Home Made Granola [General]

2009 Aug 13
Verbatim from my blog at : www.urbanhippy.ca

I wanted to make Granola, but as I usually do with something new, I don't like to just get a recipe and try it out, I like to read a bunch of recipes to come to understand the basic essence of the thing I want to make. Then I make up my own recipe. I've been making granola bars for a couple of decades now, and truth be told I even tried my hand at granola in there once or twice during that time - but in the past I'd always just followed a recipe. In reading up on granola, it became clear that it is very similar to granola bars - go figure. Basically use a bit less moisture, a bit more grains, and bake longer at lower heat, without pressing the mixture into the pan. Instead, you distribute it loosely, and mix it about every half hour while baking.

Here is my first crack at it, which is still in the oven. Based on the taste test going into the oven as well as comments on the terrific smell from my wife and youngest son after it had been in the oven a while, I think this will prove to be a pretty good first kick at the can!

What I have come to believe granola to be, is about 10 cups of grains, about 3 cups of seeds and nuts, about 2 to 3 cups of dried fruit, about a cup of honey, about 3/4 cup oil, a bit of salt, and a few other spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and the likes.


* 5 cups rolled oats
* 3 cups flaked barley
* 2 cups buckwheat groats, buzzed in a blender or food processor

Seeds and Nuts

* 1 cup sunflower seeds
* 1 cup flax seeds
* 1 cup sesame seeds

I buzzed the nuts in a food processor with

* 1/2 cup oil


* 13 dried apircots
* 15 prunes
* 3/4 cup dried canberries

Buzz fruit food processor with

* 1/4 cup oil
* 1/4 cup milk
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup honey

In hindsight I'd probably replace the milk with a piece of ripe fruit like an apple, pear, or peach, and maybe an extra-ripe banana or two. I will try that next time and report back.

Now just mix everything in a huge bowl - it makes a lot so you need a really big bowl or maybe an 8L or more stock pot. As you are mixing, mix in

* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* up to 3/4 cup honey, heated first in microwave
* 3/4 cup grated coconut - just for kicks


Combine it all really well, and then spread evenly over 3 large greased cookie sheets that have a good 1/2" or more ridge around the outside.

If you like it browner and toasted, then bake 250F on convection, for about 2 hours. Mix it up every 30 minutes. Or non convection, 265F but mix every 15 minutes.

If you like it lighter, then use 215F on convection, or 230F on regular, and let it bake 30 to 60 minutes longer.
Add More Fruit

After it is out of the oven and cooled, you add a cup or two more of dried fruit. Raisins, currants, whatever you want.

After coming out of the oven and before adding the extra dried fruit, it makes about 6 US quarts / 5.8 L, weighing about 2.2kg or just shy of 5 lbs.

2009 Aug 15
Delicious! I love the staggering array of fruits and nuts and flakes.

Here's the recipe that I use. It's modified from the recipe Alton Brown showed on Good Eats. The quantities are smaller (there are only two of us), and it only uses oats as its grain, but it can be expanded and modified without ill effect.

We've eaten it pretty well every day for months, mixed into yogurt that has been sweetened with a bit of honey. I don't think I could ever get tired of it.

Then again, I didn't get tired of three years of eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast in high school, so there ya go ;)

* 3 cups rolled oats
* 1 cup slivered almonds
* 1 cup cashews
* 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* generous grating of fresh nutmeg (Maybe five seconds of grating with a microplane? I never keep track.)
* 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

After things have browned nicely, remove the sheet pans from the oven and transfer their contents back into the large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

I tried adding a cup of walnuts to the recipe once, but I wouldn't recommend it. The walnuts are a bit too oily, and burn too easily. Hazelnuts might work well, but I worry that their shape means that they'll not hold onto the coating.

2009 Aug 15
Any nuts will work if you buzz 'em in a food processor first momo :-) And lowering your baking temp will prevent burning.

I recall the few times I made granola 20 years ago, that burning was my biggest issue. But looking back on my recipes from the time I see they wanted the oven at 350F and I probably blindly followed it!

On the batch I did above I used 210F for about the first 1/4 of the time, then 250F for 1/2, and back to 210F for the last 1/4. All with convection. On my next batch I'm going 210F the whole way, and may even lower it more. That will probably cause it to not brown as much but that's OK too. I like the nice copper colour it has now (hmmm, better go take a pic) but it could be lighter too and I would not mind.

2009 Aug 15
Given how pleased I am with the colour and the texture of what I've already got in there, I'm a bit reluctant to lower the temperature. For me that means that walnuts are out and likely always will be out.

Blitzing the hazelnuts, just a little bit to break them up, is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion.

2009 Aug 15
Here is mine - on a plate so as to be able to see it better

2009 Aug 15
You can really see how the binds things together into clusters. I assume that's because of the higher quantities of everything and the nuts being ground in the food processor?

Mine turns out pretty uniform: no clustering. Observe!

One of these days I'm going to try replacing the vanilla with Bourbon. Or Armagnac. Or Scotch. Anything alcoholic, really.

2009 Aug 15
I guess that depends on your definition of "uniform" :-) I'd say mine is more uniform in that it all looks the same. Which of course is part of the plan and part of the reason I grind everything in the food processor - the less the boys can recognise, the greater the chance of them eating it. And sure enough the youngest at least loves it!

2009 Aug 15
And I just won over the oldest!

With the new batch in the oven you can really smell it throughout the house. I had the oven door open stirring, and both of them came racing into the kitchen asking if I were making cinnamon rolls because they could smell the cinnamon :-)

So they both tried a bit of the fresh granola from the oven, and then immediately both demanded a bowl of it with milk :-)

2009 Aug 15
Mission accomplished! Congrats!

2009 Aug 18
For an even healthier version of any of the above (looking delicious recipes!) you could use coconut oil for the vegetable oil--a very healthy cooking alternative.

2009 Aug 19
W.C.: Your claim that coconut oil is "healthy" is a relative one. While it does provide a boost in energy and is metabolized differently from other oils, and it has been used historically to treat a variety of illnesses, studies also show that coconut oil increases the risk of heart disease.

Overall, it does seem to be a healthier oil, but not to be taken wtihout a grain of salt, is all.

2009 Aug 19
Someone called me out on this a couple of years ago LWB. It seems that most of those studies were flawed because they only used hydrogenated coconut oil, not the pure stuff. Search for "heart" in this link, and then read a bit


2009 Aug 19
I went back and read this after the fact, so yes. The other problem is that decades ago, a lot of products contained both Palm and Coconut Oil, the former having fewer health benefits. All this to say, it's interesting what we learn from our parents, for I was never allowed to take Ramen for this reason.

2009 Aug 19
Ramen is deep fried and delicious :)

2009 Aug 19
yeah, let's not get side-tracked in this thread: Ramen is deep fried and delicious!