This basic homemade granola recipe can be customized for food preferences and allergies or to use whatever ingredients you happen to have in your pantry.
What’s your excuse for not making homemade granola? Do you think it will be hard? Couldn’t be easier! Afraid it won’t taste as good as store-bought? No way! Think you don’t have the right ingredients on hand? I bet you do!
I’m tackling those excuses head-on with this super easy, healthy, family pleasing homemade granola recipe that you can customize with whatever ingredients you happen to have in your pantry!
Why Homemade Granola Is So Much Better
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If you have an oven, a couple of mixing bowls and a rimmed baking sheet, you have no excuse for not making homemade granola! I’ve made more batches than I can count over the years and my family gobbles it up fast. I feel good that it’s full of healthy ingredients (and no unhealthy preservatives or additives) and is better for them than most breakfast cereal (although healthier, low-sugar breakfast cereals do exist).
Here’s why homemade granola is better than store-bought:
Lower Cost – An 8 to 12-oz bag of specialty granola can easily cost $8 to $12 ($1.00 per ounce). Meanwhile, raw rolled oats cost about $.10 or less per oz. (or pay a little bit more for organic rolled oats). I suggest buying nuts and dried fruit from the bulk bins (or at Costco, Trader Joe’s or Thrive Market) for good prices. Same goes for the sweeteners and oils used in granola – grab good deals when you see them and keep them stocked in your pantry.
Healthier – Beware! Store-bought granola can be very high in sugar and may contain unhealthy oils or other surprising ingredients like corn syrup, flour, or soy protein isolates. When you make your own granola, you have control over the amount and type of sugar, the type of oil and all of the other ingredients that go into it.
Customized Recipe – With my basic homemade granola recipe, it’s easy to customize each batch based on the ingredients you happen to have in the house and your family’s personal preferences and dietary needs.
Customizable Homemade Granola Recipe
The beauty of the recipe is that it is totally customizable. Start with a base of rolled oats, than add whatever nuts, and other mix-ins (shredded coconut, wheat germ, flax meal, chia seeds, hemp hearts), that you happen to have around. Then choose your sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar), as well as your favorite oil (organic coconut oil is my preference but you can use avocado oil, canola oil or even olive oil), and a blob of nut butter (optional but I think it makes the recipe!).
If someone in your household doesn’t like walnuts, divide the batch in half and use a different nut. If one persons loves apricots but the other grooves on dried cherries, you can please them both! This recipe is perfect for using up odds and ends in your pantry. One of my recent batches included pecans, almonds and walnuts, two types of coconut, and three different types of dried fruit!
By the way, this recipe makes a BIG batch (13 cups). If your family doesn’t motor through granola like mine does, feel free to cut the recipe in half. Keep in mind that granola can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of months without a problem or freeze it in an airtight freezer bag to pull out whenever you need it.
Here’s how to make homemade granola:
Grab the largest bowl you have. Mix together the oats, nuts and any other dry mix-ins you are using.
In a small saucepan, mix together the coconut oil, the nut butter and your sweetener of choice. Heat on low until everything is melted. Turn off heat and add vanilla and the salt.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly coated.
Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, roasting or broiling pan (spray with cooking spray first). I use 2 pans for this recipe.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned. Important: stir every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that it browns evenly. I usually give it 10 minutes to start and then move to 5 minute increments to ensure that it won’t get overcooked.
When granola has cooled, mix in the dried fruit.
Whatever You’ve Got Homemade Granola
- Rimmed baking sheet
- 8 cups rolled oats (use organic if possible)
- 3 cups nuts, seeds or other add-ins (ideas: shredded coconut, slivered almonds, sunflower nuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax meal, chia seeds, wheat germ, hemp hearts)
- 1 cup honey, maple syrup or other sweetener (I recommend 1/2 honey, 1/2 maple syrup or brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or other oil
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dried fruit (ideas: craisins, cherries, apricots, mangos, dates, raisins, dried apples)
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and any other dry toppings you are using (coconut, flax, wheat germ etc…)
- In a small saucepan, mix together the coconut oil, the peanut butter and your sweetener of choice. Heat on low until everything is melted. Turn off heat and add vanilla and the salt. (I prefer to melt ingredients together on the stove, but you can skip that step and mix room temperature ingredients together in a bowl if you prefer.)
- Pour sweetened mixture over dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly coated.
- Spread mixture onto 2 rimmed baking sheets (spray pans with cooking spray first or use parchment paper).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned. Important: Stir every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Let granola cool, then mix in the dried fruit.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months or freeze in airtight freezer bags. Makes approximately 13 cups or 26 1/2 cup servings.
What are your favorite granola mix-ins? Let us know in the comments!