My favorite homemade granola recipe

July 31, 2010 at 9:57 pm (A (4 stars, love), Alma's faves, breakfast, Cook's Illustrated, Derek's faves, Monthly menu plan, Website / blog) ()

Update July 2018: Here is my most recent attempt. This is a doubled recipe so it makes a lot. It came out more than sweet enough. I think next time I will use just 1/4 cup honey + 1/4 cup date syrup. I’ll also put more nuts and coconut in. Maybe 1.5 cups of coconut flakes and 1.5 cups of whole almonds as well? It wasn’t that strongly spiced. Maybe next time I’ll use a full 2 Tbs. of cinnamon, and 1.5 tsp. of nutmeg.

Dry ingredients:

  • 6 cups rolled oats (about 675g or 1.5 pounds, maybe closer to 635 or 650g??)
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ (38g)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (26g)
  • 1 cup large coconut flakes (~60g)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds (85g)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds (105g)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (64g)
  • 1.5 Tbs. cinnamon (~12g)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • scant 1/2 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey (170g)
  • 1/4 cup date syrup (84g)
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla (15g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (54g)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (54g)

Nuts added in the last 15 minutes:

  • 1.5 cups pecan halves (149g), left whole
  • 1.25 cups walnut halves (125g), roughly chopped

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (except for fragile nuts). Heat wet ingredients until coconut oil and honey are melted. Mix wet ingredients in with dry ingredients. Bake everything but the pecans and walnuts at 300 F (~150 C) on a large baking sheet coated with parchment paper. Put another piece of parchment on top and another baking sheet on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Or divide in half and bake in two batches, each for about 30 minutes. When the granola seems crispy, add the pecans and walnuts and bake for another 15 minutes or so until they are lightly roasted.

Update Dec 24, 2010:  This time I doubled the recipe and went back closer to my first try:  3 cups oats, 3 cups 5-grain rolled cereal (including oats, wheat, rye, spelt…) , 1 1/3 cups wheat bran (2.72 ounces), 1/4 tsp. salt, 4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, no coconut, 1 1/2 cups pecan halves (5.25 ounces), 1 cup whole almonds (5.04 ounces), 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 3 Tbs. dark molasses, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup date syrup (you could use honey), 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 Tbs. vanilla, 2-3 Tbs. water.   I cooked it at 350 for 30 minutes, but it still seemed damp rather than crisp, so I cooked it a bit longer.  I think I overcooked it again, though.  As soon as I took it out of the oven it crisped right up, despite seeming quite damp at first.  This recipe is very dark tasting, partly from the over-roasting and partly from all the molasses.  It was plenty sweet and not too salty this time.  Adding the water didn’t seem to help it clump at all–just made it take longer to cook.  It might have made the sauce a bit easier to distribute amongst the dry ingredients.  Although I increased the cinnamon and nutmeg, I still couldn’t taste them distinctively.

To try next time:  6 cups rolled oats or other grains, 1 1/2 cups wheat bran (3.07 ounces), 1/4 cup ground flax seed, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1.5 Tbs. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, no coconut, 1 1/2 cups pecan halves (5.25 ounces), 1 cup whole almonds (5.04 ounces), 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbs. dark molasses, 1/2 cup date syrup (or honey), 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey), 1 Tbs. vanilla, no water.  Cook at 350 for 25 minutes.

Update Aug 14, 2010:  I made the “to try next time” Granola, e.g. 2/3 cup wheat bran, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 cup coconut, 1 cup pecans/almonds, 1 Tbs. molasses, 2 Tbs. honey, 2 2/3 Tbs. maple syrup, 3 Tbs. oil, 1.5 tsp. vanilla.  I baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes.   I accidentally used salted almonds.  I also burned my pecans a bit again.  Pecans are so fragile!  The granola came out too salty and not sweet enough.  Derek wouldn’t eat it until I added a little maple syrup to his bowl.  I’m also not sure that the addition of grated coconut adds all that much.

I think next time I’ll not use salted almonds, reduce the salt to 1/8 tsp.,  cut the coconut to 1/4 cup, increase the pecans to 3/4 cup (rather than 1/2 cup), and increase the maple syrup and honey each to about 1/6 of a cup.  I might also try cutting the oil back to 2 Tbs. and increasing the wheat bran to 3/4 cup, but that’s maybe too many changes all at once.  I didn’t notice the cinnamon and nutmeg at all, so I might increase those amounts too.  Finally, I wouldn’t mind it if my granola were a bit more clumpy.  I’ve heard that adding water can help with the clumping.  If I get ambitious I might try adding some water in with the oil and sweeteners.  Or maybe it’s the brown sugar + water that creates clumping?  Maybe instead of increasing the honey/maple syrup I should add back in some brown sugar?  To increase the iron levels maybe I should try subbing some of the almonds/pecans for pepitas/sesame seeds or dried mulberries?  So many things to try!

Original post from 7/31/2010:

Is low calorie granola possible?

I really like granola, but I usually don’t eat it because it’s very high calorie and doesn’t fill me up at all.  I could easily down 800 calories of the stuff for breakfast.  So I stopped  buying “Knüspriges Muesli” (crunchy muesli, which is what they call Granola here in Germany).  But then when I went to visit my friend Sarah in Israel last month I enjoyed eating her homemade granola for breakfast every morning.  It’s calorie dense but very filling. But when I went to make it I just didn’t want to put that much oil in. So I made up my own recipe based on a number of  random granola recipes I’ve come across this month.  Bittman posted a no-oil recipe at the New York Times,  I came across a pretty basic recipe at Chow.com, Martha Rose Shulman posted her own healthy granola recipe, and I came across a granola recipe on the blog Smitten Kitchen.  I didn’t follow any one of the recipes, but used them collectively for inspiration.  Here’s a table comparing the ingredients and cooking times/temperatures.  All the recipes are normalized for 3 cups rolled oats: Read the rest of this entry »

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