My version of a healthy granola is packed with flavor, uses whole grains and nuts and is naturally sweetened to make it better for you.
Normal store bought granola is delicious and a great breakfast recipe, but is often filled with fat and high in calories.
Top this healthier granola with your favorite soy or almond milk and you have a filling and healthy breakfast.
The trick to making this granola is being smart about the ingredients. There is no need for lots of brown sugar, honey or other sweeteners which normal granolas often have.
Why is granola so popular?
There are many reasons that people love granola. A serving provides you with protein and other nutrients such as iron, Vitamin D, zinc and folate.
Granola is packed with fiber that comes from the old fashioned oats and there are many health benefits from eating a fiber-rich diet.
Since granola has rolled oats as a base, it will give you a serving of whole grains each time you eat it.
It’s great for a quick breakfast that takes just seconds to prepare. All you need to do is add some fresh fruit and yogurt or almond milk and your breakfast is ready!
There are also many reasons why we love a homemade healthy granola. It has less fat and chemicals than a store brand does and is easy to make.
Since my recipe calls for maple syrup and not white sugar, it is sweetened in a more natural way. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.
And the best reason to eat granola? Because it tastes so darn good!
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Making this healthy granola
Now that we know why to make some homemade granola, let’s find out how to do it.
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This healthy granola is made with all natural ingredients. Most of these are items that I have on hand in my pantry all the time, since I love to use them in recipes.
- Old fashioned rolled oats
- Chopped nuts
- Dried fruit (dried cranberries and raisins are my favorites for this granola recipe)
- Coconut flakes, optional but add some nice texture to the granola
- Ground cinnamon
- Pink sea salt
- Coconut oil
- Pure maple syrup
- Pure vanilla extract
You’ll also want some fresh fruit and either almond milk or Greek yogurt for serving.
Instructions for making granola
The recipe could not be easier to make.
You’ll need a baking mat lined with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Mix the old fashioned oats with the chopped nuts, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl and stir well to combine them.
Now we need something to make the mixture sticky and tasty. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and the vanilla extract to the oat mixture and mix it well. Be sure everything gets coated nicely.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Be sure to watch the mixture well and stir halfway through the cooking time. Granola burns easily and must be carefully watched.
Now you will need to be patient. Allow the mixture to cool completely, for at least 45 minutes. This allows the healthy granola to crisp up more as it cools down.
Once cooled, stir the granola with a big spoon and add the dried fruit and coconut flakes if you are using them.
Store in an air tight jar for up to three weeks, or freeze for longer storage.
Tasting this homemade granola
This healthy granola has a natural sweetness from the dried fruit and lots of protein from the nuts and old fashioned oats. I found that it was sweet enough without any extra sweetener.
Dried fruit is quite sweet on it’s own and, to be honest, I have never really wanted a lot of sweetness in the morning anyway.
At this time of the day, I am looking for something that will give me energy until lunch time, and the nuts and oats will do that in spades.
I enjoy my homemade granola with fresh fruit and vanilla almond milk to make a great vegan breakfast.
Healthy granola variations
This recipe is great just as it is, but there are a few ways to give some variety to your morning breakfast with some other additions or to make it suit a gluten-free, or nut-free diet.
Gluten free granola: Check your label and use certified gluten-free oats.
Nut free granola: Use seeds, such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, instead of chopped nuts.
Chocolate chip granola: Add miniature chocolate chips after cooking. The mini size goes a long way in a recipe like this.
Peanut butter granola: Stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter (or other nut butter) to the mixture before cooking.
Pin this healthy granola recipe for later
Would you like a reminder of this recipe for homemade granola? Just pin this image to one of your breakfast boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in April of 2013. I have updated the post to add new photos, a printable recipe card with nutrition and a video for you to enjoy.
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pink sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries and raisins)
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes (optional)
- fresh fruit, almond milk or yogurt, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Combine the old fashioned oats, chopped nuts, sea salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir well to combine.
- Add the coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix well, making sure that all the oats and nuts are coated.
- Pour the granola mixture onto the baking sheet and spread evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 21 to 24 minutes. Stir halfway through the cooking time. The granola will get more crisps up as it cools down.
- Let the granola cool completely, untouched for 45 minutes or more.
- Break the granola into pieces for chunky granola, or stir it with a spoon for a finer texture.
- Add the dried fruit, and coconut flakes, (if you are using them) and mix well.
- Serve with fresh fruit and almond milk, or yogurt.
Be sure to keep an eye on the granola when cooking, since it can burn easily.
For granola with more clumps in it, press the granola with your spatula before cooking to create a more even layer.
Store the homemade granola in an airtight container. It will keep 2 - 3 weeks. You can also freeze it in freezer bags for up to 3 months.
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Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.