A Healthy Granola Recipe = A Virtual Hug

I’ve been thinking a lot about a very special person in my life that’s about three thousands miles away from a great big hug I desperately need to give her. Bleak hours are the time for embraces, warm cups of tea, soft blankets, silly smiles, and gentle kisses. But my beloved friend is back home on the east coast, in a difficult bog that is so deep and wide I can feel its ripples hit the Pacific.

Since my life is built around food and its comforting pleasures, the one thing I long to do is cook a warm and satisfying meal for her. No shipping container can hold the moment of making a meal together. But a well-made care package that’s filled with healthy and tasty treats may be just the thing that I can do to offer some much-needed sustenance. Perhaps just a handful of happiness.

In hopes of finding a healthy recipe for a mail-friendly package, I turned to one of my new favorite cookbooks: Lucid Food. The author, Louisa Shafia, is a chef and caterer based in New York City; her cookbook is filled with recipes that celebrate the seasons and the idea that food should be sustainable for the planet and our bodies.

Ever since Shafia sent a preview copy of her beautiful cookbook a few months back, I’ve been marveling at her healthy, seasonal, and eco-conscious recipes. Shafia is a kindred spirit, a gifted chef, and—it should be mentioned—the newly minted fiancé of a good friend of mine! So knowing that I was in the hands of a pro (and friend by proxy), I quickly settled on her healthy granola recipe. I’ve modified her recipe a bit—to cater to the likes of my beloved, and with the hope you’ll seek out Shafia’s version of her new cookbook.

This granola is a healthy treat that’s high in magnesium, protein, unsaturated fat, Vitamin E and B6, and other essential minerals and vitamins. It’s a delicious gift that will travel well by post or last for weeks (when refrigerated).

The Best Granola Ever
Adapted from a recipe by Louisa Shafia from her new book, Lucid Food.

1 cup hulled pistachios, coarsely chopped
¾ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspooon ground allspice
¼ teaspooon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons maple syrup
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup raw, unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 250º.

Combine the spice, almonds, oats, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add to the mix the maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of the oil, and vanilla extract. Stir well.

Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the ingredients and rotate the sheet tray in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the baked ingredients from the oven— the granola mixture should begin looking dry at this point—and transfer to a bowl. Add the dried fruit, chopped pistachios (they have a low burning temperature), and the remaining olive oil. Mix well. Spread mixture onto the baking sheet again and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the coconut flakes and bake for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the chocolate.

Let cool before serving or storing.

Serve with yogurt or milk.


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. March 10

    Brooke, so very happy that my recipe could help to bridge the long distance between you and your friend. I agree, a homemade edible gift is a powerful way to show you care. All the love is right there in the food. Your version of the granola is gorgeous! -Louisa

    • Food Woolf
      March 12

      Thanks Louisa! I’m so excited you approve. Now for us to meet face to face for a great meal!

  2. I haven’t made it, but I’m visualizing it (is that the right word when you make a recipe in your head?), and I swear I can taste it. There’s only one problem with the recipe — its irresistability is such that you’d be eating granola for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until every last oat was gone.

    • Food Woolf
      March 12

      Tamar, it’s true. The flavors are so balanced I am snacking on this all through the day. For better or for worse, I added a bit more than a pinch of Maldon to this version, so there’s a hint of savory, oaty-ness that keeps me nibbling non-stop. For this reason, I suggest making a double batch.

  3. March 15

    this granola looks fantastic – I am forwarding the link to my mom too because she is always on the hunt for homemade granola recipes!

  4. Homemade granola is such a treat because you can make it exactly how you want it–hold the raisins, extra cranberries and throw in some orange oil. Thanks to you and Louisa for reminding me how easy it is, I’m going to make some this weekend!

    • Food Woolf
      March 16

      ooooh! I love the idea of adding orange oil! Want to try that next!

  5. March 19

    Thanks for sharing this, I’ve been looking for granola recipes with no refined sugars and this one looks decadent with all of the extra goodies. I bet it makes a great snack!

  6. March 22

    Sorry to read that your friend is having a tough go of it. You’re such a dear to send along a thoughtful care package. This granola looks delightful.

  7. johanna
    March 26

    from a granola fiend first to last: this looks fab. can’t wait to try it.

  8. Kristy
    September 14

    Wow! what an amazing recipe. I tend to stick to porridge in the cooler Months but can’t wait to try this now that Winter is gone and Spring is here. Thanks for such a great recipe without all the refined sugars that are normally in commercially made granola.

  9. […] is—by far—the easiest and most satisfying granola recipe I’ve ever made (and I make a lot of granola). Thanks to the presence of a good amount of organic coconut, Carrie’s granola recipe […]

  10. Connie
    August 24

    Super sweet thought to send through the mail a package of homemade granola! I’ve been craving granola since reading your message and I am making it right now! I’ve made one that is similar to this one, however, it’s not as healthy as there is a good portion of butter and sugar. I’m excited to eat this for breakfast tomorrow…and it’s a great way to perfume the air that we will all fall asleep breathing!
    Thanks for the recipe!

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