Homemade Granola, with old-fashioned oats, nuts, cinnamon, coconut flakes, and a melted butter and honey coating to make the crunchiest honey flavored oat clusters! This granola recipe is a healthy way to add nutrition to your breakfast and tastes like Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal!
Add whole grains to your morning regime! This oat mixture is super healthy! Try our other homemade breakfast recipes to get your morning running! Like these, whole grain Sourdough English Muffins (made with freshly milled white wheat berries), or our naturally sweet No-Bake Energy Balls for the sweet tooth!
This is how homemade granola should be made! Perfectly flavored crunchy oat clusters are slowly baked in the oven for crisp and golden oats. It makes a tasty cereal (add cornflakes to stretch out the granola) or top this over your favorite yogurt. I find my husband snacking on it whenever and I don’t blame him! Who wouldn’t want to snack on this healthy granola? After all, this granola does taste like our favorite Honey Bunches of Oats cereal only minus all the preservatives!
It makes a ton, is very versatile, and can stay in an airtight jar for busy mornings! I haven’t tried freezing granola, but some folks do! Feel free to adapt your choice of nuts or sweetener, just omit part of the nuts to add dried fruits later on.
The Secret To Get Clumps In Granola
So, how do you make granola with clumps? The secret to getting those chunky oat clusters we all love in commercial cereals like Honey Bunches of oats is to bake honey coated oats in the oven, over low heat with minimum stirring. Stirring the oats too often will result in flakey oats and baking granola over normal baking temperatures will brown the oats too fast. It needs to done low and slow for crisp and golden flakes.
What is Granola?
Homemade Granola is a healthy snack, made from oats, nuts, coconut flakes and natural sweeteners. Healthy add-ins are commonly used like dried fruit and sometimes a combination of nuts like almonds or cashews. It makes a crunchy yogurt topping, a great base to a cereal, or a healthy snack to enjoy during the mid-day.
- Oats- I used Organic Regular Rolled Oats which is similar to old-fashioned rolled oats only not processed! I buy a 50lb bag of rolled oats from this organic bulk store. It’s whole grain at it’s best and isn’t messed with!
- Coconut flakes- I used unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Nuts- like almonds, cashews, pecans, and sunflower seeds can be used, however walnuts is what I had on hand. A combination of any nuts can be used.
- Salt- essential in perfectly seasoned granola.
- Cinnamon- the secret to those aromatic cereal flakes from Honey Bunches of Oats! It’s the binding ingredient to make oat clusters so delicious! Plus it’s like a natural sweetener.
- Wheat Bran- extra nutrition for a whole grain snack!
- Sweetener- the original recipe called for xylitol but I used brown sugar.
- Butter- needed to coat the oats. I also believe it’s what helps make crunchy granola
- Coconut Oil- the original Cinnamon Nut Granola recipe called for olive oil but I used coconut oil which actually turned out for the better (way tastier!)
Variations and add-ins?
The key steps to homemade granola is to keep it simple–oats, sweetener, and some kind of healthy fat like coconut oil are the basics to making granola. This basic formula can be adaptable any way you like it-dried fruits, a combination of nuts, or even maple syrup! Of coarse, cinnamon and coconut flakes work as natural sweeteners too with very good perfectly seasoned oats!
- Wheat Bran- extra nutrients!
- Pecans- chopped.
- Sunflower Seeds- toss with oats before baking.
- Cashews- chopped.
- Maple Syrup- use instead of honey.
- Almonds- like Honey Bunches of Oats this is the preferred choice.
- Xylitol- used to sweeten the granola, any natural sugar will work like stevia or coconut sugar.
- Olive oil- go for a neutral tasting oil like coconut oil.
Is Granola Good For You?
The grocery store has all kinds of speciality granola finds, but any home cook can make this basic granola recipe! It’s easy straightforward and after a few batches you can be inspired to add your own additions like different sweeteners, spices, or combination of nuts or fruits! You decide what healthy oils, nuts, and sweeteners you want to use in your homemade granola to the way you like it!
With the right ingredients granola can be really healthy, and in my opinion good-for-you and way better than factory made granola that you can easily buy off the shelves in grocery aisles. Cooking oats at home is a fun learning curve that can make you feel better when you serve it in a bowl of yogurt or milk! Your children will eat these oats!
What is the BEST Coating for Granola?
The coating for granola should be part fat (any healthy oils or butter) and part sweeteners. Healthy sweeteners like honey and maple syrup are ideal to make a healthy granola! If this recipe makes too much you can reduce the batch by a third and use 1/2 cup of honey, coconut flakes, and etc..
The oil will help toast the oats and the liquid sweeteners will give a sweet flavor to the granola! You wan’t to stick to the given proportions, which is more sweetness than healthy fats. Balance is key!
How To Get Clumpy Granola?
There is no special ingredients to making clumpy granola–the secret lies in how many times you stir the oats when baking. The only steps to simple chunks of granola is to stir once or twice at the most when baking. The oats will naturally clump when their not messed with frequently.
If you want really big clumps– pack the oats down tightly like you would for granola bars and then break up once the oats have cooled down. It’s a pretty simple process and actually makes the recipe even easier to work with!
Can I use Different Sweeteners?
Yes! Agave syrup, maple syrup or honey all work as great natural sweeteners! You can use all maple syrup if you wish and omit the little amount of brown sugar called for. Other sugars in place of brown sugar can be used like stevia or xylitol.
When is Granola Done?
It can be hard to determine the doneness of your granola when baking. The fact is granola doesn’t come out dry and crisp out of the oven, it actually dries further as it cools, which can be the tricky part. The key is to bake the oat mixture at a low temperature in the oven to dry out the oats, without browning the granola quickly.
Nobody wants over baked granola, besides it gets tends to get deeper and robust in flavor in a not-so-good way (even brings out the salt more!) Take it out of the oven when the edges have browned lightly and when the house smells like toasted honey! I like to cool the granola in the oven after I have turned off the oven. This helps dry out the oats without further baking them.
Can I Add Dried Fruit?
Dried fruits such as raisins, dried cranberries, and apricots can be incorporated into the granola mixture after it has baked. You don’t want to mess with the dehydrated state the fruits are in, by cooking them any further.
How Long Does Granola Last?
The storage period for store bought granola can last up-to a year! Homemade Granola doesn’t contain preservatives neither is it sealed with a heat sealer to prolong the shelf life. You want to be careful not to get any water into the granola mixture since mold can easily form. Use fresh in date ingredients and always store your granola in an airtight container or bag.
Storing: homemade granola can last up-to 4 months if properly maintained. You want to avoid reaching in with wet hands. Store in airtight containers and avoid leaving out in the open for long periods.
How to Serve Homemade Granola?
Granola can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner–plus as a snack or dessert! Here are some ideas to use homemade granola:
- Add granola on top of yogurts, smoothies, or toast!
- Eat it as a favorite breakfast cereal!
- Top it over a salad for lunch!
- Eat it with cottage cheese!
- Top it over pies or cobbler desserts!
- Use in energy bites!
- Mix and match any of the add-ins mentioned.
- Use all honey to make a natural and healthy dessert!
- Add a handful of chocolate chips for special treats.
- Bake at low temperature to dry out the oats!
How To Make Granola:
- 18x13" sheet pan
- 12 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 cups walnuts (chopped)
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP cinnamon (heaping)
- 1 1/4 cups wheat bran (can use freshly ground whole wheat flour with its bran)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
- Meanwhile bring the liquid syrup to a boil over medium heat. Pour over the dry mix and toss to coat.
- Divide the oat mixture into two lined 18x13 sheet pans.
- Bake uncovered at 275°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. Turn off the oven, stir gently, and allow oats to cool down in the oven. (I left mine in for about 2 hours they turned out super crisp and clumpy.)
- Brown Sugar: can be left out. Just add 1/2 cup more of honey or other favorite sweetener.
- Nuts: use pecans, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, or a mixture.
- Dried Fruit: can be added after the oats have baked.