With just the right amount of maple syrup sweetness, this healthy combo of oats, nuts, dried cranberries, and flaky coconut is an easy granola recipe you can eat chunky or clumpy, and perfect to eat with yogurt or milk.
Let’s clear one thing up: All granola is not created equally. Nor is granola always made with healthful intentions. Too often it’s loaded with artificial sugars, fortifiers, and sweeteners, or jacked up with so many loaded ingredients you may as well reach for a candy bar instead.
THAT is not THIS granola. And THAT is why making homemade granola is THE BEST idea ever.
This easy granola recipe is a basic starter for so many good things to come. It’s made with real, whole ingredients and sweetened with pure maple syrup that won’t leave you feeling you just ate dessert for breakfast. It’s ready for yogurt parfaits, or eaten as cereal for breakfast, or snacked on whenever hunger strikes.
It’s not overly sweet so is easily adaptable for the addition of dried fruit, chocolate chips or chunks, and a variety of spices to change up it’s flavor.
The Best Homemade Granola Recipe
Over the years I’ve enjoyed this granola recipe plus other versions thanks to the cravings of my friend Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod. She’s brought bags of it to snack on during blogging trips we’ve shared, or served it on our breakfast bars during retreats we’ve hosted.
So when I saw it made the recipe list in her cookbook, Two Peas and Their Pod Cookbook: Favorite Everyday Recipes from Our Family Kitchen, I knew it was a staple I should add to my kitchen, and to yours too.
Best Basic Granola Ingredients
Grocery store shelves are loaded with granolas of all sorts of flavor combinations and where you can glean some really great inspiration. But this recipe is where you’ll get your start. It’s the beginnings of what can become when you add your own spin. Or, forget about adding anything extra and keep on rolling in the oats by keeping it basically the best.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Old fashioned rolled oats: Heart healthy, old fashioned oats help control cholesterol and contain beta-glucan which helps slow digestion. Avoid using quick oats or 1-minute oats that don’t have as flat a surface.
- Pecans, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds: Or, try pistachios, cashews, walnuts or other favorite for a dose of healthy fat.
- Unsweetened coconut flakes: This may be my favorite part because I LOVE coconut. I add a few more flakes than called for pretty much every time.
- Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon is a classic with oats, but feel free to try pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, or nutmeg too.
- Pure maple syrup: Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener without all the fake ingredients. Use honey if you prefer.
- Coconut oil: There’s hardly any flavor to coconut oil, or use a fruity olive oil instead.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla rounds out the syrup for just the right depth.
- Dried fruit: I like dried cranberries for their sweet bite, but raisins, currants, dried apricots, apple, and mango are tasty too.
- Kosher salt: Salt brings out the flavor of everything, especially bland oats. Don’t skip it.
- Egg white: The whipped egg white acts as a binder but also gives the granola a softer bite after baking.
Tips for Great Granola
Keep your nuts nutty. Use a combination of large and small nuts for variety of shapes and flavor. I roughly chop large nuts like pecans and almonds in half so they stay chunky. You want to be able to taste them, not have them disappear into the oats.
Add an egg white for clumps. Adding a whisked, frothy egg white to the granola mixture helps bind the grains and nuts together, and makes a softer chew and clumpier chunk. If you’re into a really crunchy granola, leave the egg white out.
Coco for coconut. If you don’t want too-browned coconut, add the coconut flakes half way through baking so they become just barely golden.
Prepare your baking sheet. For easy clean up and to avoid too much crisping, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a re-usable Silpat liner.
Add the fruit after baking. Don’t bake the dried fruit, but add it after baking instead. I like to add it while the oats are still warm so it softens just a little bit as it cools, melting just the slightest bit into the oats and nuts.
More Granola Mix-In Ideas
- Chocolate chips or chunks, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, or M&Ms
- Shredded coconut along with coconut chips
- Dried fruits like raisins, currants, golden raisins, dried apple, dried mango, dried apricot
- Candied ginger
- Spices like chai, ginger, pumpkin spice, nutmeg
How Long To Bake Granola
If baked on too high a heat, oats and nuts can burn before you realize it. For the best granola, bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven while the oats mixture is still a little soft, as it will continue to crisp as it cools.
How to Make Clumpy Granola
Adding the frothy egg white helps the granola bind as it cooks, then cools and sets to create clumpier chunks that won’t fall apart when broken into clumps.
Another helpful method is to use the spatula to gently press the granola into the pan after stirring it half way through baking, then again when it’s still hot from the oven.
How to Store Homemade Granola
Granola can be stored in glass containers or zip freezer bags for up to 1 month.
More Fast Healthy Breakfast Ideas
- 19 Healthy Breakfasts For When You Don’t Have Time To Eat
- Chewy Almond Butter Power Bars
- Avocado Toast with Tomato and Hard Boiled Egg
- Cherry Berry And Banana Overnight Oats
- Healthy Homemade Egg McMuffin
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make Easy Healthy Granola
- 3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup roughly chopped almonds
- ½ cup roughly chopped pecans
- ½ cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. Mix the maple syrup and melted coconut oil with the vanilla and drizzle over the oat mix. Stir so that all ingredients are well coated. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy then gently stir in into the granola mixture.
- Pour the granola on to the parchment paper covered baking sheet. Gently pat it down while spreading it evenly on the sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until golden browned, stirring half way through. The granola should still be somewhat unset when it comes out of the oven but will firm up and dry as it cools.
- Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet without stirring. Sprinkle the cranberries over the warm granola. When cool, crumble the granola into big chunks. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
More Breakfast Recipes Made with Oats
- Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe For Steel Cut Oats Or Rolled Oats
- Coconut Baked French Toast With Oatmeal Crumble
- Blueberry Oatmeal Quick Bread
- No-Bake Cookie Bars With Chocolate, Cherries And Chia Seeds
- Slow Cooker Baked Oatmeal with Banana and Nuts
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