i’ve been getting really into homemade granola lately. ever since i made my pumpkin spice granola this past fall, i’ve had it in my head that i wanted to create a cardamom vanilla almond granola. cardamom is one of my top 3 favorite spices and it pairs so well with (well, everything, but specifically in this case) nuts that i was excited to try out the idea.
the first batch of cardamom vanilla almond granola was good but not amazing, amazing being my standard for sharing things here with all of you. (that’s also why every recipe here gets referred to as “my favorite”, because i wouldn’t be sharing it if it wasn’t the latest food i didn’t want to live without.) because i was starting with a pretty tried-and-true granola formula (besides the pumpkin spice, it’s also the base for my ginger granola), the main problem with batch 1 was that it just didn’t have quite enough cardamom for my taste (give me ALLLL the cardamom!).
since most spices mellow in intensity when baked, the balance of flavor that worked well when i sampled a bit of the “raw” granola didn’t totally translate once the granola did its time in the oven. upping the cardamom turned out to be an easy fix (i know that sounds obvious, but i had initially been concerned about overdoing it with the cardamom so tried a more moderate amount at first. i put too much nutmeg in a bowl of oatmeal years ago and have been super wary of nutmeg ever since and didn’t want to set myself off of cardamom the same way.)
another thing i didn’t love about batch 1 was that i using two different shapes of almonds (slivered and chopped whole almonds), thinking that i would like the variety but actually i did not enjoy the bigger chunks of almonds. another easy fix: i just nixed the chopped whole almonds and stuck to the slivered almonds.
once i increased the cardamom and tamed the whole almond melee-in-my-mouth situation, we were in business. and now i have a granola that is not only delicious over yogurt or with a splash of (almond) milk, but also will be so super yummy with berries, once berry season arrives. cardamom and berries is another consistently delicious pairing (see: cardamom cake served with raspberries) so, if the sun ever comes out again and lets all of the berry plants do their thing, then i will be eager to try this cardamom vanilla almond granola with berries too. yummm. come on sun! grow us some berries to go with our granola!
- 396 g. (4 cups / 14 oz.) old-fashioned rolled oats, see notes
- 50 g. (1/4 cup / 1 ¾ oz.) millet, optional
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup (4 fl. oz. / 120 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz. / 60 ml) real maple syrup, preferably grade b or grade a: dark color & robust flavor
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 170 g. (1 ½ cups / 6 oz.) slivered almonds, see notes
- preheat the oven to 350° F. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- in a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, millet, and cardamom. stir to combine.
- in glass measuring cup, combine the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. pour most of it over the oat mixture, saving about a tablespoon of the liquid mixture to coat the nuts.
- stir the oats and liquid together and once all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, spread the granola out in an even layer on the lined baking sheet. bake the granola for 20 minutes.
- while the granola is baking, combine the nuts and the remaining liquid in the now empty bowl and stir to combine.
- after 20 minutes, take the granola out of the oven, sprinkle the nuts over the top, and toss it all around (especially the bits along the edge). put the granola back in the oven for 10 more minutes, until the nuts are golden brown (they will darken a little bit once they come out of the oven).
- remove the granola from the oven and set the pan on a rack to cool. let the granola cool completely. it will also dry out a bit as it cools.
- once cool, store the granola in an airtight container. it will stay fresh for 2 weeks, longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
if you need to avoid gluten, make sure your oats are labeled gluten free.
my almonds were “dry toasted” but still very pale so 10 minutes in the oven was perfect to get them to light golden. so 10 minutes should be fine whether you’re starting with raw or very lightly toasted almonds.
adapted from my ginger granola.