Granola is addicting. The only issue – sometimes it’s not the healthiest option. One way you can go for a handful of granola, guilt-free, is when you make it yourself. To start, homemade granola is delicious. You also cut out or reduce the things that make the store bought stuff calorie packed: preservatives, sugar, and saturated fat.
It’s pretty easy to do homemade granola right. All you need are your favorite dried nuts, fruit, seeds, oats, spices, touch of sweetness and an oven. Stick to about 1/4 cup per serving and enjoy with nonfat yogurt or milk.
Let’s cover the basics. When putting together your granola, don’t go overboard on the spices. You should stick to no more than one teaspoon of dry spices per sheet of granola – this will end up being about six cups. To start, try spices like cinnamon, allspice, or cardamom. When it comes to picking out your oat, use big, thick old-fashioned oats as your base.
If you want clusters of granola, you need to use a sticky sweetener and be a bit more generous. You can use things like maple syrup, agave, coconut oil, honey or even butter. Not a fan of clusters? Hold the sweetener! Regardless, be sure to mix it in with your nuts, seeds and oats really well ahead of time. Also, you can’t forget some salt. Whether or not you like “sweet & salty,” a little pinch will really make the difference and add another dimension to your granola.
Once you have it laid out on your baking sheet, press down on your mixture to help it cluster. Feel free to give it the occasional gentle-stir while it’s baking, but after you pull it out of the oven, let it sit as the clusters settle together. You’re going to bake your granola at about 300-350 degrees for 20 minutes. Slow and steady is the best way to get a crispy granola without burning your mixture.
Once your granola has settled and cooled off, you can add dried fruit, cacao nibs, coconut, you-name-it. Homemade granola is great because you decide what goes into it, and the combinations are endless. Experiment and change it up any way you want, and you’ll never be bored by granola again 🙂
Here is a pretty straight forward recipe from Once Upon a Chef to help you get started:
- 2-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted pecans
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup dried fruits (such as cranberries, raisins, cherries, chopped apricots, currants, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Combine the oats, almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and oil until combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring and re-spreading a few times with a spatula, until the entire mixture is medium golden brown. Watch carefully towards the end; it burns quickly and will brown first in the corners and on the bottom.