lemon cardamom granola

This past week I visited a place that is very green and in a gulch. Off the grid. I emptied my mind of all extraneous thoughts, breathed the cleanest air my lungs had seen in quite some time, and listened to a constantly changing orchestra of birds, frogs, water rushing along a stream, and branches rustling in the wind. It was a good week.

More on that soon.

While I was there, I became especially fond of the homemade granola stocked in the guesthouse kitchen. It was simple and perfectly balanced, lightly sweet. I thought by the time I got home I would be done with granola for a while, but to my surprise on my first morning back in New York I was already hankering for more of the stuff. So I whipped up a batch of my own, flavored with lemon zest and cardamom, and bound together with maple syrup and olive oil, and baked it until deeply golden brown and crunchy. It’s an uncomplicated granola, just oats, almonds, and seeds; I didn’t even add any dried fruit. Not too sweet, and lightly lemony. Tasty with whole milk, or yogurt, or all by itself.

lemon cardamom granola
This recipe makes 1 baking sheet’s worth of granola – about 4 cups – but you can easily double or triple the amounts shown to make a bigger batch. 
2-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp fine grained sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Heat oven to 350 F.
Stir together the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, and salt in a large bowl. 
In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon zest, and cardamom, until well combined. 
Pour liquid mixture into oat mixture and toss to evenly coat the solids. Transfer to a baking sheet, distributing the mixture evenly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the granola is golden brown. 
Let the granola cool before transferring to an air-tight container. Will keep about a month covered at room temperature, it also freezes well.

8 thoughts on “lemon cardamom granola

  1. were you at green gulch in san francisco? I might say no because it has been raining buckets on the west coast and there is beautiful sunshine in your photos. I am making this granola you just posted for my daughters kindergarten…serious business in the kindergarten waldorf kitchen when I bring in a new recipe! They use gluten free oats and there are 20 kids that are going to be psyched! Glad to hear you had a restorative time on your journey..


  2. Thanks, Lady Grey!

    Made by Frances – wow this would be great with lemon olive oil. Good idea.

    Hi Jessica -yes, Green Gulch Farm in Marin. Was wondering if anyone would figure it out with my hints 🙂 There were a couple of days of glorious sunshine interspersed among the rain. Such a gorgeous place! Hope you like the granola.


  3. Wow, just about any place in Marin could be magical—-such lushness!
    so glad that you got to step out off the time-space continuum, and it looks like Green Gulch was a perfect place to restore body and spirit.
    I look forward to learning more!
    I like the granola with lemon and cardamom, too.


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