Granola is like candy to me, I seriously love the stuff, but only when it is freshly made and not too sweet. There are a few great things about making your own granola. Despite what people think, it is very easy to do and it is extremely adaptable. Store bought granola is always so sweet and, to me, it can have a slight cardboard taste. When you make your own, you can easily adjust the sweetness level, choose whether to add fruit, toasted coconut, chocolate, seeds or chai, and switch out different oils. You name it, it’s possible. Homemade granola also keeps well, at least a week in an airtight container or up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But trust me, it won’t last that long. Add this homemade fruit and nut granola to some yogurt (my favorite is low-fat, skyr) and you have a great, easy breakfast the whole family will enjoy, packed with protein, fiber, and less sugar than in most cereals.
In this recipe, I like to mix in heart-healthy nut and seeds options like walnuts (rich in Omega-3s), pecans (high in fiber) and pepitas (which have a substantial quantity of healthy fat, magnesium and zinc). Although it may seem counterintuitive, adding oil helps keep granola crunchy. There are options here as well. I use coconut oil, but you can use olive oil or sunflower oil or even vegetable oil. For a sweetening agent, I typically use local honey, (with a little brown sugar mixed in) but maple syrup or agave work great as well. Lastly, dried fruit is important to me for flavor, texture and sweetness. Cherries and blueberries are my natural go-to dried fruits. Cherries are rich in antioxidants and are believed to support heart health. Dried blueberries and their superfruit quality add a ton of dietary fiber to your morning meal.
Homemade Fruit & Nut Granola
- 4 cups whole grain rolled oats (I prefer extra thick)
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, walnuts, pecans, pepitas, sugar and salt. Mix well to incorporate.
- Step 3 Add the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix well.
- Step 4 Pour the oat-nut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Place on the middle shelf and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking process.
- Step 5 Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Step 6 Once the granola has cooled, mix in the cherries and blueberries.
- Step 7 Can be stored in an airtight container for one week.