So I call this a “formula” not a recipe because it is just a base to start from so you can tailor it to your tastes. I first found the root of this “formula” through my darling friend Page. Years ago she made me some granola from the NY Times for the holidays and I was hooked! I have tried so many variations on it over the years but these are the basics that just keep working!
2 1/2 cups nuts: I do any combination here, 1 ¼ cups of almonds and 1 ¼ cups of pecans or you can do ½ cup of pistachio, ½ cup cashews, ½ cup almonds, ½ cup pecans and ½ cup of hazelnuts… you get my drift, do what you love!
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips: this is my favorite part… you could also do shredded.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil… you could do another oil (coconut, veg, etc) but the olive oil adds a wonderful earthiness to the granola.
The sweetener… this is up for debate. You could do ¾ cup pure maple syrup or honey or you could do a combo. I actually like the texture a sugar adds (coconut is my go to here) so I do ¼ cup-1/2 cup coconut sugar and ½ cup maple syrup.
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon & ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (or nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, ginger… again do what your favorite is!)
¾ cup chopped dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, apricots, figs… optional, I prefer fresh fruit with my granola
Really the sky is the limit with add-ins as long as you use the basic formula! I have thrown a splash of vanilla extract in as well and perhaps some dark chocolate chunks every now and then (once it has cooled!)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except dried fruit and mix well. Spread mixture on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.
Transfer granola to a large bowl and add dried fruit if using, tossing to combine. Store in airtight containers!