Granola started off as a healthy treat, full of whole grains, sprinkled with wholesome nuts and dried fruit. Over the years, commercialism and appealing to the masses caused cereal companies to reinvent granola, adding all sorts of preservatives and unappealing additives. Making homemade granola is super simple. Because you control what goes into it, you can also determine the calorie and sweetener levels, and it takes less than half an hour to make a batch. Once you make your own granola, you’ll never buy a bag from the store again.
My daughter plays soccer. She needs energy and she loves granola. She asked me if I could make some, how could I say no to this face (pictured left)?
She was pretty specific about what she wanted it in. Sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. :) No problem girly, you know I love ya.
You can adapt this recipe to suit your personal tastes. My daughter isn’t big on walnuts, so we use sliced almonds and sunflower seeds. She also prefers dried cranberries to raisins. And of course, she had to have chocolate chips. Here are some ideas for substitutions and add ins:
rolled (old fashioned) oats
ground flax seed
Note: If you use salted nuts, you may want to omit the salt that is mixed with the cinnamon at the opening of the instructions!
raisins, brown or golden
other dried fruits (banana chips, dried blueberries, etc)
brown sugar (light or dark)
pure vanilla extract
other extracts such as almond, lemon, cherry, etc
spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc)
Easy Homemade Granola
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries (we used cherry flavored Craisins)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the oats with cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them. Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the nuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely.
Sprinkle the dried cranberries and chocolate chips over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. The granola will keep for 1 week.