Making your own granola is easy and the results are delicious—every morning. Here's what you need to know.

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basic granola on baking sheet
Credit: Frank Frances

Is granola a health food? We're not sure. The combination of oats that have been sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar and baked till crispy paired with nuts, seeds, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, apricots, or pretty much any dried fruit is a delicious way to start the day. Store-bought granola can be too sweet, too expensive, or use cheap ingredients (no olive oil or maple syrup there), and skip on the dried fruit and nuts. Even some homemade recipes are too sweet, while others don't bind into those super-satisfying clusters. Riley Wofford, our assistant food editor, is a granola fan and expert maker, and she's sharing her formula for making top-notch granola at home with us today.

Mix and Match

Our Basic Granola recipe is adaptable and you can use whatever nuts, seeds, or dried fruit you have on hand. Make it a couple of times and then start switching around the pairings to see what you like best; trust us, there are no bad combinations in this winning formula.

While this granola is great with your favorite dairy or alt milk, Riley's favorite pairing is to sprinkle the granola on top of Bellwether Farms Plain Sheep Milk Yogurt (from $2.99, instacart.com). It's creamy and rich, but mild enough that kids love it, too.

Pack It Properly

What's the hardest part of making granola (besides not eating it as you make it)? Not spilling it everywhere as you transfer the cooled granola from the baking sheet to a jar. Riley says to line the baking sheet with parchment paper rather than baking the granola directly on the baking sheet (it might stick!). Then, her expert trick for a speedy not messy transfer is to break up big chunks with a spatula, pinch and lift opposite ends of the parchment paper, and funnel the granola into a jar.

Two Healthy Variations

Now that you've mastered the basic recipe, try Riley's two favorite variations. For a granola with an earthy nuttiness, replace half the oats with toasted buckwheat groats. To pack in protein (and use less sugar), use just 1/3 cup brown sugar; then, fold in one whisked egg white and 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (for flavor) before spreading onto the baking sheet.

Food styling by Riley Wofford; Prop styling by Suzie Myers.

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