Hello and Welcome to Djalali Cooks! We are lightening things up a bit today. Whole grain granola with plain yogurt and honey is one my favorite light meals to have any time of day. I am always disheartened by how much sugar is in the store-bought varieties, so I never buy it at the grocery store. When the craving for granola struck, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own. Let’s get to it!
The best part about making granola yourself is that you can put in exactly what you like. I like my granola to be lightly sweet, with some hints of salt; plenty of toasty crunch and sour/sweet chewiness. Sweetened with pure maple syrup, this is a flavorful granola with tons of texture. I have roasted, salted pepitas; dried sour cherries, dried cranberries and dried blueberries. Pecan pieces and slivered almonds add a great amount of crunch and toasty flavor. Cinnamon and vanilla warm it up a bit and altogether, this is a very satisfying granola.
Let’s Make Some Healthy Granola!
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and line a half sheet tray with parchment. Then, add the nuts and the spices to the oats in a large bowl. Stir well to incorporate the salt and the cinnamon throughout the oats and the nuts. I have organic, old fashioned oats, Georgia-grown raw pecans and raw slivered almonds. I love the rich flavor the pecans bring to the mix and the slivered almonds add a really nice textural difference.
We are going to add some fat, so the oats and nuts will get really nice and toasted. I am using melted organic coconut oil. The coconut adds a very light, subtle nutty flavor that is just perfect in this recipe. Mix it well to coat everything in a light layer of the coconut oil. Then add the vanilla and pour on the maple syrup. Be sure to use pure maple syrup. We don’t want any corn syrup with maple flavor. Look for Grade A Pure Maple syrup for a light maple flavor; and/or Grade B Pure Maple syrup, which is just as high quality as Grade A, the only difference being a stronger maple flavor and dark amber color.
Mix the maple syrup well, to coat all the oats and nuts in an even layer. Then, pour the mixture out on the sheet tray and spread it out in an even layer. I like my granola loose, like cereal, but if you like yours to end up with little nuggets of clumped together oats and nuts, lightly press the mixture flat to encourage it to stick together as it bakes and crisps up.
Place the sheet tray in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 10-12 minutes. At this halfway point we will give the granola stir – and again, if you like clumpy granola, after giving it a stir, once again press the granola flat in the sheet tray. Set the timer for another 8-10 minutes, and bake until the granola is golden and fragrant. The granola will continue to crisp up as it cools, so when you pull it from the oven, let it sit undisturbed for about 35-45 minutes.
Once cooled, either stir it with a spatula, or break it into pieces if you chose to make it clumpy. Now, we will add the dried fruit and roasted pepitas. If you use raw pepitas, you would add them in the beginning so they toast up with the rest of the granola mixture.
Toss in your dried fruit. Use your favorite kinds! I love the flavor contrast of sour cherries, sweet/ tart cranberries; and the sweet blueberries. Sliced apricots would be a great option, too! Another delicious combination would be to do tropical flavors; with macadamia nuts and shredded coconut, dried mango and pineapple. Note: if you want to add shredded coconut, just add the coconut at the halfway point in the baking process.
Homemade Healthy Granola
This recipe makes about 8 cups of granola, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple weeks, or you can freeze it a freezer bag for 3 months. If you do freeze it, be sure to let any dried fruit defrost before eating.
Thank you so much for stopping by today! Homemade Healthy Granola is so much better tasting than store-bought; it’s totally customizable and so much healthier! Give it a try and let me know how you make it your own. Leave me a comment here or reach out on Instagram or facebook to let me know! Take care and be well, xo Kelly
Kitchen Equipment Used in this Healthy Granola Recipe
Healthy Granola with Fruit and Nuts
Whole grain granola sweetened naturally with pure maple syrup. A wide variety of textures; this granola is perfect for breakfast and healthy snacking.
- 4 cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 1.5-2 cups Raw Nuts and/or Seeds (I used 1 cup Pecans, 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds and 1/2 cup roasted salted Pepitas [Pepitas added after baking])
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Melted Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Dried Fruit (I used 1/4 cup each: sour cherries, cranberries and blueberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line half sheet tray with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
Pour in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well to evenly coat all the oats and nuts.
Pour the granola onto the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it in an even layer. (For clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes, then stir the granola and bake for another 8-10 until lightly golden (for clumpy granola, after stirring, press the granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer).
Once golden and fragrant, remove from the oven and let the granola sit undisturbed for 30-45 minutes. The granola will further crisp up as it cools.
Once cool, either stir the granola to loosen it up, or break it into clumps and add the dried fruit. Toss to mix in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container, at room temperature for a couple weeks.