One of my favorite breakfasts consists of four ingredients: yogurt, fresh berries, honey, and homemade granola. I’m definitely one of those people who likes something sweet in the morning, so although this might not be the healthiest option, it’s better than a donut or big bowl of Lucky Charms.
For many years I’ve purchased pre-made granola from the store, and it suited me just fine. However, recently I thought I’d try making my own, using all of the granola-esque goodies that I love.
In case you’ve never made granola, it’s actually quite simple. Things like rolled oats, nuts, flaked coconut, and seeds get tossed together in a big bowl.
Then oil, honey, and seasonings are mixed together to form the “glue” and flavoring for that bowl of dried goodness.
Once those two pieces are in place, everything gets combined and baked at a low temperature for a couple hours. (At which point your entire house smells nothing short of amazing.)
One of the best things about granola is that you can change the ingredients to suit. Don’t like almonds? Try cashews. Not a fan of seeds? Add more nuts. As long as you keep the volume about the same, substitute with what you prefer to make it your own.
Once the granola is cool, store it in an airtight container for about a month. My guess is you’ll have eaten it before then. However, it’s always helpful to know the shelf life.
I love to eat my granola on yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. However, feel free to get creative. Swap the yogurt for milk and enjoy it as a cereal or use it when making crisps and cobblers. It also tastes great on its own as a snack.
Let’s whip up a batch!
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts
Here's what you will need:
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Begin by preheating your oven to 275 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the oil, honey, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Heat on medium-high, just until the mixture is about to boil. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture. Toss to evenly coat the dry ingredients.
Divide the granola in half and spread it in an even layer on two large baking sheets.
Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees F. Stir the granola once while baking. Remove from the oven; then stir the granola and place it back in the oven for an additional 1 hour, lowering the temperature to 250 degrees F. Stir again halfway through baking.
Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely. Break up any large chunks. Store the granola in airtight container(s) for up to one month.
Pretty easy, right?
While store-bought granola can do the trick, there’s something about homemade that is so good. I think it comes from knowing exactly what’s in it and how it was made. It feels personal and rustic. I just can’t get enough.
I hope this granola brightens your morning as much as it does mine. Enjoy!