With these granola recipes (well, one basic recipe and a gazillion different ideas for how to change it up) you’ll be prepared for morning munching and snack mixes, for car rides or camping. Make a huge batch at a time and keep until it runs out--and trust me, it never lasts as long as I think it will.
I’ve been making granola for a few years now. There are several popular ways to do it, but this method is by far the best. A lot of directions tell you to cook the grains on a cookie sheet and to flip half way through baking.
Perhaps you have better coordination with spatulas and hot cookie sheets than I do but I always lost at least ⅓ of the batch on my floor when I tried it. Though my dog certainly enjoyed this method the best, I prefer using a roasting pan because you can get the grains crispy without spilling a ton.
Store bought granola tends to be pricey and supa sweet. Making your own at home gives you the freedom and control of putting in the amount, and kind of sweetener you want, use whichever grains you like and add in any accouterments you desire.
These granola recipes also let you opt for whole grains which are much better for your hot bod. You can use rolled oats, quinoa, barley or just about any other rolled or flaked grain. I like using the quinoa to get a little extra protein and B vitamins (but consider this fair warning, it is quite crunchy).
Basic Granola Recipe
- 7 cups of rolled oats (I like rye oats for a change)
- ¾ cup of either honey or agave
- 2 cups of mixed nuts
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1½ cups of dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, figs...)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Put a large roasting pan (I actually use my dutch oven) over med-high heat. Add the oats, nuts and spices. Toss gently allowing grains to dry roast for abut 15 minutes. Then add the vanilla and honey/agave. Stir until incorporated and put whole roasting pan in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take it out every 10 minutes or so to stir. It’s done when the oats are golden brown. And trust me, you'll smell its deliciousness.
- Mix in your dried fruit and let it cool for an hour until it’s no longer warm. It gets slightly crispier as it cools. (But you can totally snack on it as soon as it comes out of the oven. Just don't put it in storage until completely cool.)
Variations on the Basic Granola Recipe
- Use different grains or combinations like 4 cups rolled oats, 2 cups quinoa and 1 cup bulgar. The quinoa makes it super crunchy.
- Mix in freshly ground flax seed to boost the omega-3 count.
- Sprinkle in some coconut flakes before roasting.
- Opt for a different sweetener or different amounts. Maple syrup is a good alternative.
- Swap up your dried fruits. I love chopped apricots, golden raisins, cranberries, mangos cherries, blueberries or regular old raisins.
- Use seeds like pepitas, chia or sunflower seeds in place or in addition to the mixed nuts.
- Change the flavor by using different spices and extracts. Almond extract is great or you can get a little wild by using banana, hazelnut, butter pecan...almost any extract works.
- You can add a couple tablespoons of your favorite fruit juice like apple juice or a berry blend to change up the flavor.
- Add chocolate chips or m&m’s to make it more like a trail mix.
- Granola is all about the mix-ins. You can make tons of different types! Hip hip hooray for granola! Okay, I'm done now.