Confident home cooking
You have to make this if you are a granola fan.
Breakfast/Brunch, Economical, Healthy, Vegetarian

Homemade Hearty Granola

by Nick

My girlfriend and official Macheesmo taste-tester loves granola. She eats it almost daily. While I do like it occasionally, I don’t love the stuff. Recently, I was having a bowl of hers and thought: HECK. I can make this stuff.

Turns out I was right.

After doing some research and looking at MANY different recipes, I realized that granola is kind of like one of those “Make-a-bear” workshops. I’ve never actually been in one of those shops but I think I get the general idea. You go in and pick out your teddy bear, your outfit, and your characteristics with the goal of giving the drab old teddy bear some personality. You get to make it “yours”. Genius marketing if you ask me.

Granola is very similar. There are dozens of variations and probably hundreds of additions that you can use to give it some personal flare. You can go on the cheap with some basic rolled oats, honey, and cinnamon, or you can get extremely luxurious.

Yield
About 10 cups
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Basic Homemade Granola

Ingredients

  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups various nuts/seeds. I used 1/2 cup of each of the following: Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chopped cashews, sliced almonds.
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Ghirardelli's cocao powder
  • 1 cup honey.
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions

1) Add all of your nuts and seeds to your rolled oats and mix it up really well. Some other options you could use include walnuts, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts, Macadamias, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and on and on and on.

2) Then put in whatever spices you would like along with your sticky stuff. I chose cinnamon, coca powder, and honey. Again though, there are tons of options: anise, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, poppy seed, maple syrup, or molasses just to name a few possibilities.

3) Now for really the only hard part of this recipe: stirring. This stuff will be pretty thick and you want to make sure that all of your honey and spice is evenly distributed. Stir it for a few minutes to make sure it is well-combined.

4) Then pour out your mixture onto a baking sheet and spread it out to form one even layer. If you use the above recipe you will either need two baking sheets or to do it in batches. It's a lot.

5) Bake granola at 350 degrees F. for somewhere between 25-30 minutes. STir it once halfway through and check it regularly after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.

6) When it's done baking, stir in fruit and let cool completely. STore in an airtight container.

Adapted from Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

I chose somewhere in the middle, but still started with plain old rolled oats.

Rollin with the oats.

Rollin’ with the oats.

I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from this book because I trust him. I made a few alterations, but kept the proportions the same.

These are a great addition to anything.

These are a great addition to anything.

Add all of your nuts and seeds to your rolled oats and mix it up really well. Some other options you could use include walnuts, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts, Macadamias, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and on and on and on.

Don’t add more than two or two and a half cups of this stuff though or they will overpower the granola.

This bowl just got way healthy.

This bowl just got way healthy.

Then put in whatever spices you would like along with your sticky stuff. I chose cinnamon, coca powder, and honey. Again though, there are tons of options: anise, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, poppy seed, maple syrup, or molasses just to name a few possibilities.

Again though, don’t over do it. I would choose two or maybe three spice additions and a base. If you add to many then it starts to taste like nothing at all. Choose wisely, young backpacker.

Honey makes oats into granola.

Honey makes oats into granola.

Now for really the only hard part of this recipe: stirring. This stuff will be pretty thick and you want to make sure that all of your honey and spice is evenly distributed. Stir it for a few minutes to make sure it is well-combined. Don’t worry, dude, you can’t over-stir granola.

Then pour out your mixture onto a baking sheet and spread it out to form one even layer. If you use the above recipe you will either need two baking sheets or to do it in batches. It’s a lot.

Miles and miles of granola.

Miles and miles of granola.

You want to cook this at 350 for somewhere between 25-30 minutes. My first tray I cooked for 30 minutes and it was borderline burnt. My second tray I cooked for 27 minutes and it was spot on perfect. I think this varies depending on oven and ingredients you use.

I would start watching it pretty closely after 25 minutes. The last thing you want to do is burn a whole batch of this stuff!

Once it is done pull it out but leave it on your baking sheets to cool. Then sprinkle on all of your dried fruit or half of it if you are working it batches. It is semi-important to add the fruit while the granola is still hot so the flavors start to blend.

Then let it cool completely and store it in an airtight container. The stuff will last for a very long time which is good because it makes a bunch.

This recipe makes like 40 of these.

This recipe makes like 40 of these.

One reason why I like this recipe oh so much is because granola is expensive. In DC, one 13 ounce box of granola in the store costs $4.19. This entire recipe costs me $18 and made the equivalent 3.5 boxes of granola. While the cost appears to be more for the homemade version, I have nuts, seeds, and dried fruit left over to make a second batch if I wanted to. All I would need is the oats which run about $1.30/lb.

I had a bowl of this for breakfast this morning and I must say that it was very delicious. Maybe there’s something to this granola craze after all.

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11 comments on “Homemade Hearty Granola

  1. Nick, you can also add bran flakes at the oatmeal stage. I recommend this because everyone can use a little more bran in their life but it also adds an awesome depth of flavor. Also, glad to see that you didn’t burn the oatmeal…

  2. Haha. Yea I went to Whole Paycheck. If you just buy stuff from their bulk section it isn’t too bad though. I’m not really sure where else to get bulk seeds and nuts around my neighborhood.

    They have a pretty good selection and I’m pretty sure it worked out to be a bit cheaper or the same price as store-bought granola.

    @Korilinka: Yes. Bran flakes would be a good addition. I would add 1/2 cup.

  3. I have made this granola twice in the past month, it really is amazing. I personally love the cocoa powder in this, it is so subtle. After trying various granola recipes over the past 20+ years, this one has everything. I think it is great that you say that adding too many spices makes it taste like nothing at all, you nailed that description. Being a native Vermonter, I used half honey and half Grade B Maple syrup. Yay!

  4. Nick, I just made this and I totally burned it. How do I know when it's done? I was waiting for the honey to feel dry — but it definitely didn't get there. Any suggestions?

  5. @ Zoe

    Oh no! Burned granola!

    It drys out more and turns crunchy as it cools… you have to be careful with granola. I definitely burned the first batch I made also. When the oats start to brown a bit, it's done. :)

    It's also kind of oven-dependent so you have to keep a pretty close eye on it! Sorry it didn't work out! Trust me… it's totally worth retrying it. ;)

  6. You are right about Granola being a "make as you like" recipe. A couple of suggestions for you — use Flax Meal, ground flax is more digestible than whole seeds. Throw in wheat germ, wheat bran, and/or oat bran to add more nutrition & fiber. Substitute some unsweetened applesauce for the honey. Here is my recipe, I store it in quart jars in the fridge.

    6 cups rolled oats

    1 cup almonds, chopped

    1/2 cup sunflower seeds

    1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds

    1/2 cup sesame seeds

    1/4 cup wheat germ

    1/4 cup flax meal

    1/4 cup wheat bran, or 1/4c more wheat germ

    1/2 cup shredded coconut meat

    1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce

    1/3 cup honey

    2 tablespoons canola oil

    1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

    1/3 cup raisins

    1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

    1/3 cup dried papaya, chopped

    1/3 cup dates, chopped

    Mix dry ingredients. Stir in combined wet ingredients. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from oven, cool slightly. Stir in fruit. Completely cool before storing in jars. Refrigerate.

  7. Amazing – I didn’t even know you could make granola. My boyfriends goes through it in huge bowl fulls and it costs a lot, plus there is only really about 3 servings for him in the packs. He also doesn’t like the high added sugar content in the store bought stuff.

    I’m going to try this and add in chocolate chips at the end to some of the batch for me as I;m a sucker for chocolate cereal

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