It's my sweetie's birthday tomorrow and there is little he loves more then his mother's homemade granola.  Since I will be out bootcamp-ing, rather then here to make him a birthday surprise, I decided to plan ahead and make him some of this homemade goodness.  I adapted this from a New York Times recipe with a few available or preferred ingredient modifications. I was unable to get my hands on raw, unsalted pistachios so instead I used 1/2 a cup of salted pistachios and a cup of raw, unsalted macadamia nuts.  Also, I opted for dry cherries, as the glorified mama version uses these sweet, plump fruits.

It was amazingly easy to make and has that fresh roasted nut flavor.  So good in fact, we could not wait for birthday breakfast-  We had to have a warm bowl for dessert tonight.

3 cups old-fashioned thick rolled oats

1/2 cups raw pistachios

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut flakes

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup dried cherries

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, mac nuts,  pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine. Serve with ricotta and fruit, if desired.

Store in a large glass jar or freezer bags.  Enjoy all month (if it lasts that long.)