Cherry Garcia Granola

Summer of 1995. I had just finished my freshman year of college and had quite the Birkenstock tan on my feet. I was living in my parents' NJ home when the call came, from my friend Kevin: "Lynn, Jerry's dead." It took me a second - I racked my brain to figure out who Jerry was. Ohhhhh. Jerry Garcia.

I had been listening to a lot of the Grateful Dead since the early nineties but I wouldn't call myself a "Dead Head," especially since I had never gone to one of their concerts. (I was, however, a full-on Phish Freak.) Shortly after his death I discovered rrriot girl music, then hip hop, and my faux hippie phase was over.


I still have a soft spot in my heart for those tunes, though. Earlier this summer we watched Long Strange Trip and it brought me back to those times. The docuseries is so well-done, even Abe enjoyed it. He does not like The Grateful Dead music at all, but he did love this snack I whipped up in honor of Jerry.


My go-to granola recipe is by America's Test Kitchen - I like it super clumpy and their method helps you achieve just that without the use of egg whites, which means it's vegan. I added hemp seeds (duh), plus dried cherries and chocolate to give it that now-classic Ben and Jerry's flavor.

It tastes great on top of Cherry Garcia ice cream, of course.

Cherry Garcia Granola

adapted from America's Test Kitchen


  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons vanilla 

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 3 cups rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 325. 

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil. Stir in the oats.

  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Press it evenly to compact the oats with the back of your spatula.

  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through cooking. When granola is lightly brown, it's done! 

  5. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. When granola is cool, break into clusters with your hands and mix in the hemp seeds, dried cherries, and chocolate.

  6. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.