posted in Breakfast & Brunch

Homemade Granola

I’m the early riser in my house. Like 5am really early riser.  I grab a tall cup of hot tea (no caffeine for me!) and fuel-up with a banana and a little peanut butter while I check my email and bounce around on all of my social media sites. After I scoot my little one off to school, I head to the gym for an hour or so. When I get home from the gym, I’m ravenously hungry again. Sometimes I re-fuel with eggs, but more often than not I grab a favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (love the vanilla + honey) and a few generous spoonfuls of granola. I’ve never really found a store-bought granola that I’m entirely enamored with, so I usually make my own Homemade Granola.

If you’ve never made your own, you might be surprised how ridiculously easy it is to make. Just a little mixing and then toasting it in the oven.  And the great thing is– you can customize it to exactly how you like it. Add in whichever nuts you enjoy most, try a few different combinations of dried fruits, and add as much or as little sugar as you’d like.  My version here has sliced almonds, apricots and dates.

It stays perfectly edible and delicious for at least a couple of weeks.  Just keep it in a sealed jar and it’s ready for topping yogurt… or snacking by the spoonful.

One thing that may deter people from making their own granola is buying bags of nuts, dried fruit and coconut that you wouldn’t normally be purchasing or keeping in your pantry.  I have a great money-saving suggestion for you:  shop at one of the stores that has dry food bins in bulk.  Scoop out exactly what you need and just pay for that.  No excess spending and possible waste of those ingredients sitting in your pantry unused.  In my area, Whole Foods and Sprouts both offer bulk bins.

My homemade granola was cute enough to earn a spot on the counter next to my prized kitchen rooster.  That’s big.  Really big.  I seriously love my rooster.  Hope you try to make your own homemade granola… it’s so much better than store-bought and there isn’t a long list of unknown, hard-to-pronounce ingredients either.

I was on local TV earlier this week– making Greek Yogurt Pancakes, but I gave my granola a shout-out too.  You can view the segment HERE, if you are interested.

Yield: About 5 cups

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Homemade Granola


3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped pecans or unsalted cashews
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut, toasted (see tips below)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, blueberries, cranberries and/or apricots)


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the oats, nuts, sugar, zest, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Stir together until mixed well.

3. Place butter and syrup in microwave safe bowl. Heat until the butter is melted. Stir, and add the syrup mixture to the oat mixture; mix until moistened. Spread the oat mixture into the prepared pan and pat down.

4. Bake on a lower rack for 20 minutes. (*To toast the coconut, spread the shreds on separate baking sheet. Toast for 10 to 15 minutes on the very bottom rack while the granola is in the oven). After baking your granola for 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to move the granola around and expose pieces that were underneath. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the granola is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

5. When cooled, scrape the granola into a bowl and mix with the toasted coconut and dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

*If you are preparing this recipe as GLUTEN-FREE, just be sure to use GF oats, and use a brand of syrup that is known to be GF.
*If more nuts are desired, add 3/4 cup whole unsalted cashews.


*If you are preparing this as GLUTEN-FREE, just be sure to use GF oats and make sure that you're using syrup, coconut and dried fruit that is free of gluten too.

Source: (Adapted rather loosely from California Sol Food, Junior League of San Diego Cookbook)

39 Responses to “Homemade Granola”

  1. postedFeb 28, 2013 10:45 AM

    Those food bins make it so much easier and more fun to experiment with new ingredients. Love this, and love your rooster!

    • postedFeb 28, 2013 10:48 AM

      Yes- you can even get granola in those bins!

  2. postedFeb 28, 2013 11:11 AM

    I’m a huge fan of making my own granola as well. The bulk bins at Sprouts really are awesome for being able to pick up just a small amount of random nuts and fruits without making an investment in a whole bunch of different foods that you aren’t sure you’ll even like. Your rooster looks pretty happy with the granola too!

  3. postedFeb 28, 2013 11:41 AM

    i am totally an early riser also! I love granola but not how expensive it is…homemade is the only way to go. The spice blend for this sounds wonderful!

  4. postedFeb 28, 2013 12:05 PM

    I’m a super early riser too. I get my thinking done at that time of day – whether it be about life or donuts. This granola is awesome!

  5. postedFeb 28, 2013 12:13 PM

    Looks delicious. Once you’ve made homemade granola, you never go back to the store bought stuff.

  6. postedFeb 28, 2013 1:04 PM

    Making granola at home is just….so smart! I never, ever buy it. It’s so much more expensive, many times it tastes stale, and you can’t control the flavors and use more/less of the things you truly love in your version. I love the rooster and it was great seeing you yesterday! You’re looking fabulous! 🙂

  7. postedFeb 28, 2013 2:18 PM

    I love granola stirred into yogurt… I may just have to try a variation of your recipe since it seems to rank pretty high and sits right on the counter! 🙂

  8. postedFeb 28, 2013 3:17 PM

    I love homemade granola. Yum! I’ve not found anything bought that comes close to it. I make a very simple, basic granola recipe that we love and I especially love topping our homemade yogurt with it. SO good…sort of parfaiti-sh.

  9. postedFeb 28, 2013 5:35 PM

    Homemade granola is one thing I always have on hand. I usually make mine with olive oil, but butter is totally fine by me 🙂 It was so nice meeting you last night!

  10. postedFeb 28, 2013 6:08 PM

    We love LOOVE granola on our yogurt but I’ve never made my own. Totally going to try this 🙂

  11. postedFeb 28, 2013 8:41 PM

    It’s been a long time since I’ve made granola. This is the perfect recipe to get me back into the granola-making groove… thanks! 🙂

  12. postedFeb 28, 2013 9:08 PM

    That looks so good, Lori…the perfect way to start the day! I love the idea of coconut, cashews and orange together.

  13. postedMar 1, 2013 4:13 AM

    Yummy! I love granola..will make mine as soon as a I get all the ingredients.

  14. postedMar 1, 2013 5:14 AM
    Janet R

    Glad you shared your granola – I love it too! Have you ever tried it with cottage cheese instead of yogurt? MY favorite! (Oh, unless your tea is herbal, you’re getting a little caffeine, just not as much as coffee.)

  15. postedMar 1, 2013 6:00 AM

    Ive never made homemade granola but have been wanting to try it…I eat it everyday, like you with a little greek yogurt and honey..the store bought ones are SO high in sugar..can’t wait to try this one! Thanks!

  16. postedMar 1, 2013 6:12 AM

    I love this Lori! I’m bad at eating breakfast so having some of this around would be great for me. And congrats on your TV segment! 🙂

  17. postedMar 1, 2013 7:28 AM

    I made a granola very close to this a week or so ago and will be finishing it off soon. I love dried apricots with coconut and sliced almonds, so that ‘s exactly what went in it. The orange zest is a great idea. I love granola over Greek yogurt with just a bit of honey as well, and yes, it’s a great post-workout snack/meal!

  18. postedMar 1, 2013 7:59 AM

    I LOVE homemaed granola! The smell of it baking is wondeful! Like you I am an early riser. I get up at 3:30am during the week and 4:30 am on the weekends, and I love to bake or make granola on a Saturday morning so when everyone else gets up the house smells warm, welcoming and inviting.

  19. postedMar 1, 2013 9:43 AM

    I make homemade granola every month. I love your addition of nutmeg and orange to yours! you’ve inspired me.

  20. postedMar 1, 2013 9:44 AM
    Terri A.

    The recipe that I make is very similar to yours. Lately, I’ve been using coconut oil in place of canola (or butter, in your case). Never thought to add the orange zest – am going to try that next time.

  21. postedMar 1, 2013 10:48 AM

    Very filling for these winter days! Thanks!

  22. postedMar 1, 2013 11:27 AM

    Mmm…homemade granola…I could eat an entire batch! Great tips for peeps on shopping the bulk bins. That’s just one reason why I adore Whole Foods Market. Your recipe for granola looks outstanding, Lori! I like to make mine with coconut oil and top my coconut ice cream with it. YUM. Thanks for another great recipe, girlfriend! xo

  23. postedMar 1, 2013 5:06 PM

    I live on homemade granola! Nothing can be so easy as mixing and roasting, scooping and eating! Yum 🙂

  24. postedMar 1, 2013 7:15 PM

    I don’t know why I have never tried to make my own granola! It seems so easy to make!

  25. postedMar 2, 2013 7:55 AM

    Granola is a favorite at my house. I make a huge batch to eat plain and with granola! I like the addition of nutmeg in yours…will have to add that to mine 🙂

  26. postedMar 2, 2013 8:33 AM
    Joanie from CLBB

    Love trying different granola recipes, thanks for sharing. Your bird is gorgeous! Is he a family heirloom hand-me-down maybe? My brother-in-law has a real cock-a-doodler that looks just like him, LOL! I forget what breed name he is, but BIL calls him Coach K (he’s a Duke fan ;-( ), hahahaha!

  27. postedMar 2, 2013 6:38 PM

    I love granola in my yogurt too! I actually only started eating granola in my yogurt a year ago! How great to have a granola recipe in handy!

  28. postedMar 2, 2013 7:54 PM

    This looks delicious. I tried making homemade granola once using no oil and only applesauce, and it didn’t really turn out. Do you think it might work to half the butter and use applesauce to make it a little more low fat? Or is the oil necessary to keep the crunch?

    • postedMar 3, 2013 12:54 PM

      Hmmm, I’d think the applesauce would make it far too moist, and it wouldn’t have the opportunity to crisp as it would with oil or butter.

  29. postedMar 4, 2013 5:41 AM

    I’m not sure you should leave that yummy granola so close to the rooster…he’s got his eyes on it… 😀

  30. postedMar 4, 2013 4:50 PM

    I am not kidding. Just made this. I will never buy granola again.

  31. postedMar 6, 2013 8:49 AM

    I make homemade granola all the time. It’s so delicious with greek yogurt and fresh berries, isn’t it? I actually love taking granola when we go camping, so we have a no-cook-no-clean-up meal.

  32. postedMar 9, 2013 7:07 PM

    FINALLY, a granola recipe that is perfect as-is! I love what I’m reading here — perfect combination. I’m most definitely going to make this! Thank you, thank you.

  33. postedMar 15, 2013 3:37 PM

    I have been searching for a homemade Granola recipe and this seems right up my alley. And I love you Rooster, I honestly also have my own counter top rooster that I love 🙂

  34. postedMar 18, 2013 5:48 PM

    Just wanted to thank you for posting this fantastic recipe—-made it as a spring break activity with my three kids (ages 3, 5, and 6) and it was a HIT—both making and eating! Would way rather serve this for breakfast than cereal!

    • postedMar 18, 2013 10:06 PM

      Glad to hear!

  35. postedApr 2, 2013 1:45 PM

    Have just made this with nuts and maple syrup – it’s fab, so much nicer than any I’ve bought previously. I’ll be regularly making my own from now on. Thank you 🙂

  36. postedJul 18, 2013 7:10 AM

    Thank you for the recipe. I made it minus a couple of the ingredients and it was Fabulous

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