I posted a picture of my granola bowl on social media on Friday and asked you if you’d like a recipe for home made granola and you enthusiastically said yes. So I took my time over the weekend to write this post. I’ve been working on and tweaking this recipe for years and baked hundreds of kilos (no joke). This is a basic and reliable recipe that always delivers.
What is granola? Granola is a mixture of grains, nuts, seeds and fruit which is baked and uses some kind of sweetener and oil to bind it together. Similar to muesli, except muesli are not baked and can be eaten cold (soaked in a cold liquid) or warm (cooked in a simmering liquid). Granola is served cold, with milk or yogurt or is eaten as a snack.
My favorite way to eat it is to sprinkled over a smoothie aka a smoothie bowl. Or soaked in oat milk.
I always recommend making granola at home because you can choose the ingredients and the amount of sweetener you’ll put inside. The recipe that follows is my version and take it as a basic one and then build your flavors on top of it. Some advice before you start baking.
If you want GF, make sure they are. You can also use rolled barley, rye, spelt, wheat flakes. I like oats because they are mild in flavor and hold their shape while baking.
Choose the nuts you like, but make sure they’re raw. I prefer not to use walnuts because they can dominate with flavor and can have bitterness to them. I would also recommend choosing nuts according to the rest of ingredients, like if you put in chocolate use peanuts and hazelnuts. If you go tropical with pineapple and coconut flakes try macadamia, Brazil nuts or cashews.
The same rule applies, whatever you like and goes with the rest of granola. I like to add chia seeds because they make granola juicier when in liquid. I avoid sesame seeds as they’re too flavorful.
Your game to play, just be careful when you add them in granola. Dried fruits should be added when granola is baked and warm so they release their flavor but don’t cook. Coconut flakes should be added in the middle of the baking. Chocolate and caramel bits when granola is completely cooled. Zest of citrus fruit before its baked.
From my experience liquid sweeteners are the best, because they bind and stick granola together. My choice is honey (floral) but if you want to go vegan, choose maple, date or agave syrup. I put in about 10% of total mass, and it makes it slightly sweet. You can always add more when serving. Anyhow I wouldn’t recommend going pass 20% of total mass with sweeteners.
Unrefined oils are the best, and coconut oil is my favorite. It gives its mild flavor and does the job of crisping up the granola. If you don’t want saturated fats, opt for olive oil, but keep in mind it will act more savory.
Salt and spices
Salt gives it the extra flavor and makes it super delicious. When it comes to spices, cinnamon is a classic, but you could try tonka seeds, powdered ginger or gingerbread mixture.
- 400 g rolled oats choose gf option if you'd like gluten-free
- 200 g mixed nuts I use almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts, 50 g of each
- 200 g mixed seeds I use chia, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, 50 g of each
- 100 g coconut oil
- 100 g honey
- 100 g dried cranberries
- 15 g cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cut the nuts into half (or leave whole if you like bigger pieces).
- Mix with the rolled oats, seeds, cinnamon and salt.
- Pour in the melted coconut oil and honey and mix with the rested of the ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the granola onto your prepared pan (covered with baking paper) and use a spoon to spread it in an even layer.
- Bake for minutes (180°C), stirring halfway (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer).
- Take out of the oven, add the cranberries and let cool completely.
- Break the granola into pieces with your hands if you want to retain big chunks, or stir it around with a spoon if you don’t want extra-clumpy granola.
- Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months (in this case let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving).
Couple of tips for making super clumpy granola:
- Oats should be snug in the baking tray, so they stick together, but not too snug so they don’t bake.
- Baking tray should be covered with baking sheet so the sweetener sticks to granola and not the bottom of the tray.
- When stirring half-way, press the granola down with a spatula.
- Bake until lightly golden, 20 minutes. Longer than that will make it dry and break sugar bonds.
- Let it cool completely before breaking and storing.