Olive Oil Granola

Since my stint at Blue Hill, I've traveled around the American South living my fried chicken and barbecue dreams. Three weeks of wandering around museums, sun-soaking and hunting out good food has dulled my cooking senses. I’m now back in my mom’s kitchen in Malaysia, and my attempts at helping her with dinner has only managed to draw chuckles and head shakes. (Butchering a chicken Chinese hawker-style is harder than it looks.) So back to basics it is.

Granola has always been my breakfast staple during my time in the US and UK, often with a mushy banana cut with a spoon (don't judge). It’s hard to go wrong, even when you're super groggy in the morning, and much more fun than cereal or muesli, though probably not as healthy... In Malaysia, granola isn’t as readily available, and is often twice or thrice the price of other breakfast cereals, especially those fancy atas ones that are becoming ever so popular with the hip and health-conscious (I admit I buy them too...). So, to be kinder to my wallet and to ease myself into cooking again, I’ve taken it upon myself to provide my own granola for the family.

Most granola recipes I found online use a 3:1 ratio of oats to seeds/nuts/fruit, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to bump up the amount of fun stuff and use a 2:1 ratio instead. It’s really more like 2:1(+1+1+1+… ad infinitum). I also took inspiration from Food52/Early Bird’s olive oil granola recipe and used olive oil in place of grapeseed or canola oil, which gives it a slightly savoury undertone and helps mellow out the sweetness too. Oh it's a healthier alternative too. Plus I used less sugar than in most recipes as I found them to be way too sweet (blame my azn tastebuds), which makes it that extra bit healthier. ;) 


Olive Oil Granola

Olive Oil Granola

makes a week’s worth of breakfast


2 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup whole almonds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup honey
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients, bar the dried cranberries, in a large mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. Spread the granola mixture on a lined baking tray.
  2. Bake in a 160°C (320°F) oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Add in the dried cranberries and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the oats are nice and toasty. 
  3. Remove the granola from the oven and cool to room temperature. Have it with milk for breakfast or plain as a snack! The granola can keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container. 


  • feel free to replace the almonds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries with any other fruit, nuts or seeds; the recipe really is quite adaptable. You can also replace the honey with maple syrup, gula Melaka (Mama Loh’s suggestion) or molasses (use 1/2 the amount).
  • I usually fervently oppose using US Imperial measurements, but in such a case where precision isn’t necessary, measuring by volume instead of weight makes better sense and is a lot quicker.
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