Olive Oil & Orange Granola

It is strange and at the same time fascinating how things that probably in our minds have nothing to do together sometimes turn to be the best pairings.  I know olive oil in granola may sound odd, but when you mix it with the flavors of orange, vanilla and maple they do a cha cha cha on the skillet that leaves you a beautiful, mellow and earthy flavor, impossible at the end to separate ever.  The nice thing here is how the orange flavor matures day after day.  Wonderful for a healthy breakfast!

Besides the procedures mentioned here, you could read some of my basic and favorite tips on how to make granola.

Olive oil & orange granola
3 cups
Total time - 30 minutes  Active time - 5 minutes
Equipment - Cookie sheet

Old fashioned rolled oats – 2 cups
Sliced almonds – 1 cup
Flax seeds – ½ cup
Olive oil – ½ cup
Orange marmalade – 2 TBSP
Maple syrup – ½ cup
Ground cinnamon – ¼ tsp
Fine sea salt – ¼ tsp
Vanilla – ½ tsp
Orange peel (optional) - ¼ cup

Pre-heat the oven to 325°.

First, in a medium bowl combine the oats, almonds and flax seeds.

Then, in a medium or large sauté pan mix the oil, marmalade, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and orange peel.  If using the peels, let the mixture stand for 30 minutes to rehydrate them.

Place the pan over the burner and turn on the heat to medium.  Stir a couple of times while the heat is rising.  As soon as the mix begins to bubble cook it for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then pour it over the oats mixture and combine everything, until all the oats are covered.  Spread the mix evenly on an oven tray and place it on the oven where it will be cooking for 30 minutes.  At the end of the first 10 minutes take out the tray, close the oven door only ¾ of the way and using a spatula turn the oats and spread them evenly again.  This step should not take more than 1 minute.  Place the tray on the oven again and repeat this step in 10 minutes.  This time lower the oven temperature to 275°, place the tray on the oven and cook for the last 5 minutes.  When time’s up, take out the tray and let the granola cool down completely.  Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 8 to 12 weeks.