When it comes to granola, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. My dream granola is filled with cranberries, coconuts and almonds, but this perfect blend can be hard to find sometimes – especially when most granolas on the market are mixed with sugary fillers like chocolate chips, M & M’s, and crystallized dried fruit. To help you find the granola that’s right for you, I’ve written this step-by-step tutorial to making your own healthy homemade granola. Enjoy!
How To Make Your Own Healthy, Homemade Granola
photo by Abagail Leepin
So you’re in the granola aisle at the grocery store and you think you’ve just found the perfect granola. It has everything you want: your favorite fruit, your favorite sweeteners, and other goodies that make your heart sing. But then you turn the bag over to read the ingredient list and, to your horror, find that your once-perfect granola is filled with added sugar, flour, and other artificial ingredients that don’t belong in food. Mentally, you’re thinking, “Okay, no need to panic. Just put the bag down and head to the nearest health foods store. They’ll have better granola, right?” Well, yeah, technically, but that 3 oz. bag of vegan, gluten-free and organic granola is going to set you back about $20. Strangely enough, once the price tag sinks in, granola just doesn’t seem that appealing anymore.
But, never fear! Because instead of depending on store-made granola, I’m going to teach you how to make your own. Let’s get started!
Why should you make granola at home?
- It’s so much healthier. You can control all the ingredients you add (or omit) into your granola mix. Say hello to gluten-, sugar-free and vegan granola!
- It’s cheaper. Granola prices have skyrocketed and, in my experience, the ones that are affordable are usually made with sugar, flour and unnecessary ingredients like preservatives and fillers.
- You can customize it however you’d like! Let’s get creative here: chocolate almond, cinnamon raisin, mango coconut, the list goes on and on! You can even keep it simple with plain honey oats.
- It’s super easy to make and fun to make with kids.
What you’ll need:
photo by Abagail Leepin
ROLLED GRAINS- 2 Cups
Although rolled oats have dominated the granola scene, feel free to add other grains – such as barley, rye, or millet – for some variety.
GRAINS- 1-2 Tbsp. uncooked
These grains are different from the rolled grains listed above and will add some crunch to your granola. Grains to use are:
- Wheat bran
- Wheat germ
Spices help take your granola to the next level, so get creative! Spices to use are:
- Cinnamon- 1 tsp.
- Nutmeg- ¼ tsp.
- Ginger 1/8 tsp.
NUTS – 1 cup, chopped
Use your favorite nuts (or don’t, it’s your choice!). Everyone has their preference when it comes to nuts and the best part about making your own granola is that you get to leave out the walnuts (if that’s your style).
*Use raw nuts so they don’t burn in the oven. Nuts to use are:
SEEDS- 1/8 or 1/ 4 Cup
Use raw seeds so they will toast while baking. Seeds to use are:
DRIED FRUIT- ½ – ¾ Cup
You have the option of adding in your fruit either before or after you bake your granola. It all depends on how chewy you like your dried fruit. Dried fruits to use are:
- Dates, chopped
- The list goes on and on
SWEETENER- 1/4 – 1/2 Cup
Most liquid sweeteners work really well for granola and add a great flavor.
*If using non-liquid sweetener, mix it with ¼ cup of water on the stove, heat on low until it dissolves.
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut sugar
OIL – ¼ Cup
This is a very important ingredient as oil adds a lot of flavor and makes the granola crunchy.
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
The granola game changer. Get as clever as you’d like.
- Vanilla extract- 1 tsp.
- Coconut extract- ¼ tsp.
- Almond extract- ¼ tsp.
CHOCOLATE – 2 tbsp. cocoa powder or ½ cup of chips
If chocolaty granola is what you’re going for, add the cocoa powder in before baking; if you’re using chocolate chips, add them in after you’ve baked your granola.
Making the perfect granola:
1. First things first, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Combine your grains, chopped raw nuts, raw seeds, salt, spices and chocolate (if you’re using it).
2. Add sweetener, oil, extracts, and dried fruit* into your dry mix, mix well.
*If you’re using dried coconut, don’t add it in just yet! Baking the coconut will make it a little bit harder and chewy (a plus for me, a minus for others).
3. Spread granola on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from oven. Stir the granola around with a wooden spoon and, at this time, add the dried coconut. Place your granola back in the oven and bake for another 20- 25 minutes or until granola starts to turn golden.
4. Once your granola is done baking and is out of the oven, (resist the urge to eat it) let it cool completely. Now you can add it to yogurt, fresh fruit or mix it with your favorite milk.
5. Store the leftover granola in an airtight container.
Here are some amazing granola combinations:
- Mango + Coconut + Coconut Oil + Coconut extract
- Apple+ Cinnamon + Vanilla Extract + Maple Syrup
- Honey+ Coconut + Amaranth + Dried blueberries
- Dried Cranberries+ Coconut + Cinnamon + Agave
- Raisins + Cinnamon + Oat Bran + Honey
And there you have it: healthy, homemade granola! Now that you know my favorite granola combination, what’s yours? Let us know in the Comments section below!
That’s all, folks! If you enjoyed our tutorial on how to make your own Healthy, Homemade Granola, let us know in the Comments section below. We love hearing your feedback and comments; we also love sharing recipes, so if you have a stellar homemade granola recipe you’d like to share, we’d love to read about it and try it out for ourselves! HomemadeRecipes.com was founded to create an online community where foodies, epicureans and chefs can share recipes and learn new ones! We need your help, however, in creating this community where you can come, share and learn. If you love to cook, love food or have some great recipes and ideas you’d like to share with us, shoot us an email and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! We’re always looking for contributors and want to hear from you.
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