This recipe for Healthy Homemade Granola is more nutritious than the average store-bought kind. It’s lightly sweetened with honey and maple syrup, and full of heart-healthy oats. Bake up a big batch at home (and save money, too!).
Breakfast is a meal I’m often prone to skip. If I don’t have something made ahead or that’s quick to grab, then I’m running on pure caffeine until noon. Thankfully, there are a couple of recipes that I can rely on for a quick bite. Some of you may remember this Perfect Baked Oatmeal recipe – total life saver! Well, this Healthy Homemade Granola is another one. It’s full of healthy plant-based protein from nuts and complex carbs from oats. I make up a big batch and then store it airtight on the countertop for easy breakfast fixin’s.
The two ways I eat this homemade granola most often is 1. layered with Greek yogurt parfait-style, and 2. in a bowl with a splash of oat milk, cereal-style. It’s so packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins, that it sustains me until lunchtime and sometimes well beyond!
Choose your adventure.
First, in your largest mixing bowl, stir up the nuts, grains and seasonings. You could use a deep Kitchen Aid stand mixer bowl for mixing this granola, if you have one. I used oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds in this. But you could use any raw nut or seed that you prefer. Whole almonds, flaxseed, uncooked quinoa, are all so wonderful in granola. Feel free to swap in your favorite ingredients!
Next, stir together the wet ingredients: olive oil, wildflower honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
I prefer to use heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe. Normally, I strictly use EVOO as a condiment (to drizzle or dip) but it’s really nice here and more nutritious than other oils. Or, use sunflower oil (low in saturated fats) or grapeseed oil (contains vitamin E). Avoid vegetable oils that are very high in saturated fats.
Use the wet ingredients to ‘dress’ the granola. Stir everything together thoroughly, so that each grain, nut, and seed, gets coated with the wet mixture.
Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheets. Tamp it down into a nice even layer. Use light aluminum pans, if you have them. Because dark pans will often over-brown the granola. If you only have dark pans, reduce the bake time by 10 minutes, and watch carefully for the oats and nuts to turn golden.
Cool the granola completely on the pan. Then break it into chunks and add some chewy dried fruit. Dried cranberries are my fave but golden raisins are also wonderful. Organic dates give this mix extra sweetness without adding refined sugars. Buy whole pitted dates and give them a chop. They have a nicer texture than the bags of pre-chopped dates.
Making homemade granola makes me feel a little more savvy all-around. It’s delicious, practical, and I can make good judgments about the ingredients I put into it. It’s easy to switch up with different nuts and seeds. This large batch recipe can be divided to keep half on deck for breakfast, while the other half can be frozen for future use.
Healthy Homemade Granola
- 2 large baking sheets approximately 11×17 inches
- 6 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves or whole almonds, pecans halves, or a mixture of all
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds optional
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup wildflower honey
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries golden raisins are also great!
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large light colored baking sheets with parchment paper. (Don’t use dark pans; they tend to over-brown the oats and nuts.)
- In an extra-large mixing bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds if using. Also add the salt and cinnamon. Stir well to mix and disperse the seasonings throughout.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together the oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to stir and turn the mixture over, thoroughly mixing to coat every grain and nut. Divide the granola evenly onto the two prepared pans and use a spatula to pat the granola out into an even layer.
- Bake 12 minutes, then stir well on the pans; pat down the granola into an even layer again after stirring.
- Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven and let the granola cool completely on the pans. Don’t stir it yet! When the granola is completely cool, break it into big pieces for clusters of granola, or break it up finer to your preference. (I like a mixture of clusters and finer bits for eating it cereal-style in a bowl with milk.)
- Add the dried cranberries and dates to the granola. Lightly toss to disperse.
- This granola will keep well in an air-tight container for about 2 weeks. It freezes well, so you can double bag in freezer bags with the air removed, and store in the freezer for 2-3 months. Bring granola to room temperature before serving. See notes for serving suggestions.
- Munch on it like trail mix straight out of the container.
- Eat it from a bowl with a splash of milk.
- Layer it with yogurt in a glass or jar.
- Sprinkle it on French toast
- Stir it into to pancake batter.
- Sprinkle it on melted chocolate and let set for chocolate bark
- Coat apple slices in peanut butter and dip in granola.