Granola has that magical ability to make things that are already delicious on their own—like smoothie bowls, ice cream, and custard toast—taste even better. It basically imbues them with a crunchiness that's a little sweet, a little salty, and a lot delicious.
That being said, store-bought granola can be packed with refined sugar and it can definitely cost a pretty penny (RIP to my $12 post-Whole Foods impulse purchase). And even if you make your own, the cost can quickly add up if you don't have all the ingredients. That's why nutritionist Mia Rigden came up with this pantry granola recipe, featured in this week's episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp—"so that you can make nutrient dense delicious granola every single week without having to go out and buy new ingredients," she says.
- Mia Rigden, chef, nutritionist, and the founder of RASA, a company specializing in individualized nutrition programs
She calls it a "choose your own adventure" recipe because it allows you to utilize ingredients that you already have, saving you from having to shell out $15 for a bag of pumpkin seeds. It also means that the recipe is endlessly versatile, and can be adapted to fit virtually any eating plan or dietary restriction. And if all of that wasn't good enough, the recipe is also a cinch to pull together.
There are two components to the recipe: the base and the add-ins/extras. In a traditional granola recipe, the base is typically oats, which you can use in this version. In her granola, Rigden opts for mix of puffed brown rice and coconut flakes for the base. The brown rice adds a lot of crunch, and also some fiber. She uses coconut flakes because they add bulk and substance to the granola, and are low in sugar with lots of healthy fat so they help with blood sugar management. "And with the extras, you can do any sort of nut or seed that you have in your pantry," Rigden says. "You can use chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, literally anything that you have lying around." (Finally, a way to use the dregs of those five-plus bags of nuts you have hogging your pantry shelves.)
Once you choose your ingredients, the prep is as simple as mixing them all together with some olive oil, cinnamon, flaky sea salt, and honey, then putting everything on a baking sheet and popping it in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Press play to see the full recipe, and follow along below.
Mia Rigden's pantry granola recipe
3 cups of base
1-1/2 cups of add-ins (like nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, or chocolate nibs)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
Flaky sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your base and add-ins into a bowl, and sprinkle with the salt and cinnamon. Mix together, ensuring that ingredients are evenly dispersed.
2. Add the honey and olive oil, and stir to combine.
3. Once all the ingredients have evenly mixed in the bowl, spread the granola out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and fragrant.
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