Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Good-for-Anything Granola

LUCY BURDETTE:  I took a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands earlier this month--bare bones sailing, not the kind of trip that includes a captain and crew and cook. Unless you want to count me and my sister as cooks and crew, and my husband and brother-in-law as captain and first mate!

We brought a lot of our food to eat along the way, as some of the islands we visited are uninhabited--i.e., no restaurants and no grocery stores either! Since I am no sailor and had never done anything like this, I relied heavily on my sister's suggestions. Though when the idea of breakfast was floated, I offered to make a double batch of my favorite granola. (And the enormous bag of chocolate chip cookies--but those were your basic and reliable Toll House recipe.) I had served this granola at a family wedding brunch a couple of years ago and it was a huge hit.

Though there was one day when I couldn't face breakfast at all (Note to self--start the Dramamine earlier, much earlier), everyone else was crazy about this recipe. There was not so much as one oat flake left by the end of the week.  I like to buy organic ingredients as much as possible--because if you're going to do the work of making something special, it should be good for you too! (So go organic, as much as your budget allows.)


4 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup broken pecan pieces
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries (or raisins if you like them better)

Preheat the oven to 250. Mix oats, almonds, pecans, sugar, and coconut in a bowl. Combine syrup, oil and salt, and then mix into the grains and nuts. Now comes the only time-consuming part: spread the uncooked granola on baking trays. Bake for and hour and fifteen minutes, stopping every 15 minutes to stir the mixture so it browns evenly. Cool and add cherries or raisins. Store in an airtight container, but don't expect it to last very long. It also freezes well. Serve with milk or yoghurt.

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be released in September. Please follow Lucy on Twitter, or "like" her on facebook, or sign up for her mailing list!

In the great news department, her story "The Itinerary" (written as Roberta Isleib) has been nominated for an Anthony award.


  1. Wonderful story on the sailing adventure, Lucy. What a fantastic experience. This recipe looks like a delicious idea for hiking, biking, and good old road trips, too. Thx for sharing and have a great weekend.

    ~ Cleo

  2. I'm not a great sailor, but I took a course from Women for Sail (all women, no men on board!) a few years ago, and everyone had to take a turn at preparing a meal. Granola is such a great choice for trips like this. Road trips and camping trips, too. I love the dried cherries in this recipe, Lucy. They're one of my favorites! Yum!

    ~ Krista

  3. Thanks Cleo and Krista! What a cool idea to take a class from all women. I have to admit that I was mostly ballast on this trip--me and my cookies and granola:)

  4. Lucy, I actually got stranded on a flat sea on a catamaran one time and had to be hauled in to shore. (Old boyfriend was a sailor). The waves were so huge, the catamaran flipped over, we had to swim and were thrown against the shore. Needless to say, sailing isn't one of my passions. :) [Neither is the old boyfriend. LOL] But I did get the opportunity to man an America's Cup boat with about 50 other people and that was a blast. (A 2 hour work-your-tail-off afternoon). The granola looks great.

    Avery aka Daryl

  5. so glad you got rid of that guy Avery/Daryl!!