The Very Best Granola
Do you love granola? Me, too! Today, I’m sharing my “basic” granola recipe, which is also the best granola recipe. Granted, I’m partial, but it really is the best and I use that term sparingly. Over two hundred five-star reviews agree!
In fact, I love this recipe so much that I shared it in my cookbook, Love Real Food. This granola makes a wonderful snack or breakfast (add your milk of choice and maybe some fresh fruit). It also stores beautifully, so it makes a great homemade gift.
Once you try homemade granola, you won’t go back to store-bought granola. It’s so much better!
This granola recipe is also a far more healthy granola option, since it’s made with whole grains, unrefined oil and naturally sweetened. You just can’t beat freshly baked granola packed with delicious and good-for-you ingredients.
Plus, homemade granola is super easy to make. You’ll only need one bowl and some basic pantry ingredients. Ready to make some?
Now that you have my base recipe, you can play around with the mix-ins and spices to make it your favorite granola.
By the way, you can preserve that freshly baked flavor by storing this granola in the freezer. Just let it room to warm temperature for a few minutes, and enjoy.
Healthy Granola Ingredients
Heart-healthy, hearty, whole-grain old-fashioned oats keep their shape during baking. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need gluten-free granola.
Nuts and/or Seeds
I used pecans and pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) to make this batch. Other options include walnuts, which are rich in Omega-3s, whole or slivered almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds.
Oil helps make this granola crisp and irresistible. I prefer unrefined coconut oil, which is delicious (you can barely taste the coconut, if at all) and produces the perfect texture.
You can use extra-virgin olive oil instead, if you’d like your granola to be a little more on the savory side. If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, olive oil is a better choice!
I love using real maple syrup in my granola. Honey works great, too. As a bonus, these natural sweeteners infuse your granola extra-delicious flavor that sugar would not.
Salt and Spice
For flavorful granola, don’t skip the salt! Too little and your flavors won’t sing. I prefer using fine-grain sea salt in this one (I always cook with fine-grain sea salt), but regular salt will do, too (just use a little less).
I added cinnamon to this batch for some subtle warming spice. Ground ginger (use half as much) and pumpkin spice blends are other options.
Dried fruit lends some extra sweetness, chewy texture and irresistible fruity flavor. I used dried cranberries for this batch. I also love tart dried cherries, raisins and chopped dried apricots.
For fresh citrus flavor, stir fresh citrus zest (up to 2 teaspoons) into the mixture before baking. I love adding orange zest, in particular.
You can add chocolate chips after the granola has completely cooled (otherwise, they’ll melt).
If you’d like to add unsweetened coconut flakes, you can add it halfway through baking for perfectly toasted results (see recipe note).
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- 1 ½ cup raw nuts and/or seeds (I used 1 cup pecans and ½ cup pepitas)
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if you’re using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup melted coconut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup dried fruit, chopped if large (I used dried cranberries)
- Totally optional additional mix-ins: ½ cup chocolate chips or coconut flakes