Make Ahead

Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil & Maple Granola

January 20, 2012
61 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
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

Test Kitchen Notes

Granola might be one of those snacks you tend to buy packaged, which is fine of course, but once I started making my own granola—specifically, olive oil and maple syrup granola—it’s very hard to go back to store-bought. This Genius recipe from Nekisia Davis, was actually inspired by a brand’s granola with a comparable ingredients list; however, when you make your own granola, there are a few major upsides.

First of all, you have more control over flavor: you can add an extra handful of your favorite nuts and seeds in the ingredients list, or if you want to swap in different nuts (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts would be amazing) no one’s going to stop you! Regardless, when you’re toasting your own nuts, the flavor is just always going to be better than the packaged alternative. Plus, if you feel like adding a bit of extra seasoning, like ground cinnamon or cardamom, or stirring in some dried fruit after baking, you’re only doing the granola a favor. And did you notice the yield here? 7 whole cups! Take that, 12-ounce bag of packaged granola.

But perhaps the best thing about homemade granola is that you ultimately control the price. While a box or bag of the stuff may run you over $10 a pop at the store, when you’re buying the ingredients, you can shop at the bulk bin for the individual components, which is nearly always the more affordable option at the store already. Plus, you probably already have at least a few of this recipe’s ingredients already in your kitchen. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil & Maple Granola
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes about 7 cups
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sara G
    Sara G
  • Nav Sahi
    Nav Sahi
  • carol
  • Elycooks
  • Lefty
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

212 Reviews

cpc March 16, 2021
I should have read the reviews first 😆. This was definitely too sweet but halving the maple syrup and brown sugar or replacing the brown sugar with all maple syrup would help.
Matt February 14, 2021
The best granola I've ever tasted and have to have it in our pantry at all times or a riot will break out. I do find it a bit rich so I stir in 3 cups of rice krispies to water it down a bit.
Sara February 13, 2021
I cut both sweeteners (syrup and brown sugar) in half and it is borderline too sweet. The listed amounts of syrup and sugar would have been inedible. That said, it’s really good! The olive oil gives it a really unique flavor.
NXL December 30, 2020
Following some reviewer suggestions, and in an attempt to reduce the calorie count, I left out the brown sugar and it was plenty sweet. Very good granola.
Sara G. September 23, 2020
I just made this last night - as written - and had it this morning for breakfast with blueberries and milk, AMAZING TASTE, SO FLAVOURFUL (and it will be great with Greek yogurt too). I just sprinkled a handful on top, and it's so delicious, especially the maple flavour... amazing. I've been buying granola, and this doesn't even compare.
kpspeech September 4, 2020
Any nutritional info on this?
Ann @. September 5, 2020
I did my own analysis using an online calorie calculator and came up with the following, based on the recipe as published. (Since then, I have refined the recipe to my preference for only .5 cup of maple syrup and a bit less brown sugar.)

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17.2g 22%
Saturated Fat 2.3g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 25.9g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 13.5g
Protein 8.1g

Hope this helps!
kpspeech September 5, 2020
Wow! You’re amazing! Thank you SO much! It definitely helps!! This is the best granola I ever made! And so easy! Thanks, Ann! 🤗
CoffeeAndBaconYum February 22, 2021
How large is a serving, please? Half cup?
Ann @. February 22, 2021
Interesting that the nutrition calculator didn't deal with the volume, nor did I when I posted the nutritional information above. So with about 5.75 cups of solid ingredients, 16 servings yields just above 1/3 of a cup.
CoffeeAndBaconYum February 22, 2021
Thanks for the quick reply!
Lesley P. August 14, 2020
I could have a new favor granola. I added a few cranberries after everything cooled.
Kelly June 21, 2020
This granola is THE BEST! It’s my go-to food for any new mom. It’s so tasty and a healthy food they can eat on its own or in yogurt for a quick breakfast or snack.
joanna May 16, 2020
Granola is delicious but this recipe, like other granola recipes, is loaded with sugar. There is nothing healthful about sugar.
Lefty May 18, 2020
Joanna, the sugar evangelism is certainly noted. Like you will notice in many of the comments, many of us have been making this recipe for years without the added sugar.
Personally, I've altered the recipe to include more nuts & seeds with less oats, more olive oil and less maple syrup. I leave out the brown sugar altogether. The addition of extra salt and cayenne pepper make this a very stimulating snack without the sugar!
Nav S. May 3, 2020
Best granola. Super tasty and healthy.
Once it is cooled just add some cranberries and viola. I dont add brown sugar just add maple syrup that also a little less than said in the video.
carol May 4, 2020
I too add in dried fruit - tart cherries are really nice - and i add more than a pinch of salt to bring out that sweet/savory aspect.
JV April 28, 2020
Update: after making this recipe 4 times and tweaking it around, I found this same recipe in Samin Nosrat’s book Salt Acid Fat Heat. As usual, Samin is a genius. She tweaked the sweeteners, and I find her ratios just perfect! Still a little sweet, but just right for a sweet treat... you could cut the brown sugar down further for a healthier treat, but keeping this amount of maple & oil keeps it well coated.

for 3 cups oats + 4.5 cups nuts/seeds
2/3 cup maple
1/2 cup evoo
1/3 cup brown sugar

I’ve tried it with macadamia nuts and extra coconut chips instead of sunflower seeds, and they’re delish. I also chop the whole nuts roughly so that the bites are more balanced.

For clusters, I pack it well into my silpat lined baking sheet, and don’t stir at all... let cool completely, then peel it off the silpat and break into clumps. Delicious!
cynthia October 15, 2020
Love that mat! I found some silicone bar shaped molds that I used the last time. I cooked it halfway on my mat then packed in into the molds for the rest of the time. It held it's shape well.
JV October 15, 2020
Right! It baffles me that most people are out there wasting parchment and foil all the time on baking sheets when the silpat works so well and is so cost effective - I have an off brand one as well that is just as good! Turning this into bars sounds delicious....
cynthia October 15, 2020
I was a little daunted using it at first, the granola was the very first thing I cooked on it. I have had it for about 8 years ;)
B2Beck April 28, 2020
I've made granola countless times over the last 20 years and this recipe has to be one of the best versions I've made. But not perfect.

Like many, i found the recipe too sweet and just eliminated the brown sugar altogether. It's still a little on the sweet side but I'm afraid of reducing the amount of maple syrup will prevent it from "clustering".

And, in fact, the first batch didn't so I just turned off the oven and left the tray in the oven for another 20 minutes. The granola "set" into a pretty much solid slab of granola. Now, I cook it for only 40 minutes and it comes out great.

I only recently was able to get sunflower and pumpkin seeds and have had to make do with chia and hemp seeds. The chia seeds are a little weird since they don't stick to rest of the ingredients well and stick to your teeth if you eat the granola with milk. The hemp seeds as well. I solved it by adding in a half cup of buckwheat flour which helped a lot.
Alison April 10, 2020
I've made it several times as well, and still love it. I have cut the brown sugar a little bit as well, and although I am using the full amount of olive oil, I add an additional cup of malted wheat flakes to the oats (I had some, but could be oats), so the oil gets more diluted than my original batch. The other thing is that I am chopping up a cup or so of the grain mixture in my food processor so it is more floury--that seems to enhance the clumping without affecting the texture of the granola otherwise. I stir a couple of times during the baking process and while it is cooling, but agree that too much stirring interferes with clumping. I also bake a little longer to get it darker toasted, but that is just my preference.
jpaster April 10, 2020
I’m made it five times. Find that only 1/2 c maple syrup and 1/3 c brown sugar is sweet enough. Keep stirring every 7-10 min including after it’s done and cooling so it doesn’t clump. Unless you want that. Total bake time of 50-55 min makes it nice and toasty.
Terry April 10, 2020
This has got to be the best granola recipe ever - at least for me. I've made it several times now, and have recently been using it as a base for a kind of chocolate bark. I spread out a nice amount of the granola on a sheet pan, then drizzle with melted dark chocolate (using two types of dark, one slightly darker than the other). Then sprinkle with some Maldon salt flakes. Put it in the fridge for a bit, then break into pieces. Elegant chocolate crunchy-ness!
JV March 25, 2020
Ahh... I had SUCH high expectations for this granola based on the cult following... and while it was good, there are some improvements/changes I’d make.

First, it was much too sweet for me. As someone who rarely eats much sugar, this felt like dessert and left a lingering sweetness in my throat. The bottom layer actually turned into brittle and tasted like a pepita candied brittle we made over the holidays. Next time I would definitely half (if not less) the sugar.

Second, I really wish it had clusters instead of being completely loose and “clump free”. I guess I shouldn’t have stirred, though I don’t know if it would’ve cooked evenly without the stirring. With the current texture, it’s still ok with milk or yogurt but hard to pick up and eat with your hands. I also found the whole pecans too big relative to the rest without clusters.

Finally, it did get a little greasy, especially on the bottom. I love the taste of olive oil but might put slightly less next time...

Overall a really great start to a recipe and I love how simple it is, just need to tweak to my tastes!
Deborah J. March 25, 2020
"Cult following"....really???!!! I find that very insulting!! As far as clusters, yes, if you constantly stir it while it bakes you will be breaking up the clusters. I leave mine alone, it does not burn (I use parchment paper) & I end up with many clusters. With regards to the sweetness....well, that is your personal preference. To me it is not any sweeter than all the other granolas out there whether store bought or homemade. Perhaps you are not use to granolas & how sweet they really are. Maybe Muesli would be more to your preference since it has almost no sweetness to it.
JV March 25, 2020
Deborah, ‘cult following’ was the headline Food52 used to describe the granola in their article about it, and that’s all I was referencing... so you can take that up with the editors.

As for the rest, yes it is my personal preference as is every person’s reaction to every recipe... no need to get defensive about it or suggest I don’t know what granola tastes like. If you scroll the comments, you’ll notice the majority of reviews found the recipe too sweet as written. I wish I had scrolled through before making it and cut down the sweeteners preemptively.

Anyways, to each their own... no need to pass judgements about people we don’t know because of their granola preferences :) I hope we can keep the Food52 comments a uniquely positive space unlike most internet comments sections!
Lizb March 27, 2020
I agree Jess V, that was my first question reading this recipe as it seemed it would be far too sweet for my taste too. So thank you for your helpful review and ignore Deborah J, she's clearly having a bad day...
cynthia October 15, 2020
I prefer to pick it up as well. I got some of the silicone molds, shaped rectangles, from Michael's and they work just fine. If you have a silpat pad you won't have to stir at all. I baked it half the time on the pad then packed in into the molds for the final half, came out perfect.
Sarah S. March 18, 2021
I have been using this recipe as a base for years, and I found that a scant 1/2c of the maple syrup and 1/4 c brown sugar is just right for our family. The first time I made it I called it "tooth-achingly sweet" but I knew it had promise. I made a "clumpy" granola recently, and just pressed it firmly into the baking sheet and did not stir. Good for you for keeping a positive response to Deborah J.; I appreciate recipe reviews, opinions about the recipe, likes/dislikes, changes people make based on following the recipe as written the first time. My brain does not connect how insulting comments about someones opinion have anything to do with the recipe.
carol February 27, 2020
This granola is a game changer. Only beware you may be visiting it all day long - it's that good!
Elycooks February 19, 2020
OMG, this is now a weekly occurrence in our house. I throw in whatever nuts I have on hand but like the pecans the best. It's absolutely perfect!
Mdana February 19, 2020
Hands-down this is the best granola I’ve ever eaten in my life! I typically sprinkle a little on my cottage cheese with some berries for lunch, and I have been known to have just a small handful of it for dessert in the evening. Perfect!!
Alison February 19, 2020
This was delicious! I have never made granola before, although I don't know why not. I love maple flavored granola (maple anything, really), but in this case, I was worried that the olive oil would have a stronger flavor in the finished granola than I like. It actually it melds perfectly with the other ingredients during the baking stage. I didn't have sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds on hand, and am not as enthusiastic about seeds as I am most nuts, so I used raw almonds and pecans (left over from holiday baking projects). I also added some dried chopped fruit (from a fruitcake blend, also a holiday remnant). Finally, I read in another recipe on Food52 that rolled oats can make a crunchier granola due to the texture, so I used my food processor to chop up a cup of the old fashioned oats I had. Don't have a comparison to offer, but the results were satisfyingly crunchy. I've been stealing tastes of it ever since, and it makes my morning yogurt/fruit bowl sublime. Based on the recipe and the comments, I may experiment with adding a cup of barley flakes or malted wheat flakes to the oats.