Savory Granola Success: Dankness and Beyond

>> Tuesday, February 24

Dank. It doesn’t mean dark and wet here. In Northern California lingo, it’s the epitome of GOOD. No, I don’t think you heard that right; Goo-OO-ooOOd. The stuttering, multi-syllabic one. There you go. That one.

As I wrote yesterday, I accidentally ate some gluten over the weekend and I have been functioning in a stupor of all the usuals ever since: indigestion, bloating, headache, and cravings. This granola is my answer to feeling nutrient- and fiber-deprived: pumpkin seeds and molasses for iron and calcium, plus more from the tahini; fiber from flax, oats, and “chufas nüssli,” and healthy fats from the flax oil and other seeds and nuts. Nutritional yeast for trace elements that GF-eaters can always use, and a dose of good intentions for healing up my digestive tract. And the olives are healthy, but I did it for the flavuh, because let me tell you...Mm. Mm-hm.

I put everything I had into this granola recipe, and I am pleased to say that somehow, it came out delicious. Of course, you can add the ingredients closest to your heart instead of the ones I chose-I just had a hankering for the taste of seedy-nutty-sesame-braggs-yeasty-goodness, a combination that tastes so much like home I might have woken my mom up from around the world just by listing them in that order. Dank. It’s really all I can say.

Spiced Savory Granola, GF and Vegan, of course!

Ingredients (don’t be intimidated, mix and match as needed, and see notes for help!):
½ cup activated sunflower seeds
1/3 cup activated pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
½ cup flax seeds
¼ cup activated hazelnuts
½ cup GF oats
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ cup chestnut flakes
½ cup ground "earth almonds"*
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp black pepper

1 small banana
1 tbsp braggs amino acids or tamari
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp molasses
10 kalamata olives
1 tbsp flax oil

You think I’m crazy, don’t you? Bananas and olives? yeast and molasses? What are Earth Almonds anyway??? Just come to the dark side of baking, that shadowy experiment lab, for an afternoon and try to tell me after it wasn’t worth it.


  1. Grind the flax and fennel seeds into a coarse meal.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, or food processor, mix to a paste ½ the sunflower seeds, a few spoons of water, the hazelnuts, flax-fennel meal, and all the wet ingredients.
  3. As your seeds/nuts will probably still be wet from soaking, toss them in the wet ingredients and stir together.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a fork until combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix together. It should all be moistened and vaguely sticky. If you have dry spots left, add a splash of water and/or oil and mix again.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Oil a large baking sheet and spread the mixture out on the sheet, loosely breaking into clumps with a spoon or fork.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and mostly dry, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  8. Let cool and enjoy!

*sedge tubers. If the word 'tuber' confuses you, see here. Often the spanish word chufas is used on packaging. You can substitute nut meal of any kind or another mealy ingredient, or up the oats and omit them entirely.

A few tips to keep in mind for substitutions:
Savory granola is lacking the usual gooey component of honey, agave, or (blech) corn syrup that most sweet granola’s use. That’s why I used a banana, the tahini, the ground sunflower seeds, and the molasses, all of which moisten and bind. The banana doesn’t give any flavor to the finished granola, but you could substitute something else if you just don’t like the sound of it-applesauce or nut butters work well, but with nut butters, you will need to add something liquid to even out the thickness. Using flax meal also adds to stickiness, and is just fantastically healthy and good.
The point is, granola is simple, and you don’t have to follow any recipe to the t. Just add the things you like and see what happens, I truly don’t think you can go wrong.

(Ready for shelving in a recycled raw sugar bag :))


Liz February 25, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

Too-OOo-ooO cool! I'm a big fan of the sweet and savory combination so I will surely give this a try.

And thank you for proving you can make granola without sugar/corn syrup/rice syrup/honey!

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