Granola makes a great cereal or healthy grab-and-go snack. Make your own and you can customize flavors and save money! This recipe yields about eight cups, and the cost is less than you’d spend on a package of the premade kind.
Homemade Vanilla-Coconut Granola
6 cups oats
½ cup coconut flakes
1 cup slivered almonds or whole almonds, ground
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of choice), optional
1/2 cup dried apricots (or dried fruit of choice), optional
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1-1/2 to 2 tsp. pure vanilla
1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. (Tip: If you only have whole almonds on hand, grind them to a powdered consistency in a food processor.)
2. In a glass measuring cup, mix together wet ingredients. (Tip: If using raw honey, melt for a short time in microwave before adding.)
3. Pour wet ingredient over dry ingredients. Use hands to thoroughly combine. (Mixture should be wet enough to stick together but not “mushy.” For additional moisture, sprinkle in some water.)
4. Spread granola onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250 degrees F for 90 minutes. Turn off oven. When cool, remove sheets from oven.
5. Let granola dry until firm, about 6 to 8 hours. (It may feel “tacky”—and that’s OK!). Transfer granola to airtight containers for storage.
Tips and Variations
• Customize your granola with different dried fruits, seeds, nuts, even chocolate.
• Be sure to keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients about the same for best results.
• For vegan granola, use maple syrup instead of honey.
• Don’t like coconut? Swap out the coconut flakes for chopped nuts.
• Using coconut oil adds great coconut flavor. To tone it down, use canola oil instead.
• Like chocolate? Make cacao powder one of your dry ingredients (just use a little less of another dry ingredient in the recipe).
Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family—teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband—healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real—and keep it easy!