I’ve been making my own granola for a while now, for a few of reasons. First, I know exactly what’s gone into it (no preservatives etc.), I can put exactly the things I like into it and last, but not least, it’s very economical. With the price of a small box of good granola around $6 or $7 dollars, I can make 2 or 3 times as much for about the same price. I just take a trip to my local bulk food store and pick up the oats, nuts and fruits as needed and make up a nice big batch for not much money!
My favourite homemade granola recipe is based on Nigella Lawson’s, which has great flavour, is crunchy and has enough liquid to make lovely granola clusters with (see tip in recipe below for how to do this).
This recipe calls for brown rice syrup, which is a low GI sweetener. When I first saw it on the ingredient list, I just assumed I wouldn’t find it in my small town grocery store, but there it was, in the health/organic section of our Independent Grocer store. I’m sure I could find it in our health food store as well. Failing that, I would substitute honey or maple syrup.
This recipe is based on Nigella Lawson’s granola recipe, which I adapted with the addition of some dried fruit and substituting sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds. If you prefer a fruit free granola, simply leave the fruit out or substitute whatever fruit you prefer. I have made it with and without sesame seeds. The sesame seeds add a distinctive flavour to the granola and add a nice bit of crunch but it is also nice without them, if you don’t have them on hand. Some shredded or flaked coconut would also be a nice addition to this granola, but I would suggest not adding it until you turn the granola after the first 20 minutes of baking, as it has a tendency to burn if left in for the full 40 minutes.
This recipe is usually nicely done at 40 minutes for me.
Summary: This is my favourite granola recipe. If you can’t find brown rice syrup, you can use maple syrup or honey in equal quantities.
- 4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup runny honey or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 Tbsp. canola or sunflower oil
- 1 cup sultana raisins
- 1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Arrange oven racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 310° F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the dry ingredients (except dried fruit) in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl then add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread granola evenly on both baking sheets and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, turning over half-way through baking. While the granola is baking, combine the dried fruit in a bowl.
- (If you like your granola with clusters, once your remove from the oven, use a spatula to press down the granola while still warm. Once it cools, simply break it up into the cluster size you prefer.)
- While the granola is still warm, sprinkle dried fruit evenly over granola then leave on tray to cool completely. Store in an airtight container and as this makes a lot, you may want to refrigerate a portion until it’s needed (won’t affect the crunchiness at all).
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 40 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 12
Here are some more granola recipes from around the web that sound good too!
Honey Maple Granola (Sugarlaws)
Homemade Granola (Joy of Baking)
Homemade Granola (The Kitchen Sink)
Emeril’s Homemade Granola (Food Network)
Martha Stewart’s Homemade Granola
Barefoot Contessa’s Granola (Watch the cooking time on this one – doesn’t need 45 minutes in the oven, and it’s a shame to overcook and ruin it. About 30 minutes seems right for this recipe).