A couple years ago, I started making granola at home. I was fed up with buying those overpriced, “healthy” bags from the store. I wanted a recipe that was satisfying yet good for you at the same time.
So, why is this one my favorite?
It’s all natural, not too sweet, and I love the flavor combination. To make this recipe, I combine equal amounts of organic oats and puffed rice cereal. This ratio gives it a light and crispy texture. I sweeten it with pure maple syrup and add dried cherries, hazelnuts, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Now of course you can switch up the ingredients here, but the hazelnut & coconut combo is unexpectedly delicious!
I make a batch of granola at least once a week as it has become a staple in our house. When friends ask for a recipe, this is the one I recommend. Need a quick gift? Pack it up in mason jars and give it away (jingle bells…jingle bells…)
If you are interested in making your own granola, below is an in-depth list of tips that you might find useful. Although I am not an expert, it sure has helped me get on my way!
- The Oats- Old fashioned or instant oats? I’ve heard that you can use both, but for this recipe I like the texture of old fashioned oats. You can also use the gluten free kind. To save a couple of bucks, buy your oats in bulk.
- The Cereal- For a light and crispy texture, add an equal amount of puffed rice cereal to the oats. Kashi or millet puffs will work too.
- The Binder- Butter vs. oil or none at all? In my opinion, granola needs a little fat to bind everything together and to crisp up. I tend to go with oil because I always have that on hand (coconut oil is an excellent option). The choice is up to you.
- The Sweetener– Sugar vs. syrups? Some granola recipes argue that sugar is necessary in order to brighten the flavor. I prefer maple syrup over sugar for its taste and healthiness. But in the past I’ve used sugar, maple syrup, agave, and honey interchangeably. Again, it’s up to you.
- The Add Ins- Some great combinations include apricot & almond, apple & walnut, and raisin, banana, flax seed. Organic dried fruit is best as the conventional kind usually contains pesticides (especially apricots & raisins).
- The Flavorings- Here’s where you can get creative… For the spices try cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and even curry powder. You can also experiment with different extracts such as vanilla or almond.
- Granola likes space. Spread it out evenly, in one layer, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake anywhere between 275-325 F. because…
- Granola can burn easily. Stir it about every 10 minutes or so to promote even cooking.
- Only add dried fruit and nuts towards the end of cooking. Add them sooner and they’ll burn (I speak from experience).
- When the granola is done, don’t stir it. This will allow it to stick together and clump up.
- Package your granola when it’s completely cool so that it doesn’t steam and get soft.
- Store in an airtight container or better yet, throw it in a Zip loc bag and FREEZE it. Who knew? This will prolong its shelf life and trust me, it works like a charm.
I told you the list was in-depth, right? Now go on, make some granola!Print
my favorite granola
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 1 quart
- 2 c. thick rolled or old fashioned oats oats (not instant)
- 2 c. puffed rice cereal
- 1/3 c. pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil or coconut oil (liquid)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- handful of dried cherries
- handful of hazelnuts, papery skins removed
- handful of unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat your oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, puffed rice cereal, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl combine the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla.
- Combine the 2 bowls together and mix well.
- Spread out the mixture evenly, in one layer, onto the baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to guide you.
- Bake in the oven stirring about every 10 minutes or so to keep it from burning.
- Remove the papery skins from the hazelnuts and give them a rough chop.
- After about 30 minutes, add the cherries, hazelnuts, and unsweetened coconut flakes. If you add them earlier, they will burn.
- Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. When your granola sounds ‘crispy’ it’s done.
- Remove from the oven and let is rest for about 15 minutes. Do not stir. While resting, the granola will have a chance to stick together and clump up.
- When completely cool, store your granola in an airtight container or in a Zip loc bag in the freezer.
- Enjoy with milk or with Greek yogurt and extra maple syrup if desired.
* It is best to use the unsweetened coconut for this recipe. If you cannot find flakes, you can substitute with unsweetened coconut shreds.
* Granola will last in an airtight container for about 2 weeks, and in the freezer for about 6 months.
I could not get it to make granola(wouldn’t clump) but it made a great cereal. I have made two batches, and since it didn’t clump, I decided to cut back on the maple syrup to 1/4 cup that was plenty sweet. I will probably try cutting back even more as maple syrup is loaded with sugar. I added pecans to the initial mix and they did just find baking the whole time. I’m okay with the no Clump cereal I love this recipe as I’m trying to watch my carbs, Fat and sugar.
I love this granola! I make it all the time. It is the only granola I make and I am sharing it with the world lol.
Emilie Raffa says
So glad you love it Leslie! We do too! xx
This is the BEST granola! Amazing with homemade yogurt or even as a cereal with milk poured over it. Thank you for sharing!
Emilie Raffa says
So glad you liked it! Thanks, Rebecca :)
I am allergic to coconut. Yes, it’s funny since I have a Hawaiian name. What can I substitute for coconut?
Thanks for the awesome recipe. Turned out great!!!
What a wonderful recipe! I made this earlier this week, but added dark chocolate chunks instead of dried fruit, since that’s what I had on hand. It disappeared quite quickly and I’ll be making many more batches :)
Stacey-Lee Swart says
Lovely recipe, love the coconut shavings :)
I add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper in the winter for a bit of heat.
Chopped dates are also a lovely added sweetness, instead of so much syrup. Noms…
Hi Stacey! What a lovely addition- cayenne pepper. I never would’ve thought of that. Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it with dates too next time…
I love this granola! I tweak the recipe a little by using honey and adding in a lot of seeds and nuts, but this is pretty much the only granola I make now, and I triple the recipe for my family of 6. Thanks so much!
Hello Sal! Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback, I really appreciate it. I’m so glad you like the granola recipe. Your addition of honey, nuts and seeds sounds wonderful. Isn’t making it yourself so easy? It certainly will save you a couple of bucks too, especially feeding a family of 6 ;) Enjoy, and thanks again for stopping by!
Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says
I’ve got a batch of this in the oven as I write this! I’ve been making my own granola for years but have never tried a recipe using puffed rice. Looking forward to trying it!
Oh, I love the puffed rice in my granola. It adds such a lovely, crispy texture. Do let me know what you think!
Just a quick thank you for your wonderful granola recipe. Put this together for my husband and wonderful trio of children staying with us and we all thought it was terrific. I used dried cranberries for no other reason than I like them to add a punch of color for the kiddos.
That is wonderful to hear! I’m so glad that you liked it. It’s a good, healthy staple. Thanks for stopping by :)
Maria | Pink Patisserie says
What gorgeous granola and really fantastic tips! Freezing it is genius, and I also love the idea of adding cardamom, my favorite spice! And I like how you mention that big holiday at the end of the year, without really mentioning it. :) Jingle bells indeed! :)
This looks so good! Thank you. I’ve been looking for a good granola recipe which isn’t too sweet or too fat for a very long time – I’m definitely trying this one!
Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! It’s hard to find a granola recipe that is somewhat healthy yet tasty isn’t it? Hope you like this one. Feel free to change it up to suit your flavor preference. Let me know how it goes :)
Yum, this looks delicious. I love homemade granola. PS your pictures are beautiful!
Thank you so much! We love homemade granola too. Enjoy the recipe!
Beautiful!! Pete makes his own muesli (untoasted), but I’d like yours better, I think! :)
Thanks Celia! I’m sure Pete’s version is delicious too :)
Mrs Mulberry says
Delicious recipe Emilie! Thank you for sharing – I’m going to make a batch this coming weekend!!
Thanks Mrs. M! Hope you enjoy it ;)