Looking for an alternative to packaged cereals from the supermarket? Try these healthy granola recipe that are delicious to eat all year long. From lemon blueberry to sweet potato maple and Korean bbq, we’ve rounded up easy granola recipes that will provide an energetic boost of nutritious ingredients that is guaranteed to quench your hunger cravings.
There are a number of tasty concoctions that are super easy to mix together, require very little effort, and result in fresh baked goodness! Oven baked granola is made with ingredients that are available year round and there are countless variations to execute by following the simple formula.
If you’re only familiar with cooked oatmeal and overnight oats, open up the door to homemade granola. Oats are cheap and easy to buy in bulk, and furthermore they contain a number of nutritious health benefits that cannot be ignored.
Whether you are looking for a new snack idea, baked goods or need to upgrade your easy breakfast with a homemade recipes, healthy granola can be the perfect addition to your routine. It’s a great breakfast when served with yogurt and berries, midday snack or a crunchy topping for a dessert.
How do you get large granola clusters to stick together?
The answer is laying in both the binding agents and the amount of stirring while baking. The binders help to clump together the oats and add-ins into clusters. Stirring gently helps to preserve the integrity of the bunches, while also promoting even baking throughout the entire batch. Rotate the pan and stir less frequently to avoid damaging the sizable clusters.
Ingredients that are used to bind the mixture together include coconut oil, nut butters, maple syrup, honey, mashed banana and sweet potato puree. However, the most common binding agent seems to be oil because that is used to moisten the mixture and also helps to crisp up the ingredients when baked.
Why is my granola not sticking together? If the granola is crumbling into small bits and not sticking together, then you may have a moisture problem or stirred to much while baking. The moisture level in each ingredients can vary for multiple reasons (i.e. brand, climate and storage conditions).
Furthermore, aggressively stirring while baking will break up the clusters into crumble. Gently stir as the granola bakes and you can avoid disturbing the clusters as they begin to harden and stick together.
Is homemade granola healthy for breakfast?
Oatmeal is a healthy whole grain that offers a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals that are recommended for regular consumption. The fiber-rich grain also contains plant based protein and healthy fats.
Here are some of the benefits of oats when added into you diet routine:
- Antioxidants: Oats are a source for natural antioxidants and beneficial compounds that are used by the body to build up immunity.
- Essential vitamins and minerals: Whole grain oats contain b-vitamins, calcium, iron and magnesium, in addition to trace amounts core vitamins and minerals that are commonly recognized for a healthy and balanced diet.
- Plant-based protein: Oats are a nutritious source of muscle building protein.
- Fiber rich: Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help to prevent diabetes, diverticular disease and heart disease. In addition, fiber makes you feel full for longer periods of time which helps to encourage weight loss.
Whole grain oats are high in fiber, healthy fat and plant based protein. In addition, oats contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that benefit a balanced diet.
Oats also help you to feel satiated, which reduces hunger cravings for unnecessary snacking. Furthermore, they improve digestion and improve heart health. As a result, there are many reasons that oats should be incorporated into your diet routine.
Basic Ingredients For Homemade Granola:
Overnight oats and cooked oatmeal are great ways to incorporate whole grain oats into your diet, however they are not the only method. Homemade granola makes an easy breakfast, healthy afternoon snack or even works as a topping for desserts.
Oats are healthy, wholesome and fulfilling, making them a perfect base ingredients for these easy granola recipes. Here are a few reasons why each element is so important for the final result.
- Oats: When preparing granola from scratch, it is recommended to use old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats. Rolled oats and quick oats are both steamed and then rolled flat. As a result, the steam partially cooks the oats during the process.
- Dried fruit: Fruits add flavor and natural sweetness. Mashed banana can be also used as a binding agent to hold together the clusters of granola. Dried apple, apricot, banana, blueberries, cranberries, cherries dates, figs, prunes and raisins can be incorporated into the easy baked granola.
- Nuts: Nuts are a fantastic way to add aroma, crunch and a burst of flavor. Furthermore, nuts are a nutritional source of healthy fat, protein and fiber. Each nut benefits from classic flavor combinations, so pair your favorite taste with the nuts you enjoy most! If the nuts are already toasted, then add to the granola during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent burning the nuts.
- Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are some of the superfood ingredients that make homemade granola a healthy snack.
- Oil: Oil is an important ingredient when preparing crunchy granola because it helps to bind the oat mixture together and also crisps the oats when baked. Each recipe uses coconut oil because it is considered healthy, has a high smoke point and also a flavor profile that works well with the oats. Feel free to substitute for your favorite oil.
- Sweetener: Agave, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar, honey and maple syrup are great options for liquid sweeteners. Granulated sugars include coconut sugar, date sugar, maple sugar and stevia.
- Spices: The spices used in these recipes include almond extract, cinnamon, curry powder, nutmeg, peppermint extract and vanilla extract.
Tips For Making Granola At Home
Making homemade granola is very easy, however there are a few tips to improve your overall success. Here are the tips and tricks that have helped my granola turn out fantastic for each batch. Please share any learning lessons that you encounter along the way!
- Vegan: Honey would be the main concern when making vegan granola. Avoid using honey and substitute for your favorite sweetener.
- Gluten free: Although oats are naturally gluten-free, it’s recommended to use gluten-free certified oats if you follow a celiac diet.
- Clusters or crumble: When baking the granola, spread out the mixture on a baking sheet in one consistent layer. Gently stir the granola to avoid breaking up the clusters of oats as they begin hardening. Stirring frequently will break up the bunches into crumbly pieces of granola rather than clumps of crunch. Rotate the pan to promote even baking throughout the batch.
- Storage: Fresh baked granola stays fresh for up to 3 weeks. Stored inside an airtight container and keep at room temperature.
Can I substitute quick oats for rolled oats in granola?
When making granola, you can substitute quick oats for rolled oats. A thin oat is important because the granola needs to dry out during the baking process in order to make it shelf-stable.
Both rolled oats and quick oats are equally nutritious, however the difference between the two lies in the thickness of the oat. Both oats are steamed and then rolled flat, but quick oats are rolled much thinner than rolled oats.
Furthermore, rolled oats have many more whole shaped pieces compared to quick oats, which tend to have many more fragmented pieces and broken bits.
As a result, I recommend using rolled oats so that the granola clusters are large and stick together. Quick oats will work, but the cluster may be smaller and slightly crumbly.
Best Flavor Combinations For Granola:
Adjusting the subtle sweetness and base flavor combination are the best way to take your fresh baked granola to the next level. Here are the best toppings and flavor combinations that we have tried thus far:
- Apricot + Pistachio + Honey
- Banana + Walnuts + Pecans + Cinnamon
- Blueberry + Coconut + Almond + Cinnamon
- Chocolate + Cherries + Quinoa + Pecans
- Chocolate + Peanuts + Cinnamon + Raisins
- Chocolate + Peppermint + Almonds + Honey
- Cranberries + Coconut + Almonds + Cashews
- Coconut + Lime + Pineapple + Walnuts + Pistachios
- Curry + Cashew + Coconut + Raisins
- Lemon + Blueberries + Almonds
- Soy Sauce + Brown Sugar + Seaweed + Red Pepper Flakes
- Sweet Potato + Maple Syrup + Walnuts + Pecans + Cranberry
- Vanilla + Almond + Cinnamon
Chop large pieces of dried fruit, crush the nuts and sweeten to your personal preference to prepare these easy granola recipes. The clusters of bite sized bits make the perfect snack packed with a ton of flavor, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with the tasty treat.