Granola has a bit of a reputation. Once only eaten by hippies and their eye-rolling kids, now you can find it in any supermarket. It’s great to be able to find it so easily, but when big name brands start manufacturing, packaging, and selling it, it stops being “natural” pretty quick! Store-bought granola is packed full of preservatives, processed sugar and unhealthy fats. The only thing separating it from the sugar-filled cereals next to it on the shelf is the lack of a cartoon mascot!

My recipe for homemade granola is easy to customize to include your favorite ingredients and it’s healthier (and cheaper!) than store-bought! Whole-grain rolled oats are the best choice for this recipe (stick to steel-cut for your stovetop oatmeal). And make sure you get pure maple syrup! The good stuff is full of potassium and calcium, but cheaper, non-organic brands are mostly just corn syrup with brown dye and maple flavoring. Hardly a part of a balanced breakfast, don’t you think?

Close-up of coconut oil on the wooden spoon

 

Feel-Good Granola 

You’ll need:

3 cups rolled oats
½ cup raw walnuts, chopped
½ cup raw almonds, chopped or sliced
¾ cup dried organic cherries, chopped
1/3 cup organic coconut oil (virgin is best)
1/3 cup pure, organic maple syrup
1 tsp organic, pure vanilla extract (not vanilla flavoring!)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with natural parchment paper.
  • Mix together oats, walnuts, cherries, and spices.
  • Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a separate bowl, whisking until all ingredients make a smooth liquid. If it’s easier, you can heat them up in a saucepan over low heat, then whisk them together.
  • Pour liquid over dry ingredients, and mix well. Try to get everything coated as evenly as you can!
  • Spread on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Give the tray a little shake and check if the granola is crispy; if not, keep baking at 10 minute intervals until done.

Cranberry Granola

I like to mix a handful of granola in a bowl of creamy Greek yogurt to give it a sweet little crunch. It’s a great light breakfast that’s full of protein and complex carbs to give you energy from the moment you walk out the door, without the sugar crash later on. So whip up a batch of this good stuff and help restore granola’s reputation!