Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Easiest Granola

My grandma Ollie loved granola more than anyone I know. She wasn't happy with any old store bought granola, no, she had to make her own in practically industrial quantities. One massive batch would have to get her through every single breakfast for months. When I say she ate it every day, I mean it. She would even bring baggies of it to Disney World, Spain, and anywhere else she would travel. Why would someone be so militant about eating the exact same granola for over 20 years? Well, because it was damn good, the best I've ever had.

When I decided to make granola I didn't think it was going to be as good as my grandma's. I mean, she had 20 years to perfect her granola-making craft. I set out to make something that was relatively healthy and cheaper than the stuff you buy at the store. Most importantly, I wanted it to be easy and this recipe certainly is. (Ok, maybe all granola recipes are a cake walk, I'm willing to admit that.) This granola only takes about 30-35 minutes from start to finish, which in my mind makes it only marginally more labor intensive than picking up a box at the store.

I've been enjoying this tasty granola mixed with some local strawberries and almond milk for breakfast all week. I like that it's got only a a tad sweet, but if you would like it sweeter just add a bit more maple syrup at a time until the raw granola taste is to your liking. I used cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla to flavor it but you could use your own mix of spices and extracts. You could also swap out the nuts and seeds I used for others and even alter the oats to nuts ratio. Really, this is just a method. Experiment, have fun with it and let me know how it goes.

The Easiest Granola
Makes about 4 cups
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used the quick cooking kind)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (I used dry roasted and slightly salted peanuts)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, craisins or any other dried fruit of your choice. 
1.  Preheat the oven to 325 F / 162 C. In a medium bowl, toss all dry ingredients together. Pour the maple syrup and vanilla into a small bowl and give them a stir. Pour the maple syrup over the dry ingredients, tossing to make sure the granola is evenly coated with sweet goodness. 
2.  Spread the granola onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and transfer it to the oven. Cook it for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. You'll want to toss it at least a couple times during the cooking process so that it browns evenly. You should probably start watching it closely after about 18 minutes because there's a fine line between crunchy, toasty granola and nasty, burnt granola. Once it's cooked, let it cool to to room temperature. If you'd like to add dry fruit, mix it in with the cool granola. Store in a mason jar or in a another container with a lid.


  1. Oh yum! I love granola. I never make the same combo twice. I posted a chocolate coconut granola this morning on my blog. I love it for breakfast, snacks or just about anytime of day :-)

  2. Ooooh, chocolate coconut granola sounds amazing. I'll head over to your blog and check it out right now. I have some dried unsweetened coconut in my pantry so I might just have to give something similar a try. Thanks for the inspiration!