Big, crunchy clusters of lightly sweetened oats and almonds and a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, and honey flavor make this the best, easy homemade granola recipe that our family loves!
Store-bought granola doesn’t hold a candle to the homemade stuff. And it’s so pricey! You can make superior granola in your own kitchen which won’t just taste better, it will also be better for you since it doesn’t have the excessive sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives used in the kind of granola you get at the store.
At our local farmer’s market, there is a granola stall which sells about 20 varieties of granola. They are always such a temptation for me, but the price for a small bag is outrageous! And even the best store-bought varieties often taste stale to me. Especially after you’ve had the real deal easy homemade granola that takes less than five minutes to throw together.
Plus, you can take this basic granola recipe and make it your own by adding any mix-ins you like, such as dried fruit, seeds, coconut, nut butters, or even chocolate to create gourmet granola flavors like the kind I always salivate over at the farmer’s market.
Ingredients in Homemade Granola
Old-fashioned oats: Chewy, hearty old-fashioned oats are the base of any granola recipe. You can purchase gluten-free oats, if you need gluten-free granola. Just be sure to avoid quick-cooking oats, which have a different texture and won’t cook the same and give you the same texture as the old-fashioned kind.
Nuts/Seeds: I keep it super simple and straightforward with sliced almonds in this recipe, but you can switch them out for whole almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, coconut, flax seeds, or whatever else you like. Just be sure that if you are mixing in coconut or using nuts that are already toasted to add them toward the halfway point while baking so they don’t burn.
Butter/Oil: Granola needs a little bit of fat to help it crisp and assist with flavor and binding. Butter is my go-to because, well, butter, but vegetable oil would work too, and coconut oil is probably your healthiest option.
Sweetener: I will be upfront and admit that I prefer a sweeter granola, which is why I have both brown sugar and honey in this basic granola recipe. Each imparts their own unique flavor. Not that there are excessive amounts of either in here, but if you prefer a less sweet granola you could decrease, or even eliminate the brown sugar and just use the honey to sweeten the oats here. Real maple syrup is another good alternative as a natural sweetener with an interesting flavor.
Egg whites: The secret to getting big clusters in your granola is to use an egg white to help bind the oats together. It also helps to press the granola down into the baking sheet using the back of a wooden spoon so that it compacts a little more, then letting the granola cool completely before breaking it up.
Spices: A little cinnamon gives warmth and depth of flavor to this granola, but too much cinnamon can overpower the subtler vanilla/almond/honey flavor that I love about this particular version and give you more of a cinnamon granola (which is also delicious but just not what I was going for when I was recipe testing for this post). You could double or even triple the amount of cinnamon in here with good results if that’s a flavor you want more of, or use cardamom or gingerbread, apple pie, or pumpkin spice blends if you have them in your cupboard.
Other flavors and mix-ins: The sky is really the limit here, but some of my favorites are vanilla (used in this recipe), peanut butter, cocoa powder, dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples, etc.), or chocolate chips. Although if you want to add chocolate chips, they will need to be added at the end after the granola is completely cooled or they will just melt.
How Long Does Homemade Granola Stay Fresh?
Homemade granola lasts for about 2 weeks if you let it cool completely, then store it in an airtight container. But if your family is anything like mine, it probably won’t last that long.
You could even freeze the granola to keep it fresh longer.
How Do YOU Granola?
Homemade granola is perfect for just eating out of hand. It’s great for taking on hikes or to the park and my kids love snacking on it that way.
But I especially love to use this granola to make fruit and yogurt parfaits for breakfast or even as a healthier dessert. It’s also excellent with milk poured over it and some strawberries sliced in.
You can even add a handful of granola to a salad, especially one with fruit like berries or apples, to add crunch!
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg white
- Heat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Move the center rack up a level so it's on the second level from the top.
- Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. In a small, separate bowl, stir the melted butter, honey, vanilla and egg white together, then drizzle over the oat mixture, stirring together until well-combined.
- Transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread it out in an even layer. If you want large chunks of granola, flatten into an even layer with a spatula, adding pressure so the granola is nice and compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through for even toasting, until golden and crispy and the almonds look lightly toasted.
- Remove from oven and let the granola cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Keeps for 2 weeks at room temperature.
You could easily substitute coconut oil or even just vegetable oil for the butter, if you prefer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305 Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 188mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 17g Protein: 7g
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