Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil and Maple Granola

January 20, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min


  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1 1/4 cups 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
  • 1 pinch coarse salt, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  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 to 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.

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Reviews (134) Questions (5)

134 Reviews

Katrina N. December 19, 2018
Love this recipe. I've made it several times now and it's always perfect!
SandraM September 13, 2018
I didn't know about this granola, until Samin Nosrat shared it in her Salt Fat Acid Heat Cookbook. And I have to say, it is my favourite homemade granola, EVER!! I can't get over how good it is. Have used honey as well, when low on maple syrup, still good. Salty and sweet combo is perfect. Excellent on yogurt. Also just good to snack on. It is a keeper!
JenniferinTO April 14, 2018
I have been modifying this recipe for awhile now, and it is very well appreciated by family and friends. I melt the sugar and maplesyrup/olive oil and salt on the stove, and add some vanilla as well. we find it takes a higher heat and longer to become a nice toasted shade; hemp seeds , raw cashews, flax seeds add nicely to this mix, and after out of the oven, top with dried sour cherries. perfection
Kat V. April 5, 2018
Love this! I found the original recipe to be too sweet for me, so I reduced the brown sugar and maple syrup to a 1/4 cup each and added a 1/2 cup date pieces. I also increase the baking time to 1 hour to add some more crunch. Delicious!
helicopterina April 5, 2018
just curious -- did you bake the date pieces in the mix...or add them after?
Kat V. April 19, 2018
I've done both... The dates obviously remain softer if they're added after, but I personally like the added texture from baking them in.
helicopterina April 19, 2018
Bethanie March 22, 2018
I've been making this recipe for a while now, usually just as listed and I LOVE IT. Then I started a diet two weeks ago, dropping refined sugars and gluten. So I changed out the oats to gluten-free oats (no change, delish) and dropped the brown sugar, upping the maple syrup a bit and adding more coconut. I also added cacao bits and sunflower seeds (just because I had them on hand so I thought why not). Couldn't believe it to say that I love this granola even more now. So so so good.
Stacey R. February 23, 2018
This is excellent. I did not stir while baking so I got some nice clumps. I suppose you could reduce the sweetener if you wanted, but I would still use both kinds because the brown sugar gives it that caramel/ praline flavor and texture.
KR December 17, 2017
Oh my! I made this yesterday--with variations...and it's just so terribly addicting!!! I didn't have pecans, so used chopped almonds. I didn't have coconut chips (don't like them too much) so subbed with only 1/2 amt of reg shredded coconut (unsweetened). I used a skimpy 1/2 C maple syrup and about 1/4 C brown sugar. I didn't add the salt after it was baked. Added slightly generous teaspoon very good cinnamon and about 1/2 tsp ground ginger.... O.M.G!!! so very very good. This made only 5 cups rather than 7 cups stated in recipe. I can forgive that tho & planning to making another batch for more Christmas presents next week. ...also to get more chunks, don't stir it quite so often, every 15 min. I had to turn off the oven & let it rest about half way through baking b/c I had to run an errand, came back about 2 hours later & continued to back & stirred only once more. There were lovely clusters. So I'll try resting it again at the half-way mark next time. Yes, very pleased with this recipe. : ) Thank you!
KR February 23, 2018
Making ANOTHER batch today.... I put in the 1 tsp of salt that is added before baking, but a lot of salt gives me heart-burn or, even worse, a sudden headache, so I don't add any further salt to mine. (This was very well received as Christmas presents, too)... Yes, the variations make it fun.<br />I don't live in the US so I have never heard of KA mix--intriguing
bluepoppy December 15, 2017
This recipe appeared in th New York Times in 2009. Melissa Clark hacked it a bit, switching to pistachios from pecans and eliminating the sunflower seeds. She also added cardamom and cinnamon. I've made some other changes; adding some almonds and cashews and eliminating the coconut and cinnamon. I also stopped using the brown sugar, relying on the maple syrup for sweetness. I think the genius of this recipe is the olive oil. It had never occurred to me to use olive oil in all my years of granola making.
Siobhan December 1, 2017
so good!! followed the advice of others and reduced the sugar/sweetener since i wanted it to be breakfast appropriate lol - used 1/3 c maple and 1/4 sugar (about half brown and half coconut), and that was still plenty sweet. i gave it to a few people as a little treat and everyone raved! one thing i'd like to try to change next time is to get some big chunks in there so it's easier to snack on (basically just trying to find a way to inhale it more quickly...haha)
mcjessica November 29, 2017
Made as is and we make sure there is some around year round :)
[email protected] October 26, 2017
I love this recipe so much and have used it now for about 5 years. I add flax seed and canoa flakes and roasted almonds instead of pecans. I usually double the recipe and store it in large glass jars. It's a real treasure and <br />Thanks go out to Food52, which is the best food/cooking/recipe site around.
Nina October 26, 2017
This is by far the best granola recipe I have ever made. Sorry Ina Garten - this beats yours. Have a jar of it on my kitchen counter and it never stays full! Love that it is GF. Great with cold milk! Great with yogurt!
Peony December 15, 2016
Very tasty. Cut out brown sugar as I dislike super sweet granola, was plenty sweet without it. Felt like me more liquid than necessary so I added a bit more oats.
Taylor S. December 5, 2016
Very decadent and delicious. I substituted cashews for pumpkin seeds, reduced maple syrup to 1/2 cup, and sunstituted a very scant 1/2 cup coconut sugar for the brown sugar. Definitely a keeper!
Therese December 1, 2016
Outstanding. Also did not add the brown sugar and the granola was plenty sweet.
Maura November 18, 2016
I Love this so much, only backing off the brown sugar just a little. Making it again for all the family coming in for the holiday. Yumm!
Audrey D. March 11, 2016
I love this recipe. I did modify it slightly because the first time I made it, I found it to be a bit sweet. I reduced the amount of maple syrup and brown sugar. Yum!!
Kerry G. February 16, 2016
I would make again, for sure. I did reduce sugar as others suggested: to 1/3cup honey plus 1/3 cup maple syrup. Added 1/2 cup extra oats, 1/2 cup oat bran, 1/4 water, and 1tsp vanilla. Added cranberries and raisins after it finished baking (adapted slightly according to a recipe in the "Rebar Cookbook"... A very good cookbook from a restaurant in Victoria, B.C., Canada, btw.
Lefty February 9, 2016
I have followed this recipe to the -T- several times. This is a great recipe with near-perfect ratios which don't need much adjustment. There are very few recipes of which I have ever been able to say that. Recently, I have been omitting the brown sugar. It has been sweet enough without it. That's my only twist. I'll close with this: this recipe is best without added spice. If your olive oil is good, if your maple is Grade B, you should be enjoying those deep yet subtle flavors as they bloom in the oven. Spice and vanilla simply aren't needed here. Save your warm spices for other less nuanced granola batches.
Melanie January 5, 2016
Love, love, love this recipe, and have made it more times than I can count, given out the recipes to others, and it's different each time. Sometimes I vary the nuts, add Chinese 5 spice powder, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and add various dried fruits, depending upon what I have in the pantry. Great with plain yogurt, or as a snack.