How to Make Granola
Crunchy-sweet granola from your own kitchen saves you money—and gives you the freshest ingredients in endless combinations. Start by getting to know a basic granola recipe, then make your own exactly how you like it.
By Elizabeth Harris, Contributing Editor and Emily Tyra, Editor
How to Make Homemade Granola
What you'll need
- 8 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or strawberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
- Large bowl
- Small saucepan
- Two 15x10x1-in. baking pans
- Cooking spray
- Wire racks
- Airtight container
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, pecans and coconut. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Heat for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture; stir to coat.
Transfer to two 15x10x1-in. baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until crisp, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks.
Once cooled, add dried fruit to granola mixture. Store in an airtight container. Serve with yogurt if desired. Yield: 11 cups.
Expert tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- Stir often. It keeps everything browning evenly. If you'd like a large granola clusters recipe, just stir any granola recipe gently to help clusters hold their shape.
- Prevent sticking: Be sure to remove granola from cookie sheets within 20 minutes after baking.
- Craving something sweet? Wait until granola is baked and cooled to add dried fruit and chocolate chips.
- Adding larger dried fruits? Chop fruits such as pineapple, mango and apricots coarsely before stirring into granola.
- Stay neutral: Use a mild-tasting vegetable oil for granola, such as canola and corn oil. Try coconut oil instead for a gentle coconut flavor.
- Know your oats: Use old-fashioned rolled oats rather than quick or steel-cut—they're bigger so they keep their shape and have better crunch after baking.
- The difference between quick-cooking and old-fashioned: Both have been flattened with large rollers, but quick-cooking oats are cut into smaller pieces first. As a result, quick-cooking oats offer a more delicate texture to baked goods and desserts. For a heartier texture, use old-fashioned oats.
- Show me the honey: For your granola recipe, honey can be measured without a mess. Just oil the measuring cup. The honey comes out easily, and you get the full measure without having to scrape the cup.
- Store your honey: If your honey gets cloudy (or crystallized) before you can use it, place the jar in warm water and stir until crystals dissolve. Or place honey in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until the crystals dissolve. Store honey, tightly sealed, in a cool dry place for up to 1 year. Avoid storing in the refrigerator—that only accelerates the crystallization process.
- Freeze! You can also freeze honey to keep it from crystallizing. It will never freeze solid since the moisture content is low. It will, however, become thick and sludgy until thawed to room temperature, when it should return to its original consistency. It can defrost to room temp in about 30 minutes.
- The color of honey: Honey's taste differs based on where the bees got their nectar. Generally, lighter colored honeys are milder than darker varieties.
- When it comes to maple syrup, use the real thing. Imitation syrup is often made with artificial ingredients and doesn't taste as good as pure maple syrup.
- Why do we pack brown sugar? The moisture in brown sugar tends to trap air between the crystals, so it should be firmly packed when measuring.