Yana's Mom's Granola

My first few days in the hospital were rough. Meal deliveries were inconsistent, sometimes non-existent and altogether inedible. Yana brought me a fresh batch of granola her mom made and shipped from California. She told me, as a teenager, it was the only thing she could be convinced to eat. It sustained me for the rest of my stay. Yana renewed my supply when I was released. It continued to be my go-to recovery food then turned into fuel for my workouts as physical therapy progressed. Then, Yana’s mom’s oven broke and the granola supply dried up. She sent us her recipe so we could make our own.


1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup cashews

3/4 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup walnuts

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 325F

  2. Warm honey, oil & vanilla in a large pot, stirring until blended

  3. Remove from heat, mix in oats until evenly coated

  4. Add half the cashews, almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds to the oats, reserve remaining half for later

  5. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet

  6. Bake for one hour. Every 20 minutes, stir granola so ingredients are evenly toasted

  7. Remove from oven. Pour granola into a bowl and toss with remaining nuts, seeds, coconut and raisins

  8. Store in airtight container

Yana’s mom gave us her blessing to make this recipe our own. You can substitute different nuts or dried fruits. I made mine exactly as she made hers because it’s perfect the way it is.