by Olena

Healthy Granola

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 2 votes

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Homemade Healthy Granola recipe with whole grain rolled oats, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, spices, and natural sweeteners. It’s a healthy fiber loaded breakfast or grab-n-go snack, easy to make and keeps well for busy mornings!

We also enjoy quinoa granola with yogurt and homemade cereal with milk for breakfast. And may I suggest mind blowing poached eggs in Instant Pot?!

healthy granola recipe in a bowl with frozen blackberries and yogurt

Healthy homemade granola is a great make ahead breakfast recipe that takes no more than an hour. Make it the night before and it’s ready to add to your morning yogurt or pour in a bowl with a bit of almond milk and you’ve got yourself healthy low sugar granola cereal.

Make this kid friendly homemade granola recipe for an after school snack rotating it with quinoa granola bars and baked oatmeal bars or eliminate the nuts and pack it in their lunch box. It’s packed nutrients and utterly delicious!

Why Make Homemade Granola Recipe?

  • Crunchy: With nuts, seeds and oats this baked granola is slowly cooked at a low temp to ensure it gets crispy. 
  • Less sugar, fat: Making homemade granola recipe allows you to control the amount of sugar and fat that goes into it! 
  • Preservative free: No added preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce make this a healthy choice. 
  • Hearty: High fiber and filling ingredients such as oats, nuts and seeds keep you full longer.
  • Customizable: Use what you have on hand for nuts, seeds and fruit, you can even use quick oats!
healthy granola recipe

Ingredients for Healthy Granola

  • Oats: Quick or rolled oats both work well for this recipe.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds and cashews can be used whole or coarsely chopped. Pumpkin seeds are small enough to remain whole.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup or honey. Using real maple syrup and raw honey both have nutritional elements over their processed counterparts. Keep in mind they will lose some of the nutrients once heated.
  • Oil: Coconut oil, melted. At room temperature is solid. When used in moderation it has an abundance of health benefits (antimicrobial, healthy fat, hair, skin, and teeth).
  • Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla for best taste.
  • Seasonings: Cinnamon and salt
  • Dried fruit: Raisins. Some will have added sugar on them. If you’re wanting to decrease the sugar content, make sure they are not coated in sugar.
  • Optional: Ground flaxseed. Very high in fibre and rich in omega 3 fats. Also great to use as a clumping agent to get those larger clumps of granola.
healthy granola recipe ingredients of oats nuts seeds and flaxseed

Is Granola Healthy?

While what one considers healthy differs from person to person, making a healthy homemade granola at home where you can control the ingredients is a very healthy breakfast choice.

Granola cereal is calorie dense and usually consists of toasted oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit- all ingredients that are full of fiber and protein and can help you feel full longer. The only problem is when there is unnecessary added sugars or oils or you eat more than the recommended serving size. This is where the ‘unhealthy granola’ label comes into question. For this recipe, a serving size is 1/2 cup and because I have used just enough oil and sugar for binding and taste, it has only 5g sugar and 5g saturated fat per serving balanced by 10g protein and 6g fiber.

Bottom line: Whether you decide to make granola at home or buy it at the store, the most important thing is to always check the ingredients and nutritional label to ensure it is ‘healthy’ for you! 

How to Make Healthy Granola

There is a full recipe card below.

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 325F degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

I love using a silicone baking sheet when making granola! Its reusable and works like a charm to evenly cook baked goods. 

silicone baking mat in a sheet pan

  • Mix: Add oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl and mix to combine.
  • Transfer and bake: Pour granola mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and spread and press down evenly. Bake on lower rack and halfway through, stir, and press down again.
  • Watch: Keep an eye out just before halfway done to watch for burning.
  • Remove and let cool: You will know when it has finished. Your kitchen will smell amazing and everything has browned nicely. Let cool completely before breaking it apart or stirring.
  • Add raisins: Just before you stir, you can add the raisins or dried fruit. Because this granola has so little sugar, it will not clump as much. Adding flax may help that as mentioned above. Enjoy! 

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Optional lining: You may choose to not line your sheet to allow for clumpier granola. Keep in mind the chemicals used to create “non-stick” can seep into your food.
  • Substitutions: Can use walnuts or pecans instead of, or in addition to, almonds or cashews. Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and even mango can be used in place of raisins.
  • Sugar free: Replace liquid sweetener with favorite sugar free liquid sweetener, just be sure it is liquid not granulated.
  • Chocolate granola: Add 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder. You may need to add additional liquid sweetener or coconut oil if it looks dry.
  • Zest: A 1/2 – 1 tsp orange zest would be delicious.
  • Peanut butter: A few tablespoons melted would taste amazing, especially if planning to add chocolate chips.
  • Other nut butters: Almond butter, cashew butter or even nut free sun butter etc.
  • Other spices: Substitute cinnamon for nutmeg, chia spice, pumpkin pie spice etc.
  • Extract: Substitute vanilla for almond or any flavored extract.
  • Possible additions: Dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs. Coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds. The options are endless!

Tips for Best Results

  • All sheets are not created equal: Dark baking sheets bake faster. Monitor and reduce bake time if necessary. The last thing you want is burnt granola!
  • Check often: Ovens all bake differently, be sure to check frequently as you may need to stir pieces near that edge of the pan that are browning quickly.
  • Oats: Although you can use quick oats, old fashioned rolled oats results in a better granola with texture more typical of store bought. Quick oats may bake faster, too.
  • Firmly press mixture in pan: Using your spatula make one layer in the pan. This helps form granola clumps.
  • When to add mix-in’s: Dried fruit needs to be added after you bring granola out of oven, chocolate chips can be added after the granola has cooled completely (otherwise they will melt!), coconut flakes and additional seeds or nuts, add 1/2 way through baking time.

FAQs

Why is my homemade granola not crunchy?

If you forgot to stir it while it baked, if you did not cook it long enough or if you stored it while it was still warm – any of these reasons could lead to soft granola.

Should I stir granola while baking?

Yes, this ensures it bakes evenly and becomes crunchy.

How do you get granola to stick together?

You need to use binding ingredients such as oil and liquid sweetener. To make the best clusters, press your granola in the pan before baking, and when you stir it, use a flat spatula to ‘flip’ the clusters in the pan so it still bakes evenly but is less disturbing than stirring with a spoon. Also, when you remove it from the oven, don’t stir it right away so the granola clumps have a chance to bind further.

Does granola need oil?

Unless you want to just toasted dry oats, then yes you need to use an oil.

Why is my oven baked granola chewy?

If you took your homemade granola out of the oven before it was done, your granola might end up chewy.

How do I know when my granola is done?

When your oats have all turned golden brown, your baked granola is ready to be removed from the oven.

Is eating homemade granola healthy?

I address this above, but the short answer is yes it can be! Always be sure to check the ingredients you are using to ensure they are ‘healthy’ for you and keep an eye on the serving size when consuming.

Healthy Granola in glass container with plastic lid

How to Serve Oven Baked Granola?

  • Breakfast: In a bowl with your favorite milk or yogurt, use as a topping for healthy overnight oats or make a strawberry yogurt parfait!
  • Smoothie bowl: Make your favorite green or pink smoothie a little thicker, pour into a bowl and top with granola, coconut flakes and protein balls.
  • Snack: Eat a handful plain or spread peanut butter on apple slices, top with crunchy baked granola, so good!
  • Lunchbox: Pack some of this along with one of these healthy banana snacks to keep yourself or your kids fueled all day long!
  • Trail mix: Add peanut butter or chocolate chips, dried banana slices etc and make a healthy trail mix or buy prepackaged organic dried fruit mix from Costco and add this to it!
  • Dessert: Top vegan vanilla ice cream, chocolate or mango ice cream with some crunchy homemade granola!

However you choose to eat it keep this recipe on hand as you’ll be making it again and again!

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Granola Cereal?

Storing: This granola keeps very well in an airtight container at room temperature for weeks.

Freezing: Granola can freeze in an airtight container, or better yet a vacuum-sealed bag, for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Before using, if frozen, leave to thaw at room temperature. Reheat in the oven at 300 for 10-15 minutes to regain some of the original texture.

Meal prep friendly: This easy healthy granola recipe is great to prepare on the weekends to have on hand throughout the week. Having healthy snacks at home, work or school to balance your blood sugars during the day is definitely a game-changer!

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

homemade granola with nuts and seeds
Healthy Granola

Healthy Granola

Homemade Healthy Granola recipe with whole grain rolled oats, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, spices, and natural sweeteners. It's a healthy fiber loaded breakfast or grab-n-go snack that is easy to make and keeps well for busy mornings!
5 from 2 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 13
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Stir well with spatula.
  • Transfer granola mixture onto baking sheet, level evenly with spatula while pressing it into a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes on lower rack. Then stir, press into a layer and bake for another 20 minutes. Ovens vary, so watch closely after each 15 minute mark.
  • When oats are nice and toasty, almonds browned and amazing aromas fill your kitchen, remove granola from the oven and let cool completely before stirring. Add raisins and stir. Because this is healthy granola and doesn't contain a lot of sugar, it doesn't clump as much but is uber delicious!

Store: Place in a large airtight container or bag and store in a cool dry place for weeks.

    Freezing: Granola can freeze in an airtight container, or better yet a vacuum-sealed bag, for up to 3 months.

      Reheating: Before using, if frozen, leave to thaw at room temperature. Reheat in the oven at 300 for 10-15 minutes to regain some of the original texture.

        Notes

        • Flaxseed: Adds nutrition and makes granola more lumpy. I didn’t have any on hand.
        • Sheet pan: Dark baking sheet bakes faster, so watch closely and reduce bake time if necessary.
        • Unlined pan: Granola might clump more if baking sheet is unlined.
        • Substitutions: Can use walnuts or pecans instead of, or in addition to, almonds or cashews. Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and even mango can be used in place of raisins.
        • Sugar free: Replace liquid sweetener with favorite sugar free liquid sweetener, just be sure it is liquid not granulated.
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs. 

        Nutrition

        Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 95mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g

        Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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        3 comments on “Healthy Granola

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        1. 5 stars
          I enjoy your recipes Olena, simplicity and healthy natural ingredients are my kind of cooking. I’m sensitive to gluten and dairy (specifically straight milk). I have learned over the years what are my triggers, although still have some symptoms, but also have good days.

        2. 5 stars
          My kitchen DOES smell amazing! My husband has commented twice in half an hour about it. Just waiting to try the granola. It’s still hot! Can’t wait…

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