Not hippie and not healthy: my favourite granola

Not hippie and not healthy: my favourite granola
The granola in the photo above is so good that I just. Can’t. Stop. Eating. It. I’ve been munching it all day, despite swearing this morning that I’d limit myself to one ramekin’s worth with milk. (Yes, I eat granola out of a ramekin because it’s so unhealthy and it helps me to limit portion size ???? But the ramekin soon turned into two ramekins, plus about umpteen handfuls throughout the day. And now I’ve ruined my appetite for the lovely Bolognese that’s simmering on the stove.

This is my favourite granola recipe. Although I am more likely to make Mark Bittman’s version, because it’s a little healthier without all the oil and sugar, this is the one I really crave. I printed the recipe off the Gourmet website about eight years ago and I doubt I’ll ever let that dog-eared piece of paper go.

Almond-Raisin Granola

The recipe originally comes from the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Massachussets, and it is a pretty gourmet granola – I think of it as elegant granola, if granola can be elegant? As I was making my elegant granola last night, I was pondering how on earth granola came to be seen as a) health food and b) hippie food. For one, it’s categorically NOT healthy with all those oils and sweeteners (hence the ramekin portions), not even the homemade kind (don’t get me started on the crap they put in supermarket variety). Secondly, why do we call people ‘granola’ who wear Birks, eat only vegan organic and burn incense like it’s going out of style? Did hippies really eat granola? For some reason muesli make me think hippie much more than granola does, but perhaps granola was the original muesli in North America?

Suffice to say, there is not much point to these thoughts, but perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Almond-Raisin Granola
Adapted from

Makes about 6 cups

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup slivered or flaked almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/3 cup sesame seeds
5 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable or mild olive oil
2 Tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 250 F / 130 C. In a large bowl toss together the oats, almonds, coconut and sesame seeds. In a measuring jug whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, water and salt. Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and stir to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a large rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the raisins and mix everything together. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.