In one bowl, I measured out dry ingredients; in another, I measured out wet ingredients. Then, with a long wooden spoon, I stirred it all together into a sticky, gloppy mess.
There, the liquids would bake into the oats and nuts and seeds, creating a sweet, savory, golden granola that’s been our favorite version as of late. I think we’ve made it three times this month.
While I am writing this, the granola is sitting in three glass mason jars in my kitchen, two quart-sized and one a regular pint.
I have parfaits planned for the morning, with layers of yogurt, fruit, and homemade granola. These are beloved largely in my household for the very fact that we can grab them almost mindlessly, to eat in the car or at the park, when we want to be able to focus on other things while receiving some nourishment at the same time.
I try to remind myself of the importance of mindfulness, to look for the beauty in mundane things. I remind myself to look at, to really notice this food in front of me, to taste the salty crunch and to observe the sesame-studded clumps.
When your mental world is cluttered and busy like mine can often be, pausing for a second to simply be and quietly observe offers welcome clarity. It pulls you out of the muck of disorganized ideas and anchors you, if only for a moment, in the physical world in which you live. I welcome the private practice of observing, actively participating in, and remembering the world around me.
We call this a minimalist granola because the ingredient list is so short. You won’t find most of the typical mix-ins here. This recipe is perfect for when you don’t have extra dried fruit on hand, or you don’t feel like running out to the store to acquire a very specific type of specialty seed.
Instead, this is a basic recipe that we can always rely on, made with pantry staples that we typically have on hand. The nuts and sesame seeds are not necessary, but they’re nice to include if you do have them. Pumpkin seeds are also great here, and if you like, you can add dried fruit to the finished creation after it’s done baking.Print
Want to brighten your morning with a slightly sweet, nourishing cluster of oats? Kick off the day with this simple cinnamon-scented granola.
- 1/2 cup olive oil (or a neutral oil like avocado or grapeseed)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (or coat with nonstick cooking oil spray).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, almonds, and sesame seeds. Gently fold the olive oil mixture into the oats.
- Spread onto the baking sheets, evenly flattening the mixture with the back of a spatula.
- Bake, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown and very fragrant, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Granola
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: snack, granola, almond, cinnamon
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mix the Wet Ingredients
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy cleanup. If you prefer, you could also brush the pans with oil, or coat them with cooking oil spray.
Step 2 – Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, almonds, and sesame seeds. Leave the nuts and seeds out if you don’t have any in the pantry, or feel free to substitute with whatever you do have available.
Step 3 – Mix the Wet Ingredients into the Dry
Gently fold the olive oil mixture into the oats. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheets, evenly flattening it with the back of a spatula.
If you find that the oats are sticking to your spatula, it helps to spray it with nonstick cooking spray as well.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown and very fragrant.
Allow it to cool and harden completely before transferring it into a container with a lid for storage.
Store somewhere cool and dark in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Good Morning, Granola
When you skip the sugary cereals and reach for a nutritious blend of fiber-packed oats instead, your body will rise and shine.
For more delicate notes of sweetness, agave does the trick. Not a fan of nuts? Try pumpkin seeds instead. Feeling fruity? Dried cranberries deliver an unexpected burst of flavor.
What nutritious mix-ins (or mix-ons) do you like to scatter throughout your homemade granola? Here are some more delicious recipe ideas:
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on April 25, 2016. Last updated: September 22, 2019 at 11:59 am. With additional writing and editing by Fanny Slater and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.