Sweet and savoury granola

 Savoury granola: pistachio, sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, barberry, rosemary, lemon.

Savoury granola: pistachio, sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, barberry, rosemary, lemon.

My Granola Formula

Granola is one of those recipes that isn't a recipe at all, but rather a formula (on which arise infinite variations) and a very simple procedure. I have been using the same granola formula for a number of years now, across many different countries and with various ovens, so I am quite confident in its reliability. I have tried countless recipes over the years, but I keep returning to this formula as my favourite. It has a great balance between the grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, with a subtle sweetness and a rich toasted flavour.

With the grains, I like to include buckwheat because the little prisms lend the perfect crunch to every bite. The use of oats and buckwheat mean that this granola is completely gluten free. (Buckwheat is actually not a grain at all, but rather, a seed.)

Of nuts, seeds, and fruit, I always use various types and proportions depending on what I have on hand and where creativity leads me that day. My sweet granola recipe is a classic with almonds, but I also add cacao nibs for bitterness and dried pineapple for tartness and colour. My savoury granola recipe has a Persian influence with bright green pistachio, sour barberry, and zingy lemon. Feel free to substitute to your preference. Some other possibilities include hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, poppy seeds, raisins, cranberries, dried figs, etc. 

How to use granola

This is the kind of granola that should be used as a topping, rather than as a stand-alone cereal. If you are searching for cereal, I would suggest that you make müesli instead. The main difference between esli and granola, among others, is that the former is made with all raw ingredients and the latter is coated with sugar and oil, then roasted. I find that most shop-bought granola is too sweet (if you check the sugar content, it's usually the second largest ingredient, by mass). I hope you find my recipe much more wholesome and well-balanced. 

Sweet granola can be used to top yogurt, porridge, ice cream, smoothies, or other foods with a creamy/soft consistency.

Savoury granola works wonderfully on soups, salads, grilled cheese, roasted vegetables, omelettes, etc. 

 A classic sweet granola with almond, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, currants, and pineapple. 

A classic sweet granola with almond, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, currants, and pineapple. 

Recipes

Sweet Granola (Almond Cacao Pineapple)

  • 125 g rolled oats
  • 125 g buckwheat groats
  • 50 g almonds
  • 25 g sunflower seeds
  • 25 g cacao nibs
  • 50 g maple syrup
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 25 g dried currants
  • 25 g dried pineapple, chopped

Savoury Granola (Pistachio Barberry Lemon)

  • 125 g rolled oats
  • 125 g buckwheat groats
  • 50 g pistachio
  • 25 g sunflower seeds
  • 25 g sesame seeds
  • 25 g hemp seeds
  • 10 g honey
  • 75 g olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • 25 g dried barberries 

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. 

Chop the nuts into smaller pieces. Mix all of the ingredients (except the dried fruit) in a large bowl.

Heat the oil and syrup together over a low heat, while stirring. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. 

On a baking pan, spread the mixture into a thin layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring the granola every 7 minutes. Keep a close watch on it towards the end of the cooking time, to make sure it doesn't burn. 

Let cool on the pan. When it reaches room temperature, add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. 

 Sweet granola: almond, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, currants, dried pineapple.

Sweet granola: almond, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, currants, dried pineapple.

 Savoury granola: pistachio, sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, barberry, rosemary, lemon.

Savoury granola: pistachio, sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, barberry, rosemary, lemon.