Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil and Maple Granola

By • January 20, 2012 • 88 Comments


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Author Notes: This recipe, adapted very slightly from Early Bird Foods' best-selling Farmhand's Choice Granola, is like muesli after a vampy makeover. Olive oil, maple, brown sugar and coarse salt form a rich, shaggy crust on wholesome innards like oats, pecans, and coconut shards.Genius Recipes

Makes about 7 cups

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1 1/4 cup raw pecans, left whole or coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt
  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Comments (88) Questions (4)

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21 days ago Kate

This is a brilliant beginning recipe to tweak to your own tastes. I encountered a very similar maple / olive oil granola on Molly Wizenberg's blog Orangette several months ago (perhaps it's the same genesis?). I absolutely love it. I've been making my own slightly simpler version with less sugar, a little less oil, and the addition of almond butter. I also like to stir mine less often so I get more clumps, and only leave it in the oven for 35 minutes for a lighter flavor. http://bit.ly/1le0pJb Love the other ideas for add-ins though!

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28 days ago Nicole

I made a batch a few weeks to go to pack for a ski trip and everyone loved it! I didn't have coconut so I added banana chips, craisins, and golden raisins. I'm making a second batch today, packing it up in mason jars, and spreading the love!

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about 1 month ago Horto

what is the egg white tip?

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about 1 month ago Heatherbee

Wow, delicious! I've never made granola before. My first batch (made exactly as written) just came out of the oven, and I know this will be a staple in our house.

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3 months ago Tracie

This is the best granola. I eat it every morning with some fresh bananas and almond milk and I can't get enough!

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3 months ago Sue Bibee

I made a recipe for granola about a year and a half ago I found in one of my cooking magazines. It was an article about a restaurant in NY that gives granola as a parting gift after the meal. I loved it and couldn't find it when it was time to make another batch. I have been making different granolas hoping to find something as good, to no avail. FINALLY! My search has ended, this one is really great and gift worthy too. I made an apple gallette for dessert last night and this morning heated it up, put a some plain yogurt on it and sprinkled a generous portion of the granola on top...great breakfast!

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4 months ago Nickie

Wow! Delicious! I have just made this (no changes) to give as Christmas gifts and my husband has just had to pull me away from it as I can't stop nibbling! I think I'll have to make another batch!

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4 months ago stilllifewithwhisk

Amazing! I made the recipe as written except I subbed dried cranberries for the pumpkin seeds (I was out of them). It's delicious!

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4 months ago Krystal

I tweaked this recipe just a bit by adding allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg. My house smells wonderful! After pulling from the oven I decided I wanted this batch to be more dessert like and added some bittersweet chocolate before it cooled. This is going on froyo, ice cream, Greek yogurt & on everything else I can think of... oh I also replaced the nuts for pecans, almonds & walnuts... and replaced the fruit with apple juice sweetened cranberries. Okay, maybe I tweaked more than a bit, but still excellent! :)

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4 months ago Krystal

One more thing, lol, I used Maldon's smoked grey salt.

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5 months ago Stacy

As the other commenters have noted... this granola is AMAZING. I'm a granola fiend and I'm so happy to have found it! I have a double batch in the oven right now and my apartment smells incredible. I personally find this too sweet for breakfast - more of a sweet snack - so I cut the brown sugar entirely and reduced the maple syrup down to half a cup. The salt in this recipe (as with so many!) is definitely key. I can't recommend giving this one a shot highly enough. Thank you, Food52, for relaying this recipe!

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5 months ago hannelore

I too have registered on this site purely to comment on this recipe. OMG I love it. Makes tons but it goes so quickly because its totally delicious. I added a cup of dried cranberries (because I could!). Thanks so much for sharing

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6 months ago Mary

Love granola. Never made it before. Then I read these comments so I made it. Proceeded to die and go to Granola Heaven! I will never buy store bought granola again! So easy! And absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!

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6 months ago Marsha Gainey

I first heard about Nekisia Davis and Early Bird Foods granola from a recipe in my local paper. You can see this recipe on my Tumblr page:

http://mlgainey.tumblr...

It is a stupendous recipe. It's very similar to this recipe, whose intro says is very similar to an Early Bird Foods granola. The intrinsic versatility and deliciousness of the olive oil-maple syrup-salt combo is soooooooo stellar! I'm always down with trying a new granola recipe, but I always make batches of this periodically throughout the year as well.

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6 months ago Mimi desjardins

This is insanely yummy!!!!!! On my second batch, really loving this, going to make Christmas tins full of this granola and make it into gifts. Thanks for sharing!

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6 months ago fastred1

This recipe is very similar to a NYT granola "Olive oil granola with cardamom and pistachio." All the ratios and instructions are the same. Only the decorations differ. I wonder which came first. I have been making a (much less sweet) version of that NYT one for years. The (fresh ground) cardamom and cinnamon are absolutely crucial. I'm surprised they're absent here.

Thanks for the egg white tip!

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

I believe Nekisia's came first -- Melissa Clark credits her in this 2009 article: http://www.nytimes.com... The adaptability of this recipe is one of the reasons I think it's so genius -- will have to try cardamom and cinnamon some time!

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8 months ago Debbie Erman

Thank you! My fist batch is cooling right now and it is PERFECT. I had to improvise..no maple syrup (Really, hubby? That went fast!), so I used wildflower honey. No pecans (which I LOVE, but was too impatient to wait to go to the market), so walnuts and cashews substituted. I LOVE it!!! Can't wait until the hubby gets a taste of this! Glad it made a big batch. Next time, I am going to make it with the maple syrup and pecans. There is something about the olive oil and the salt that make this incredibly addictive. THANK YOU!!!

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9 months ago LeeLeeBee

This is the BEST GRANOLA EVER. The only change I make is to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to speed up cleanup (more time for eating). My coworkers beg me to make it almost daily.

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10 months ago Andrea23

I have been making this recipe for over a year now--we don't buy store bought granola or cereal anymore--it can't compare to this. Except I do make a few changes to make it lower in sugar:
-Instead of 3/4 cup of maple syrup, I do 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of agave nectar "amber".
-Instead of 1/2 cup of light-brown sugar, I do 1/4 cup of Blonde Coconut Palm Sugar.
Everything else is the same. I usually find it is done in 30 minutes instead of 45 though--you want to pull it out the second you see it start to turn brown. It won't be crispy when you pull it out of the oven, but will crispify when it cools.

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10 months ago JosieD

Just made a batch... soooo good. I have made a lot of granola in my day, but this one was a real winner- I think it's the olive oil that does it. That touch of savory really makes this incredible.

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11 months ago Chloe8

Never have made a home made Granola. The best breakfast ever. I can no longer buy it from the store. Thanks!

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11 months ago Beverly Jacobs

I will never buy granola again. This is the best I've ever had (I added vanilla and cinnamon) and am making my second batch.

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11 months ago Meglion

@ Maycookie5: I think a relatively neutral-tasting honey would work fine, or a stronger one if you really like honey flavor. I mix maple syrup and agave syrup, which is the juice of a cactus plant that supposedly has a lower glycemic index, and it still tastes wonderful. Just maybe use a little less than the recipe calls for and taste it raw to see if you need more.

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11 months ago Maycookie5

Thanks Meglion, will head to the store this weekend for my first batch!

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11 months ago Maycookie5

Can't seems to find maple syrup anywhere near me (rural Taiwan)!! Any suggestions as to what I can substitude it with? There are lots of quality locally produced honey!!

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12 months ago learnoff

I love this recipe! I double the ingredients through the nuts and then keep the rest of the ingredients the same - this way using far less oil and sugar. It still tastes awesome!

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow! Unreal! I subbed some dried cherries for the coconut and am now officially obsessed!

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12 months ago dymnyno

My own favorite granola recipe is very very similar to this except that I add a larger variety of tree nuts and sometimes throw in dried cranberries and raisons. I have been making it for many years and Freddy still loves it every morning. I originally posted it on food52 almost 4 years ago.

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12 months ago cookbookchick

I just checked yours out, d. It sounds wonderful! My granola, whatever recipe I base it on, depends on what's in my pantry. Have you ever tried adding salt as Nekisia does? I think that's what takes this recipe to the next level.

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12 months ago dymnyno

I have added salt, but my husband is always trying to eliminate as much salt as possible from his diet. I use it myself on a bowl to bowl basis.

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12 months ago cookbookchick

Ah! I'm with you on the nuts and dried cranberries, btw. I happen to think that pretty much anything's better with a lot of nuts!

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12 months ago Mary Dene

I just made this and it was a HOME RUN!!!!!!

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about 1 year ago rebecca22

Just made this for snacking on to get me through finals week....hopefully it will last through the weekend! Delish! I added dried cranberries to my batch at the end....sweet, salty, tart, crunch, and chewy....oh my!

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about 1 year ago Richard Vignola

Best granola ever! I substituted olive oil for coconut oil for an even more awesome taste, also use mixed raw nuts instead of just pecans... Mmmmmm.

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about 1 year ago Barbara Abeille

For those people who find it too sweet, they may not be using pure maple syrup (from a health food store or Whole Foods) and also a brown sugar from a health food store that is not usually as sweet as the pre-packaged ones.

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about 1 year ago Barbara Abeille

This is the most fabulous granola recipe. I have been making it in big quantities for over a year now - my daughters are addicted and I love giving some to friends. I usually add flax seeds & quinoa flakes also. It is a real gem and I love Food 52 because of it.

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

This is so unbelievably awesome! I'm kicking myself for not having made it sooner!

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about 1 year ago lovetocookandeat

I made three batches for my children's teachers and one batch for home. This is scrump-tious! I've always been a fan of the combination of maple syrup and brown sugar, and when paired with olive oil in granola, the result is unequivacally delicious! I think the people who think the granola is too sweet may not be adding salt as indicated in the recipe. This is truly every bit as delicious as (but much more healthful than) caramel corn.

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about 1 year ago daisybrain

I know I'm adding the salt. Big flaky Maldon sea salt. I still found it too sweet with both the syrup and the brown sugar. I have been making it regularly with just the maple syrup (not even all that the recipe calls for) and loving it. Maybe if I cut each sweetener in half it would be better. All I know is that it hasn't been anything but scrumptious.

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about 1 year ago Deborah Dana

Really loved this recipe. Its a great snack to have at home.

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about 1 year ago rlsalvati

I've been making this recipe regularly--or religiously--for months. This granola was in the gift baskets we gave out over the holidays, pretty much everyone begged for the recipe. I have it for breakfast almost every morning in the warmer months (I switch to overnight oatmeal in the winter). I do cut down the sugar and maple syrup for our in-house consumption, but stick with the full recipe for gifts. I vary the nuts and seeds according to what we have on hand, but always stick with the maple syrup/salt/olive oil combination. My biggest recipe modification is using my slow cooker rather than baking the granola in the oven--one thing I'm really good at is burning granola in my oven. This granola is yummy, yummy, yummy.

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over 1 year ago Meglion

This might be my granola Holy Grail. It was so straightforward to make,and it is just delicious. I love how the low-and-slow baking makes it really crunchy, and olive oil instead of butter makes me at least feel like I'm eating something healthier. I look forward to experimenting, but as-is, this recipe is phenomenal.

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over 1 year ago DBoldt

Great snacking granola, but I think my favorite may be the much simpler--and more cost effective--recipe for muesli from Susan Feniger's partner at Street:
2 cups rolled oats, 1.5 cups puffed millet, 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1 cup whole almonds (roughly chopped), 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (this is key), 1/4 c. flax seeds, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup neutral oil. Toss ingredients together and scoop onto lightly oiled sheet pans. Toast at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool, then add 1 cup currants and 1 cup chopped dates.

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over 1 year ago Honeylishuss

Just like everyone else i have played with the recipe. I used hazelnut oil, added buckinis and quinoa

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over 1 year ago linda stojak

I love this granola! I've made it 5 times now! Its great to give as a gift and my family loves it. I've found that adding cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger give it a great fall flavor. Its so easy and delicious I can't stop eating it!!

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over 1 year ago SpaCook

Very tasty. I agree with many of the comments that it's sweet, but I don't find it cloying. I am hesitant to alter the recipe, as the genius recipes are generally just too good to mess with. And I think the flavors are very well balanced as they are. The best alternative is to use this as a sprinkle for yogurt rather than to eat it by the bowlful!

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over 1 year ago daisybrain

All I did was eliminate the brown sugear. It didn't really do anything to the texture or overall flavor. It is just less sweet. Of course, if you like it the way it is then you keep it up.

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over 1 year ago daisybrain

All I did was eliminate the brown sugear. It didn't really do anything to the texture or overall flavor. It is just less sweet. Of course, if you like it the way it is then you keep it up.

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over 1 year ago SpaCook

Thanks, I will make that adjustment next time!

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over 1 year ago SpaCook

Thanks, I will make that adjustment next time!

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almost 2 years ago suzgab

I just made this after a trip to Whole Foods with that great bulk food wall. I decided to make half a recipe, adding a touch of cinnamon and cardamom. I also subbed half of the maple syrup for a organic maple/agave blend, so I wouldn't have so two open syrup bottles, and used Himalayan pink salt instead of kosher salt. I wound up throwing in the other 1.5 cups of oats and a little more salt because it seemed a bit wet and sweet.
Outstanding flavor, easy to make and not to expensive considering it's all organic. It's not clumpy, perhaps since I used less liquid, and it's perfectly sweet for me, although I admit I don't eat much sugar so everything tastes sweet to me.

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almost 2 years ago Phrynosoma

This is truly addictive granola. I added a handful of flax seed and some vanilla. It's absolutely delicious with its crunchy texture and balance of salt, savory, and sweetness.

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almost 2 years ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

Made it for the second time- this time subbing salted pistachios for the sunflower seeds and a beautiful meyer lemon scented olive oil. Can it keep getting better?

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almost 2 years ago MicronCat

Oh yeah, infused olive oil!!! We just got a new store here and all they sell is various types of olive oils and balsamic vinegars and complementary accouterments. I got a lemon olive oil from them, and it is OUTSTANDING.

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almost 2 years ago triplip

This granola is delicious, but so sweet it tasted like dessert! Not necessarily a bad thing. I think I'd cut down on both sweeteners and give it another try.

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about 2 years ago mcs3000

Just pulled a big batch out of the oven. Wondrous!

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about 2 years ago Scribbles

I made the granola this morning - it's really good! I did not use any oil and I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. After about 35 minutes it was a beautiful golden brown with lots of crunch. If you crave the fat go for it but if you want to save those calories it is great without the oil. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

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about 2 years ago Heather Crosthwaite

I can't stop eating this...Help!!!!

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about 2 years ago Themk

This is absolutely delicious - I didn't even like granola before this! Since I had been looking for a non-sweet granola, I decided to use honey instead of maple syrup and it turned out great!

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about 2 years ago elizabethames

This is the most magnificent granola! I was moved to register (I've been reading and lurking for some time, but have never commented) *just* so I could sing its praises. This knocked my former go-to granola (Molly Wizenberg's delicious Everyday Granola) from its seat at the top after only one batch. Perfect, toasty texture and, as others have mentioned, an addictive sweet-savory taste. Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago daisybrain

I made this morning with my 9 year old. Granola making is the perfect project for him. He was very happy measuring and then digging his hands in to stir it up perfectly. What was even better was the results. My goodness this is good. We used everything as listed in the recipe and added some walnuts for good measure. The only coarse salt in the house was a Sicilian sea salt. That went in too. While I didn't find the sweetness cloying when I make it again (and I will be making it again) I will add less sweetener. As a plus, some of the edges that didn't get stirred as well became the best granola bars I have ever had and my husband declared it the best granola he had ever tasted. Thanks for a terrific recipe.

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about 2 years ago softpunk

Did my comment about this granola being crazy sweet get deleted? Someone who ate icing sugar from a bowl as a child told me so. I just made a second batch with no sugar or maple syrup and am going to combine the two.

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about 1 year ago vanessa.b

Does the recipe work as well without the brown sugar or is it needed to help the granola stick?

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about 2 years ago Coco espresso

How about using macadamia nut oil instead of olive? Has anyone tried it?

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about 2 years ago Mulipuli

I made this to bring on a surftrip.
I added 100 grams slivered almonds and 50 grams puffed rice instead of the sunflower seeds. Also used walnuts instead of the pecans.
And since I was out of maple syrup, I used agave nectar instead.
Worked like a charm. Hands down, best granola I've had in my life!
Lots of power for surfing, too!

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about 2 years ago bentomum

just made this and was a bit worried it was taking so long to brown. is delicious. only thing i changed was using walnuts (pecan allergy in the house), also could not find coconut chunks so used unsweetened flakes, not too sweet at all!

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about 2 years ago nonreactivepan

I made this and it is wonderful. I used walnuts and almonds instead of the pecans and cooked it a bit longer than suggested, but it turned out great.

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about 2 years ago LLStone

I just made this tonight, and my goodness is it good! I played with the nuts and used some pine nuts instead of the pumpkin seeds and I used sweetened coconut shreds instead of the unsweetened coconut. I think this is the best granola recipe, and I've tried a few since November. Kudos! A great genius recipe!

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about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made another batch of this over the weekend, this time using only 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. It was even better! ;o)

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about 2 years ago d_ribbens

Just made this one... forgot to buy the coconut flakes, but it tastes great nonetheless. Also, my house smells amazing with the maple and olive oil baking in the oven :) Thanks for posting!

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about 2 years ago cookbookchick

We're having a granola taste-off in my kitchen: My recipe (which my husband insists cannot be improved upon), made with butter, brown sugar and a touch of vanilla vs. Nekisia's recipe. I made a mixture of grains and nuts, some mentioned in Nekisia's recipe, others that I had hanging around, and divided the mixture in half. Results to be announced after breakfast tomorrow!

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about 2 years ago cookbookchick

The results are in: My husband still prefers my recipe, with its buttery warmth. I like both, with plain yogurt or just as a snack. But I do find myself nibbling more frequently on Nekisia's addictive combination of sweet and salty with that understated background note of olive oil. And unlike some who have commented here, I do not find it too sweet. I don't care for overly sweet foods and while I used the amounts of syrup and sugar called for in the recipe (reduced proportionately for the half-batches), it has just the right amount of sweetness balanced against the salt. I will definitely make it again!.

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about 2 years ago Anna Hezel

This granola is great, and it makes a pretty righteous granola bar, if you substitute it for the toasted oats and seeds in Merrill's granola bar recipe: http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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almost 2 years ago emilies

I'm going camping this weekend and would love to turn this into a granola bar, but that recipe requires refrigeration. Any suggestions how to do this??

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about 2 years ago jlsm

Absolutely fantastic. Thanks so much. Wonderful with Greek yogurt.

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about 2 years ago charlotte au chocolat

I love this granola! In fact, I've taken to making a new batch whenever our jar runs low. I do a version with almonds, dates and sesame that we love. You can view it here:
http://charlotteauchocolat...

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about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made a batch of this last night. It's outstanding! Next time -- and there will be a next time -- I'll cut back on the maple syrup and brown sugar, as I found it a bit sweeter than I like. It seems like an excellent formula, though. I'll probably play with adding some ground flax seed, and perhaps my old favorite, toasted wheat germ, and I'll try different kinds of nuts, for variety. Stay tuned. ;o)

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11 months ago glutwin

Really loving your "tweaks"!! I really love your ideas of adding flax..would you use golden or the darker variant?..Also...I too REALLY miss toasted wheat germ...This used to be a staple ingredient for my "Health Muffins" in the 70's...Thanks for your input!

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about 2 years ago leftoverquiche

Yum! Made it and love it.

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about 2 years ago patb

Just made this. WOW!!! like eating salted caramels. Divine with tangy vanilla yogurt. This one's a keeper for sure. My hard-to-please daughter loves it.

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about 2 years ago Mary-Margaret

I made this granola with blood-orange flavored EVOO. Simply AMAZING! Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

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about 2 years ago undeadgoat

This is great--I have really been trying to cut out the amount of sugar in my diet and most granolas are just way too low-fat to be both delicious and low-sugar. I might even try increasing the oil content and decreasing the sweet!

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about 2 years ago breadlady

A question about the olive oil: why add it? I frequently make granola using maple syrup and it is delicious. I use no oil of any kind. Why add it? What purpose does it serve?
Nice website! I am enjoying reading it.

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about 2 years ago DeirdreMS

Flavor?

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about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

Yes, definitely flavor and I suspect it contributes to the addictive crunchy crust. I'd suggest trying this as written to compare with your go-to -- then let us know what you think!

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over 2 years ago bklyncook

Just wondering, I was gifted a 5lb bag of maple syrup sugar. Do you think there's a way to subsitute it ofr the maple syrup? Or reconstitute it ?

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over 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

From a bit of googling, it seems you can reconstitute it into syrup! Simmer together 1 cup each of maple sugar and water to make a medium thick syrup. The Hotline is also a great place to ask about stuff like this: http://www.food52.com/hotline...