For quite some time, I’ve had the misconception that granola is difficult, or too time-consuming, to make. Over the last five or so years, I’ve been buying boxes of granola from the grocery store, and have had a hard time finding a brand that tastes right. This winter, my mother-in-law, Susan, gave me her granola recipe and it’s been a game changer.
My first bite of this homemade granola was everything I had wanted granola to be, but had missed out on—crunchy but not sharp, flavorful but not sickly-sweet, savory but not salty or bland. I immediately asked for the recipe, which she generously shared, and prefaced that her recipe is always changing based on what’s in the kitchen at the moment. I really liked the flexibility of this granola recipe, and I’ve made a few tweaks over the last few batches to form the recipe below.
Maybe I’ve just been buying the wrong brands of granola all these years, but I’m glad this all led me to trying something new and baking my own! When it comes to store-bought vs. a family recipe, there’s really no comparison. Thanks, Susan!
Simple Granola Recipe
This is a large batch granola recipe that can be cut in half easily if you want to make less. My husband and I eat granola like it’s going out of style, so I typically make the full recipe.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can add in, or take out, any “extras” you’d like—nuts, seeds, dried fruit, you name it! This recipe has a definite cinnamon flavor and aroma to it with a touch of sweetness. If you prefer your granola to be less sweet, omit the dried cranberries and vanilla, and cut the honey and/or maple syrup in half.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour
Total cooktime: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields about 8 cups of granola.
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup dried cranberries, unsweeted
- 1 cup brown flax seeds
- 1 cup pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Pre-heat the oven to 250 F.
Line two large cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients—oats, almonds, cranberries, flax seeds, pepitas, and cinnamon—until well incorporated.
Stir in the wet ingredients—olive oil, water, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla.
Once the dry and wet ingredients are well mixed, slowly pour your uncooked granola onto the lined cookie sheets. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth out lumps in the granola—you want the mixture to lay relatively flat on the sheets so it bakes evenly.
Bake at 250 F for 30 minutes.
Once the granola has baked for 30 minutes, take the cookie sheets out of the oven (be sure to leave the oven on!) and, using a spatula, turn/mix the granola on the sheets. This doesn’t need to be precise, but it allows for your granola to bake evenly so it gets a nice crispness to it.
Pop the granola-covered cookie sheets back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Once the granola has baked for an hour total, take the cookie sheets out and let it cool.
Store in a dry container.
Photos by Matt.