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Food Matters

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4 Healthy Homemade Granola Recipes

One of my favorite smells to come home to as a child was that of baking granola. My mother used to make huge batches of it, freezing a chunk for later while keeping the other half in our pantry. I would eat it by the bowl full, mixed with yogurt or milk, for breakfast, desserts, and afternoon snacks. I’ve continued this tradition in my own home (making a few changes to the base ingredients), and I make it about once a week in the mornings now.

Homemade Granola Recipe

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together before integrating the honey, oil, and extract. The mixture does not need to be wet, just gently coated. Spread evenly over a lined baking tray.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir the contents and continue cooking for at least 5 more minutes. Do not exceed 30 minutes total in the oven.

Granola on baking tray

While the granola is cooling, stir the contents occasionally. It will not feel hard to the touch until it has cooled entirely. If you forget to stir the contents as it cools, you will likely get chunks of granola rather than loose pieces.

Chunks are great for eating with your hands on the go! Some batches of granola I intentionally form into chunks so that I can eat them while walking my dogs, in the car, etc.

Once it’s entirely cooled you can add dried fruit such as cherries, cranberries, or raisins. You can also add raw and toasted nuts, or bits of candy and chocolate. Be sure to mix it up nicely before storing in an airtight container.

Changing Up the Recipe

The beauty of granola is that it is incredibly versatile. You can easily swap around ingredients and add extra spices to make it seasonal or simply to change it to your desired taste.

Almond Granola Recipe

I love almond granola in the mornings. Something about it is so nourishing that I’ll crave it first thing waking up!

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup chopped almonds

Valentine’s Day Granola

This recipe is like a dessert and you can eat it with yogurt, milk, or even ice-cream!

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Autumn Granola

This recipe differs from the others as it has an extra step before baking in the oven.

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

Autumn Granola Dry Mixture 

Combine oats, brown sugar, shredded coconut, and pecans in a bowl, set aside. On the stove over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and spices. When mixture begins to simmer, quickly stir so that it does not burn. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract before pouring over dry ingredients in the bowl and mixing everything together. Spread evenly on a tray and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir the contents and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Follow previous steps listed above.

Autumn Granola glaze on stove

The End Result

Granola is an easy fix on a hungry morning when there’s nothing in the pantry. And the best part is that it comes together quickly so you can be eating it within the hour. I generally suggest eating it up within 7-10 days. If you think that the batch is too large to finish in that time, freeze it. It will thaw rapidly when needed next, and the freezing process doesn’t alter the taste or texture in my experience.

I want to suggest creativity within this recipe. If you don’t have refined coconut oil, you can use other oils such as canola or vegetable. If you don’t have any nuts or dried fruit, that’s fine too! You don’t need to add them for it to be delicious. No brown sugar? Not a problem! You can use granulated sugar, more honey, or even fruit juices to sweeten it instead. Work with what you have and remember that cooking and baking is an experiment as well as an experience. Enjoy it, have fun, and don’t worry if you burn something or it comes out odd (even inedible!) We’ve all done it, and we should strive to keep doing it, because that’s what experimenting is all about.

I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment below on your own baking experiments and granola recipes!


Leslie DianeWith a background in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a minor in English, Leslie Diane is currently studying at Prairie Wise Herbal School in Leavenworth, Kansas, with a goal of becoming a Master Herbalist. She is an avid gardener and a maker of tinctures, teas and baked goods. An aspiring author as well, she weaves tales of fantasy along with scarves, baby and pet blankets, and shawls on her table loom.