cardamom maple olive oil granola

January 9, 2013

breakfast bite

I have never been very good at breakfast-ing. I want to be better but if I could have it my way I would have a few hearty cups of coffee until lunchtime comes around. I certainly love breakfast-type foods but just not during the appropriate 7 to 9:30 am window. It takes a lot to force feed myself cereal every morning but I do it because I keep stumbling across these “top 5 lists for health” which show up in magazines that tend to hang around in dentist office waiting rooms and include lines like “studies show that eating a large breakfast can improve this, that, the other thing, and is linked to becoming a billionaire…”

So why can’t I just enjoy the first meal of the day? I blame it on Hot Lunch.

olive oil granola

My Hot Lunch experience definitely had its fair share of fish sticks but I was lucky that my elementary school offered a program that was on the better side. I am not certain of this because I rarely got to enjoy it due to the fact that I had to bring my lunch in an assortment of tiny Tupperware containers which all packed into a reusable cloth lunch bag – may I add that this was way before all that jazz was cool.

breakfast for one

But I was relieved of these containers every other week when they served the Breakfast-For-Lunch meal. In my opinion this was the one meal that Bob* the lunch guy actually nailed and the only worth fighting with my parents for about letting me buy. Not that I blame him much because who am I to judge. His job was to make Hot Lunch for 100 children under the age of 12 and I don’t think we actually cared what we ate as long it included one of the three food groups: cookies, pizza and pepperoni.

But Breakfast-For-Lunch was what it was all about. Having waffles at noon just made sense to me (and hello, this is what turned into what we now call brunch!). Plus it set the standard for having breakfast food no matter what the arms of the clock read.

olive oil granola, served up

But given that the calendar year is off to a fresh start, whether we like it or not, reflections are probably going on inside your brain. I’ve got better breakfast-ing happening in mine which is why I made this awesome granola.

Maple syrup and olive oil provide just a touch of sweetness and flavor while cardamon and cinnamon make this granola shine. If you don’t like pistachios then swap in pecans or almonds or hazelnuts. Same goes with the dried fruit. Make this granola yo’ own.

stir to combine

Granola is especially easy to make in large batches which means you can save a bunch for breakfasts then give the rest away as an anytime gift. I’m sure there is someone in your life who would benefit from a surprise bag of homemade olive oil granola just because it is Thursday.

*This may or may not be correct. Meals I can remember, names I cannot.

wrapped and ready, olive oil granola by butter me up, Brooklyn!

Cardamom Maple Olive Oil Granola
Makes about 4 cups

Adapted from The New York Times by way of my friend Anna

3 cups (225 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (165 grams) raw pistachios, hulled and roughly chopped (which yields roughly 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (118 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup (90 grams) dried cherries
salt + granulated sugar for finishing, optional

Preheat the oven to 300 and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together oats, pistachios, brown sugar, salt and spices. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together olive oil and maple syrup, pour over the oat mixture, and stir well until evenly coated.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan and pat into a single layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the oats are toasty and lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of salt and sugar, if using, and stir to combine. When the granola has cooled completely, mix in the dried cherries.

Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

wrapped and ready

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue/the view from great island January 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm

You can never have too many granola recipes, and I love how you’ve packaged this. I have to make some to send off to my daughter at college.


Gemma @andgeesaid January 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm

This looks amazing! and healthy. Love the packaging (:


Greg January 10, 2013 at 5:48 am

I’m with you…I like breakfast foods enough, but not in the AM. This looks amazing, ditto on the packaging.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

This looks fabulous! Beauty recipe 🙂


Sarah January 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

A great recipe, a great sentiment, and some AMAZING packaging on the granola at the end there. How could you resist that at the delicate hour of breakfast?


Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies January 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

I love the maple idea, I’ve been wanting to make some maple granola myself. And the packaging is so fun!


Anina Auer January 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hello! …i love the pureness of your photos, that’s so elegant and distinguishing!
This seems to be a really good recipe , and the idea of eating homemade granola for breakfast makes me wanting to do it as soon as possible !
I recently used cardamom in some sweet biscuits and I thought is was really strong, even if I used just a pinch of it … so from that day on I decided to be quite parsimonious with cardamom…
Many greetings from Austria! Anina (


Lillie January 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thank you Anina. This recipe would lend itself well to other spices if cardamom is a bit too intense. Happy baking!


FashionEdible January 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I’ve never seen cardamom added to granola before! This is such a great idea!


Tina February 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

This sounds delicious, and what a nice twist on plain old granola!


Rachel February 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I was so excited and inspired when I found this recipe that I made an adapted version for my own blog! Thanks so much for posting this and everything else. I love your blog!

Here’s a link to my version…


averi May 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

i cannot even handle how delicious this recipe is. less than a week after batch number one, i am already getting to the end and plotting a double batch to take its place. so good.


Lillie June 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm

YES! Agreed! Happy granola-ing! xo


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