last month’s batch of overcooked granola is forgotten. Here is a sweet olive oil granola with slivered almonds, cashews, and coconut chips, all toasted and coated in honey and cinnamon. Dried cherries, figs, and dates finish it off.

The burnt granola was definitely extra toasty, and I wouldn’t have served it to you, but I could tell it had potential. I just needed to get it right.
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A couple of you gave me some smart suggestions, so thank you Noelle and Erin. Megan Gordon, of Marge granola, guided me with some expert tips. Megan is right to tell you that baking granola should remind you of baking cookies because both should be pulled a couple of minutes before they look done. Both will keep cooking and crisp up after being pulled from the oven.

I brought the oven temperature down to 300°F and shortened the cooking time. Coconut joined the cooking granola a little more than halfway through the cooking time so it wouldn’t burn.

A few little changes, and it was a totally different story.

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You see that? Clusters. Honey and oil keep the oats together at the bottom of the granola when allowed to cool completely. Seriously. Just pull it from the oven and forget about it for a while to let it cool and crisp up. Clusters were so big — too big — that I had to break some of them down to fit into jars. Maybe using those thick-cut rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill helped, too.

A good cluster is the reason to buy granola from the store, right? That was true for me before I knew this little trick.

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Now I’ve got granola for days, and a recipe I’ll hold on to even longer. I had mine with blueberries and vanilla soymilk today, and tomorrow I’ll serve it with yogurt. There are so many flavors here  — tart cherry, fruity olive oil, warm cinnamon, and toasted coconut are especially noticeable — and they all come together amicably in a granola I can’t get enough of.

I can’t wait for breakfast.
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olive oil granola with coconut and cherries

Salt heightens everything in this just-sweet-enough granola. Olive oil and honey give it some fruitiness, and cinnamon is in here, of course, because I love it in anything baked. Let it cool completely before serving, and you’ll enjoy some serious granola clusters. The dried fruit may soften the granola, so add it just as you’re serving up a bowl and keep the granola and fruit separately in airtight containers. Serve with fresh fruit and milk or yogurt.

4 cups thick-cut rolled oats
2 cups raw slivered almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 cups unsweetened coconut chips
2 cups of dried fruit (I used 1 cup cherries and a 1/2 cup each of dates and figs), chopped

Heat oven to 300°F.

Use your hands to toss together the oats, almonds, cashews, cinnamon, salt, oil, and honey in a large bowl. Spread out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pressing oat mixture down into the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden, stirring in the coconut after 15 minutes. Check on the granola every few minutes after adding the coconut, and it’s done when golden but looks a little underdone. It will continue to cook while cooling on the counter.

Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet so that clusters can form. Add in the dried fruit and serve.

Makes 10 cups. Adapted from Symon’s Suppers

4 thoughts on “Olive Oil Granola with Coconut and Cherries

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