Homemade, easy and packed with nothing but good ingredients, this Very Nutty Granola is 100% better than store bought and super easy to customize to your preference. Go nuts and add as much or less as you like. Use whatever nuts you enjoy eating, add some dried fruits for a sweet and tangy flavor, or add more seeds and even dark chocolate bits for a fully loaded loose granola.
I had trying to cut back on refined sugar both at home and when eating outside. It is quite challenging especially for someone like me who live for the end of the meal to have a dessert, not to mention snacking. I thought making my own granola is a good start, I’m not saying it is 100% healthy, but it is a lot better than most sweets I usually eat. Here are reasons why you should give homemade granola a chance.
- Cheaper than store bought
- Easy to make – this can be made with or without the oven
- Flexible – feel free to make variations, mix and match ingredients that you like
- Easy to make – you can make this everyday without no fuss, this is mostly just mixing ingredients, you don’t even need a mixer. A simple one bowl recipe
- No preservatives- need I say more
Lately I had been having yogurt for breakfast more often than usual. I find them perfect for busy mornings when all I need it something to keep me going before I have the time to have a proper breakfast. Plain yogurt can be quite boring at times so I always dress it with toppings. Some fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, dried fruits and sprinkles, a lot of granola. Since I have all the ingredients I need to be able to make my own granola, so I thought why not. So here we are, talking about this super easy homemade granola. I called it Very Nutty Granola but there’s more to it than nuts. There’s pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds too, shredded coconut, chia seeds and dried cranberry. It’s basically a handful of treat in every scoop.
Tips in Making Homemade Granola
- Us the Right Type of Oats – I always use rolled oats when making homemade granola. The big and thick pieces hold well when baked, and it crisp just nicely. I imagine quick cooking oats will be too soft and just when mixed in with liquid, while steel cut oats are very small flakes and quite haard
- You need Fat! Fat provides moisture and crunch to granola, so do not skip it. Yes, you heard me right. You need fat to produce a nice crunchy granola. I like using coconut oil for all my granola, but milk olive oil will work too, or any flavorless oil.
- The Order of Adding thee Ingredients matter – My rule of thumb, add the ingredients that takes longer too bake, add dried fruits last or anything that could get dry and burn easily. Adding fried fruits too early could dry it even more, or worst, burn it. So take note of what you add during and after baking the granola. Nuts, seeds and oats are ok to go first as they can stand heat without burning too fast. Flaked mix in like coconut or sliced Almonds are advisable to add close to the end of baking to avoid them from toasting too much. Dried fruits comes last after you have already taken the granola out of the oven. Chocolate chips or chunks are the very last to add when the granola had the chance to cool down.
- Add Salt – This is also a MUST for me when making homemade granola. Salt enhances the flavor and taste of the granola, and sometimes balances the sweetness especially when adding sweet mixed in like chocolate nibs. The sweet and salty always works for me.
- Clumps are Good – If you want to have clusters in the granola, make sure the press the granola firmly on the sheet. Mix and break as loosely as possible to retain big clusters.
- Know When it is Done – Is it done yet? Good question. I’ve made quite a lot of homemade granola before, and sometimes the baking time vary each time. This depends on the mix in I used. Hard nuts like Almonds and Cashew tend to toast longer, while pecan and walnuts toast quicker. Slight browning is good enough as the remaining heat will continue to cook the granola, do not wait it to be fully toasted and browned. The mixture will get crunchier and harder as it cool down. The analogy is similar to when baking a cookie. You want to take it out while it is still not fully bake in the middle as the remaining heat will continue to bake the cookie. Anyway to tell is when you can start to smell the toasted nuts, it is a good indication that it is almost done or close to being done.
How to Store Homemade Granola
For longer shelf life, cool the granola completely and store in an airtight jar. leave at least 1-inch from the top and do not squeeze in the granola. The extra space will make it easier to break it apart if you want a loose granola. All you have to do is to shake it. You can keep the container on a cool, dry spot on the counter top away from direct sunlight (2 weeks) or keep it in the refrigerator for longer shelf life, about 6 months (or longer) but mine doesn’t last that long anyway. This granola taste so good I cannot stop putting this on my oatmeal, yogurt, breakfast cereals and parfait. I always keep it refrigerated and it stays crunchy just like the first day I made it.
How to Use/Serve Homemade Granola
You can use homemade granola as topping for smoothie bowl, yogurt bowl, yogurt parfait or simply snack on it. It is such a versatile item to have at home.
- 1 cup Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup mixed Nuts (I used a mix of Almond, Cashew and Pecan)
- 3 tablespoon Sunflower Seeds
- 3 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 3 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 3 tablespoon Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Seed
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberry
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seed
- Pre-heat the Oven to 350F. make sure the oven temperature is correct, an oven thermometer is very useful to check this. Higher than 350 could easily burn the granola. Mix: In a large bowl, add the rolled oats, mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, salt, coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Make sure there is no lumps of brown sugar
- Transfer in a Baking Sheet: Transfer the granola in a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spread on the pan and lightly press to compact.
- Bake: Bake for 30 minutes, mixing after every 10 minutes. If you prefer cluster of granola, gently break the mixture. On the last 10 minutes, add the shredded coconut and sesame seed.
- Cool: Add the chia seed and dried cranberry and stir. Let cool completely before transferring in a jar
Makes 1 1/2 cups
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