Pistachio Cardamom Granola ~ a crunchy homemade granola made with a decidedly Middle Eastern flair. This is a breakfast cereal with a sophisticated flavor you won’t find in your supermarket!
Some of my favorite recipes start out as a burning desire to taste a simple combination of flavors. Pistachio and cardamom are paired up in desserts from India to Greece, and all over the Middle East, where pistachio trees originated, but not so much here. It’s too bad, because thanks to the California climate we actually have access to a good supply of fresh pistachio nuts.
But American pistachios didn’t come on the market until the 1970s, and even today you have to hunt and peck through any nut mix to find one or two bright green gems. And when you do find them in stores they are usually heavily salted. I guess I should be happy that those awful red dyed shells are a thing of the past.
It’s worth the effort to try to find a bag of unsalted nuts in their shells. They have an unusual sweet flavor that comes through when it’s not masked by all that salt. The color is much brighter, too. And it’s fun to see your treasure pile of green nuts grow as you pop them out of their shells.
Today I used ground cardamom for convenience, but if you really want the full experience of the aromatic cardamom flavor, roast and grind your own seeds. Just crack the pods open with a rolling pin, roast them in a dry pan until fragrant, and then remove and grind the little black seeds in a coffee grinder. You can get the step by step directions in my Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake post.
I used jumbo golden raisins for a color contrast and sweetness, but apricots, dates or figs would be good, too. I usually put everything but the kitchen sink into my granolas, but here I want to keep the extras minimal to focus on the cardamom and pistachio.
This is the perfect granola to pair with Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt for an exotic breakfast.
If you love cardamom, try these other cardamom recipes from the archives ~
Pistachio Cardamom Granola
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 cup almond oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup jumbo raisins
- 2/3 cups roasted unsalted pistachios rough chopped
- Set oven to 350F
- Mix the oats, cardamom and sesame seeds in a bowl.
- Whisk the oil, honey and vanilla together and pour over the oats, tossing well until all the oats are evenly coated.
- Spread out the oat mixture on a dry baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Watch it at the end, it can burn quickly.
- When the oats are golden brown, remove from the oven and add the nuts and raisins. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight jar.
Notes for Pistachio Cardamom Granola:
- I usually toast the nuts along with the oats in granola recipes, but since most pistachios are already roasted I left them out. If you do find raw pistachios, add them to the oats at the beginning.
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