Homemade granola is one of the best batch recipes I make. Everyone in my family loves it, and it is a quick, no fuss recipe that I can whip up anytime.
While sometimes the recipes I post here tend to be a little more on the indulgent side, that doesn’t mean that I don’t tend to cook from scratch and eat relatively healthy meals most days. It’s just more fun to post the desserts and the donuts and the muffins and the chocolate. This homemade granola though? It’s easily one of my favorite things to make, partly because it’s so versatile and partly because it tastes so good that it’s hard to remember sometimes that it’s actually good for me.
Part of the fun of granola is that you can easily dress it up to fit your personal preferences. I happen to adore cherries in all forms, and so my homemade granola almost always has dried cherries in it. Sometimes I add dried blueberries for variety, but there’s something about the sweet tart bite of the dried cherry in my homemade granola that keeps me putting them in every time.
I also add chia and flax and hemp seeds to give me all the health benefits of those superfoods, while also giving it a slightly nutty taste and crunch that I enjoy without actually adding any nuts. Yes, my homemade granola is nut-free. And dairy free. And you can easily make it vegan by substituting the honey for agave, as I often do. Aside from the honey, I add no extra sugar. The sweetness in this comes from just enough honey, along with the coconut that gets beautifully toasted while baking and the dried cherries.
And yes, when I make this, I almost always make a double batch because everyone eats it until it’s gone, and we enjoy it in so many different ways. Growing up, I spent some time living in Belgium, and eating meusli over yogurt was de rigueur. As an adult, I mimic that to some degree with the a super fast breakfast where I add Greek yogurt to a bowl and top it with my homemade granola. Delicious, simple, and yes, plenty healthy.
This is also one of those foods that I can eat just plain. I’ll add some of my homemade granola to a bowl and enjoy it plain as a snack. Ok, and sometimes I don’t even wait for the bowl… I just pour some into my hand and enjoy.
The wee ones’ favorite way to enjoy the granola lately, however, is in a smoothie bowl. Little Miss discovered the joy of the smoothie bowl a couple months ago, and when I told her we could make them at home, her eyes widened. She asks for this regularly now, and no matter how we may swap out different fruits in the smoothie or toppings for the smoothie bowl, the homemade granola always gets added. Even Mister Man who doesn’t “like” protein smoothies will sit down and gobble up a bowl if I add the granola and a few other bits of yum to it. Go fig.
And making it is a breeze.
How to Make Homemade Granola
Granola is pretty easy to make. You mix together the dry ingredients, pour the oil and honey over them and stir before baking. Granted, when you first pour the liquids over the dry items you think there’s no way it’s all going to be coated, but have faith. It spreads nicely as you have patience stirring, and as you bake, it melts a little more and thins so that when you stir during the baking process, everything gets a perfect coating while still not being too sweet.
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.
Add the oatmeal – real oats, not the quick cooking kind or the kind you get in packets – to a bowl, along with the coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until everything is fairly evenly distributed.
Did you notice what I didn’t add? No sugar, no salt, and if you use certified gluten free oats, this is a gluten free recipe, as well. It’s amazing what you don’t miss when you have the right mix of flavors. Again, I’m adding nutmeg to my baking. I shared in my mini donuts recipe that this is one of my favorite spices to add to everything, and I wasn’t joking.
Add the oil to a measuring cup and the honey on top of it. Pour over the oat and stir with a spatula until the honey and oil are evenly distributed.
Pour the whole mixture onto a jelly roll pan lined with a sil pat to make cleanup easier. If you don’t have a silt pat, use parchment paper, but the sil pay definitely works best. Place into the oven for 12 minutes.
While this is baking, chop your dried cherries lightly, just enough so that they’re in small enough pieces to mix nicely with the oats. A whole dried cherry is just too much in one bite. They may stick together a little to start, but they easily start to separate as you stir them in.
After 12 minutes, remove from the oven and add the cherries atop the homemade granola. Stir so that the top is the bottom, bottom is the top, inside is out and vice versa, which also incorporates the cherries everywhere. Return to the oven for another ten minutes and repeat. Bake for one last ten minute stretch, by which point the mixture should start to be an even golden color throughout.
Let cool for five or so minutes, and the granola will firm up. At this point, I lift up one side of the sil pat, which starts to break up the hardened granola and repeat for all four sides. It breaks nicely into chunks, and you can choose how large or small you want your homemade granola to be. Place into a sealed container and keep on the counter for up to two weeks.
This easy to make homemade granola is plenty healthy and tastes great. Enjoy in a smoothie bowl, over yogurt, with milk, or by itself.
- 4 c oats
- 3/4 c coconut, flaked
- 1 c flax seeds
- 1/3 c chia seeds
- 1/2 c hemp hearts
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2/3 c honey
- 1 c dried cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour in olive oil and honey, and mix with a large spatula until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into a sil pat lined jelly roll pan and place in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.
- While granola bakes, chop cherries. After 12 minutes, remove from oven and add cherries, stirring granola to mix cherries in and ensure the granola bakes evenly.
- Return to oven and bake 10 minutes, stirring again. Bake a final 10 minutes, then let cool for five minutes.
- Lift corners of sil pat one at a time to break up the granola. Feel free to break it up further, as desired. Place in an airtight container and store on the counter for up to two weeks.