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Readers of Andre Charles' Molly and Mike mysteries know that Mike loves to cook. And Molly is happy to partake of his creations. How about you, Readers? From time to time, Mike will share some favorite recipes. 

Here's his recipe for the best breakfast granola you'll ever taste (according to Molly--and anyone else who's tried it)!

Mike’s Healthy, Low-Sugar Granola Recipe



5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Not quick or instant)

1 cup raw pecan pieces

1 cup raw slivered or sliced almonds

1 cup raw cashew pieces

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup raw pumpkin seed (pepitas)

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

¾ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

¾ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cardamom

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

½  cup oil: any combination of canola, peanut, extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil

½ cup sweetener: any combination of brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup



  1. Preheat oven to 300

  2. Thoroughly combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl

  3. Separately, combine oils, sweeteners and vanilla in a microwave-proof (e.g. Pyrex) container and heat for a minute or so. Stir the hot mixture to dissolve brown sugar, if using

  4. Add sweetener/oil mixture to dry ingredients and mix , using a large spoon or skimmer. This should take at least a minute to ensure a uniformly damp mixture.

  5. Spread the granola evenly over two unoiled baking sheets that will either fit on a single rack in the oven, or on two racks if your oven has a convection setting.

  6. Bake for approximately 50 minutes total, removing the sheets from the oven and stirring the granola at five intervals (to ensure it is evenly cooked and to avoid scorching) with a wide metal or plastic spatula: after about 10 minutes, then 9 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 6 minutes. (You want to avoid scorching the granola along the edges and bottom of the pans, which is more likely as it heats up.)

  7. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and place in airtight containers.


Note: Mike buys all the nuts and seeds at Trader Joe’s, where they are generally available raw and in conveniently small packages.

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