For years I avoided granola. It doesn’t really look like food, unless by food you mean bird food. But then I came across a recipe for savory granola, something that never had even crossed my mind. Having a pretty intense love of salty snacks, I decided to give it a shot. It’s made of oats, so it’s a healthy salty snack, right? (err, sort of.)
Granola works best with regular oats, not the instant or quick-cooking kind. The instant ones will leave your finished product a little dusty. As for the cheese, ones with a strong flavor work best. This guy was the spotlight cheese at TJ’s so I decided to give it a whirl, although it’s great with a gruyere, sharp cheddar, or my favorite, any smoked cheese. This recipe is easy to tailor to your own taste. I like mine very cheesy, smoky, and a little spicy.
Inspired by this recipe from TheKitchn
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup finely grated cheese
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp bird’s eye chile powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine the oats, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cheese, thyme, and spices in a large bowl.
The cheese can clump, so stir thoroughly with a large spoon to make sure it gets mixed in evenly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg white, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil. When well combined it should have a shimmery appearance.
Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Spread the granola in a thin, even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at the 10, 20, and 25 minute marks. If you like larger clusters, refrain from breaking it up too much as you stir. This is just to make sure it cooks evenly. The granola should turn a golden color and will get crisper as it cools. Wait until it cools entirely before transferring it to an airtight container.
It’s a great snack on its own, and also gives a nice crunch as a salad or soup topping. Granola’s not just for hippies anymore.