Granola is probably the tastiest and easiest way to eat oats, as a quick breakfast in yogurt with some fresh berries or as an on-the-go snack. Homemade granola is super easy and customizable. I have difficulty justifying any store-bought granola unless I’m traveling or otherwise don’t have access to a kitchen, because store-bought granola are way too sweet, overpriced, less nutritious, and always include an ingredient I do not like (like peanuts).
I’ve received many requests for my homemade granola recipe, so here it is. It took a while because I wanted to get the best version of a recipe out there, and here are some important points I’ve learned along the way:
- The proportions of the dry ingredients are rather arbitrary. You can adjust based on how you like your granola. I like mine loaded with nuts and seeds for more protein, fat, and fibre, which help keep you satiated and full for longer. You can mix and match any number and types of nuts and seeds. The wheat germ is also high in protein and fibre and add an additional layer of nutty flavour.
- Use raw nuts: I learned this the hard way… If you use pre-roasted nuts in your granola (sometimes it is not obvious from the packaging—look for “raw” wording if possible), they will taste burned after roasting it again!
- Fat: I prefer using coconut oil because it is a stable oil at room temperature and the granola keeps well for a while, at least a few weeks. I have made granola with butter before and, while delicious, the flavour does begin to taste off after a week or two.
- Sweetener: I’ve found honey to be the best choice for the chunkiest granola. Maple syrup makes less chunky granola. I like mine at a just-noticeable sweetness level, almost a cross between sweet and savoury. You can play around with the amount of sweetener based on your preference.
- The Hole Method: In order to make chunky granola, it’s important to bake it at a low temp, undisturbed. However, if spread out across the entire baking pan, the centre will come out still soft and undercooked. The way around this is what I call the “Hole Method” where you clear out a rectangular area at centre of the pan for greater surface area. I can’t take credit for this though because I read it on someone’s blog a while ago, but I can’t remember which one (sorry!).
- Binding agent: You need a binder to keep your ingredients sticking together. Fold in whipped egg whites at the end before baking. Skip this step if you prefer flaky granola.
- I love giving edible presents. These make wonderful gifts in mason jars!
Recipe: Chunky Granola
4 cups (370 g) whole rolled oats
1/2 cup (75 g) raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (75 g) raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (65 g) raw pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (100 g) raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (85 g) chia seeds
1/2 cup (80 g) wheat germ
2 teaspoons (10 g) finely ground raw sea salt
1/2 cup (125 g) coconut oil, melted if solid (i.e., you live in Canada like me)
1/2 cup (125 g) honey
2 teaspoons (8 g) pure vanilla extract
3 large (100 g) egg whites
- Preheat oven to 280°F (140°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix all of the dry ingredients together. Then throw in the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and thoroughly mix again.
- Aggressively whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the granola mixture gently until fairly uniform.
- Spread out on a parchment-lined baking pan with even thickness (about 1.5 cm), clearing a rectangular area at the centre. Bake for 1 hour or until the edges are golden brown, turning the pan around halfway.
- Let cool completely and crush gently using your hands to break up into chunks!