There are an unbelievable amount of granolas in the grocery store, and I always find it a bit overwhelming. Finding one that tastes good, has the right amount of crunch, and that doesn’t have as much sugar as a donut can be a challenge though.
A few months ago when Cameron and I were visiting The Hague we stayed in an airBnB and had an absolutely lovely host who brought us some homemade granola. It was so good that I asked her for the recipe and have been experimenting ever since to arrive at this recipe. It’s super simple, wonderfully customisable, and delicious for breakfast or a snack.
One of the best things about making your own granola is that you can copy your favourite brand, and tweak it to make it perfect for you. Love the about of nuts and seeds, but hate raisins? Easy. Think your granola could be vastly improved with some chocolate? Add it in. It can also be a great way to add in some extra protein and healthy fats by including chia seeds, flax seeds, and chopped nuts. This also happens to be naturally gluten free as long as you’re using gluten-free oats, and totally vegan as well.
The nuts and seeds not only help me make it through to lunch, but are full of good-for-you minerals and vitamins. Flax seeds are loaded with omega-3’s, a healthy fat, as well as magnesium and some key B-vitamins. Sunflower seeds are another great source of B-vitamins, as well as skin-nurturing zinc and vitamin-E. Chia seeds are famous for their healthy fats and general health-increasing properties. Coconut can help reduce cravings for sweets, as well as lowering blood sugar. Combined, all of these things pack quite a bit of protein, fibre, and healthy fats– add abut of fruit, of some vegan yogurt for a probiotic boost, and your day is already off to a good start.
If you make this recipe and find there isn’t quite enough sugar, you can always add more the next time. I like to add relatively little not just because it’s better for me, but because I love to add a sliced banana or some berries when I have this for breakfast, and prefer to get some extra finer with the added sweetness.
The recipe below makes about five cups of granola, which is enough for about ten 1/2c servings. It’s super-easy to double or cut in half though. In fact, I’ll often make half of a batch when I’m trying new flavours.
• 3.5c rolled oats (gluten-free)
• 1c coconut chips
• 1/4c flax seeds (whole)
• 1/2c sunflower seeds
• 2 tbs chia seeds
(• 1/2-1c of chopped almonds, optional)
• 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4c oil*, melted
• 2-3 tbs sugar of your choice (date paste is really lovely here, but brown rice syrup or maple would also be really nice)
* I generally use coconut oil,but you could also use olive (I know it sounds weird, but it adds a lovely richness)
- preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF
- combine oats, seeds, and nuts if you’re adding them into a 2-3 in. deep, 9/13 casserole dish, stirring to combine
- in a small bowl, combine the oil and sweetener of your choice
- drizzle the oil/sweetener over the granola ingredients, and toss gently with your hands or a wooden spoon to coat.
- sprinkle the cinnamon, if using, and gently stir again
- bake for 30-40 minutes, removing every ten minutes to stir, everything should turn a really lovely golden brown and your house will smell amazing
- let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to one week
- enjoy with almond milk or yogurt
I know it seems like there are quite a few steps, but the total ‘active’ time is actually quite short. I love to make this on a Sunday when I tend to be a bit lazy anyway, and do some reading while its in the oven. It’s also a great way to make sure I have breakfast covered for the rest of the week.
Let me know in the comments if you give it a try, and if you customise it!