Will this granola — a nut- and seed-heavy blend with dried cranberries, coconut, and cornflakes — actually lead to feelings of wellness, abundance, and joy? We can't say for sure, but Kiri Mah, the pastry chef at Oakland's Pizzaiolo, says the name was inspired by a motivational speech in which the restaurant's owner, former Chez Panisse chef Charlie Hallowell, urged the staff to cook from the second chakra.
"I actually have no idea about the chakras, I just thought it was very Charlie," Kiri explains. (According to the internet, a balanced second chakra is also linked to creativity and sensual pleasure, but perhaps that's asking a bit much from a granola.)
Regardless, this is a very good version of granola from a very important Oakland restaurant: Eleven years ago, when Charlie Hallowell opened Pizzaiolo on a somewhat lackluster strip of Telegraph Avenue in the Temescal neighborhood, it was one of the first restaurants to bring a new vitality to the area.
Committed to community, sustainability, and a joyful and delicious time around the table, Pizzaiolo regularly throws fundraising dinners; opens its patio to movie festivals; hosts record swaps, local craft fairs, and dance parties; and serves up some of the best food in Oakland.
We thought it would be fun to bow to its influence on the neighborhood with this granola recipe. Serve it with your favorite milk (or mylk) or yogurt, topped with fruit, or all on its own.
"Second Chakra" Granola
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup large, dried coconut flakes
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cornflakes
1 cup dried cranberries
Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 275°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oat bran, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the hot water and mix thoroughly; set aside.
Place the maple syrup, olive oil, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Add the cornflakes and stir gently until just combined.
Divide the mixture between the baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until dark golden-brown, 45 to 60 minutes total. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. Transfer the granola to a large bowl, add the cranberries, and stir to combine.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Recipes from the Road are recipes gathered from our travels near and far. When you're there, when you come home, a recipe is always the best souvenir. This month we're visiting Oakland; see our full Bite-Sized Guide here, including two more recipes.