granola recipe

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homemade granola

I started making my own granola when I realized how much money I was spending to buy it at my local natural foods store.  $8 for a little container?  Ouch!  But the price wasn’t the only deterrent.  There’s also the undesirable ingredients you find in many commercially prepared granolas — too much sugar and refined or hydrogenated oils, just for starters.  You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make from scratch and best of all, you can make it exactly the way you want it.  Although I wouldn’t consider it to be “health food,” homemade granola beats processed cereals any day and is as “instant” as breakfast can get.    This has come in handy when daughter #1 spends much too much time straightening her hair and is late for school.  I just put a hefty scoop of whole, unsweetened yogurt in a cup and layer granola with or without fresh fruit and that’s a decent breakfast to go.

I make granola every two weeks and keep it in an airtight glass container in the pantry where it stays perfectly crispy.  We not only eat it with the obvious yogurt and fresh fruit, but we love it mixed into smoothies, on acai bowls, sprinkled on pancakes or creamy oatmeal, or as a crunchy dip for bananas rolled in nut butter.  As for me, sometimes I’m looking for something sweet without actually eating sweets and a handful of granola is a quick and satisfying snack.  I can’t tell you how many times I have opted to bring a glass jar of this granola to a friend’s house as a hostess gift instead of a candle.

The first time I made granola I burned it because I kept expecting the oat mixture to get dry and crunchy in the oven.  No, no.  The oats remain soft until they are removed from the heat and are allowed to cool at room temperature.  Judge the granola by its color, which should change to be a nice toasty, golden brown.  The key here is to mix the syrups and oil until completely blended before combining it with the oat mixture.  If you don’t, the syrups can burn.  Also note that the dried fruit is added after the oats come out of the oven.  If you bake them, they’ll harden and taste burnt (ask me how I know this.)  The wonderful thing about granola is that you can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you like.


If my kids are reading this, what I would like is a little bowl of granola with fresh berries and sheep yogurt delivered to my bed on Sunday morning with a cup of Tulsi tea and absolutely, positively no bickering all day long.  Ahhhhhh…….  Happy Mother’s Day to all my students, readers, friends and family, and of course, to my mother-in-law and my mother.

homemade granola with yogurt and blueberries

Serves: makes about 6 cups
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)*
  • ½ cup unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (optional; sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw almonds (in California, you can buy truly raw almonds if purchased directly from the farmer, in the stores it may say "raw," but they have likely been pasteurized or steamed) or walnuts or pecans or a combo
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unsulphured dried fruit, chopped if necessary
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats, coconut flakes, seeds, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and vanilla. It is really important to mix the oil and syrups so that everything is well blended otherwise the syrups may burn. Add the oil and syrup mixture to the oats and stir to coat well.
  4. Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes (ovens vary), stirring occasionally until golden brown. The mixture will not be crunchy yet. Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit to the pan and allow to cool. Transfer granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature or freeze.
*If you use gluten-free oats, you will have a gluten-free granola.

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  1. Amanda says

    Is it ok to make this recipe with pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds and sesame seeds (no almonds) for a nut free school luncheon?

    • Pamela says

      Hey Jeannie, thanks so much for writing in. We never get sick of this granola and I’ve been making it regularly for many years. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  2. Rosey says

    I love homemade granola! I package it in quart canning jars and tuck it into Christmas gift baskets every year. This year I made cherry almond (with dried cherries, divine) and pumpkin spice. For the pumpkin I dried some puree in my food dehydrator and then whizzed it in the Magic Bullet until it was a powder, then added that to the recipe. I also like to stir the powder into my oatmeal on chilly mornings.

    • Pamela says

      You are my hero. Really? You dehydrated pumpkin and turned it into a powder? I would pin that idea if I could! Thanks, Rosey!

  3. Kelly says

    This has become a staple in our house. Yum! Question – is it okay to use raw honey instead of regular? (I used to use brown rice syrup until I read it might contain arsenic)

    • Pamela says

      I’m glad you like the granola. It’s a total staple in my house, too. You can definitely use raw honey. Although, the jury’s still out on the arsenic scandal. When the arsenic in question is naturally occurring in the earth, our bodies don’t absorb it. The problem is when the plant, such as rice, absorbs inorganic arsenic from pesticides in the soil from long ago. That kind of arsenic is what we want to avoid. The study that came out about brown rice syrup didn’t clarify that most of the arsenic was organic (naturally occurring). Fruits and vegetables also contain organic arsenic and there is evidence to support the notion that conventionally grown produce is more toxic than the arsenic in brown rice syrup. You can read more on the Lundberg site

      • Kelly says

        Thanks for the great info! I hate to be an alarmist but, sometimes, I just don’t have time to research after hearing something negative so I just cut it out until further notice. : / Back to honey… when you substitute raw for liquid do you use the same amount? It seems more concentrated so I’ve been curious..

        • Pamela says

          Trust me, I was all over that arsenic-rice report! I always sub raw for heated/pasteurized honey one-for-one, but the raw honey I buy from the farmer’s market is liquid, i.e. it has not crystallized yet. If you buy honey that is raw, but a little older and it’s firmer, just put the jar in another container with warm water to melt it a little. In the case of the granola, I would melt the honey with the coconut oil so they can be blended together easily. I hope that makes sense!

  4. Kim says

    I am making this for everyone this holiday season — on my second batch now and not slowing down. Can you tell me how to make clusters — is it dependent on rice syrup or maple syrup? or cooking time?

    • Pamela says

      Seriously — this is my favorite homemade food gift! You can get more clumps with more sweetener and don’t spread it out so much.

  5. Ellen Hopson says

    I love this granola! It is the best I have tried… I will be making it again very soon….thanks for the recipe…

  6. says

    I’m so glad I found your this post. I’m going to be making granola tomorrow and thought I should add the dried fruit before it went into the oven. This is good to know!
    I’m excited as I’m eating it with yogurt every morning, but buying it at the store is expensive and I’d like to combine some different flavors.

    • Pamela says

      I’m glad I possibly saved your teeth. I learned the hard way! I know, supermarket granola is way too pricey. Have fun!

  7. Jenny S. says

    I am loving this! It is wonderful. I love to make large batches and give out as hostess gifts. I don’t like cocunut so I omit it and it is still delicious! I cook mine for only 22 minutes and it’s perfect. Any longer and I burn it. Thank you Pamela!

    • Pamela says

      Such a good point that you bring up about cooking time. Oven temperatures vary wildly, so know your oven! I, too, love giving the granola as a hostess gift. I use either glass canning jars tied with a ribbon, or I recently found some darling brown bags with a clear window at a restaurant supply store. :)

  8. Rebecca Foster says

    I have a batch in the oven and it smells amazing! I hope it’s a hit! I just took a batch of bars out of the oven, and I can’t wait to try them….waiting 2 hours will be hard!

    • Pamela says

      Granola is a staple in my house. You can really adjust the nuts/seeds/dried fruit in this recipe to suit your family.

  9. Rebecca Foster says

    My first batch is in the oven cooking, and I just took the a batch of bars out of the oven! So excited to serve this for breakfast tomorrow morning. If the bars are a hit, I see a daily batch in my future!

  10. Jenny S. says

    This looks and sounds great! How long will the granola last in an airtight container? Just wondering if I could use this 6 cup recipe in time or if I should halve the recipe. Many thanks!

  11. Megan says

    Any suggestions for a gluten free variety? I have a daughter that cannot have oats, even the gluten free ones. Thanks, Megan

    • Pamela says

      Megan, I haven’t tested the recipe with quinoa flakes or buckwheat flakes, but I am guessing you can do it. I would try it in a 300 degree oven and watch it very closely so it doesn’t burn. My other suggestions would be to sub your favorite GF cereal (such as a puffed rice-type) or just go all coconut-nuts-seeds-dried fruit. Hope that helps!

      • Megan says

        Hi Pamela. Just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to trying this w quinoa flakes and it worked great. I didn’t change much just watched it carefully in the oven. I havent tasted the oat version but the quinoa one is pretty good and perfect for our gf amd no oat household. Thanks again for the idea.

  12. Lois says

    This is the BEST granola ever! You think you are eating something really sweet. Besides having it with yogurt, we also like to add it to oatmeal for added taste and texture.

  13. Marty says

    Pamela, thank you for the easy simple recipe.

    Happy Mothers Day, I hope your breakfast wishes come true!


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