Generally, granola is the health nut’s answer to breakfast cereal. It’s like your activist cousin that’s obsessed with whales and polar ice caps. Not nearly as fun as your normal cousin, because you have a nagging feeling all their talk about organic gardening might be true.
I like granola, but I will never claim it tastes better than Frosted Mini Wheats. It’s more mindful. It’s full of natural ingredients. And it can be more frugal than cereal even though it’s made with wholesome ingredients.
But is Granola Healthy?
There’s a lot of talk in the real food world about whether granola is actually good for you. Some say you should soak it first. Some say dehydrate it instead of bake it. Some say skip all the oats and make granola from toasted nuts and raisins… which sounds a lot like trail mix to me.
Let’s just assume that any toasted grain covered in sweetener and fat isn’t going to give you the health nut trophy this year.
So why should you make granola?
Homemade granola might be a good fit if:
- You’re just starting to eat healthy, and my talk about soaking and dehydrating makes your head hurt.
- You need easy, cold food for breakfasts, and you want to try something homemade.
- You love granola and want the cheapest, simplest recipe you can find.
If this is is you, try this granola.
I’ve been making it for 7 years, and we love it. I use this recipe because it’s easy to make as far as granola goes. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan if you need it to be. In the past, I’ve made it more frugal (and friendly towards my texture-sensitive kid) by skipping the coconut and chopped nuts.
It’s also naturally-sweetened. Some granulated sugar would make it more frugal. However, many of us are looking for a sweet breakfast that we can feel better about.
It also doesn’t have chocolate chips or crispy rice cereal or other fun things – there are plenty of other recipes like that. This one is for anyone looking to save some money while tiptoeing into the world of homemade breakfasts. It’s for anyone who may need to accommodate allergies or try something easy. Try this granola.
Want to Watch Me Make it?
I demonstrated making this recipe for a Facebook Live, so if you prefer to see something made first, check it out!
In this video, I made homemade applesauce (3 ways – Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, and Stovetop) as well. If you want to skip to the granola, go to minute 7:20.
Simple, 1-Bowl Granola
One of the easiest granola recipes you'll find. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan if you need it to be. Uses no refined sugar, and you can make it low-fat with an easy hack.
Based on this recipe from Under the High Chair.
- 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, (not quick oats)*
- 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds, or more oats, (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, etc.)*
- 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Optional: Pinch of cinnamon, 1-2 cups dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates, etc.), 3-4 tablespoons flax seed meal, chia seeds
- *You can change the ratio of oats to nuts, just keep the overall amount to 6 cups
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Add oats and nuts to the liquids, stirring thoroughly, until the nuts and liquid are evenly distributed.
- Pour granola onto two baking sheets, and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Oats should be no thicker than 3/4-inch in any given place.
- Bake the granola on the middle rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Remove pans from the oven, use the spatula to carefully stir the mixture and redistribute it evenly, then place it back in the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Depending on how thick the layer is, you may need to bake it for an additional 15 minutes. Be careful! It's easy to overbake.
- Allow granola to cool, then stir in dried fruit (if using).
- Store it in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Serve with yogurt or milk (almond milk works great!).
Try substituting 2/3 of the butter or coconut oil with applesauce!
- Autumn Granola: Maple syrup, cranberries, pecans, raisins, dates
- Trail Mix Granola: Peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins (and chocolate chips... just sayin’)
- Pumpkin Spice: Replace half the fat with pumpkin puree and add pumpkin spice, cranberries, pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), and pecans
- Tropical Twist: Use coconut oil (or part coconut oil and part butter), coconut flakes, and dried pineapple, bananas, and mangoes
- Other delicious additions: Pistachios, dates, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, chopped apricots, etc.
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Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1/3 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 238Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 10mgSodium 85mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 4gSugar 17gProtein 5g
Please note: The actual calories and nutrition of this dish will change depending on what ingredients you use. Nutrition information is not always accurate.
Need More Breakfast Ideas?
- Simple Baked Oatmeal (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined-sugar-free options)
- 5-Minute Egg & Cheese Muffins
- Chocolate Chip “Mookies” (muffins, the easy way)
- 4-Ingredient Homemade Sausage
- Oat & Berry Bars
- Frittata (or how to use up all your veggies)
- Overnight Oats for a Crowd
- Apple Crisp Bars
What You Can Do Now:
- Check if you have the ingredients, and add any that you need to your grocery list.
- Save this recipe on Pinterest (click the photo below) so you can find it again easily.
I made granola fairly regularly for the hubster. I make it in a large skillet on the stove top — I toast the oats in the skillet, then in a small saucepan I cook the sweetening mixture, (adding with lots of cinnamon), pour over oat mixture and stir well. No baking required. I’ll have to try the pumpkin variation–that sounds good!
I’ve never made it completely on the stove top – that’s wonderful! Thank you for the comment!
Ive see this before, it makes a very small amount. Good for a couple servings. For a family, esp of real eaters (your tapeworm analogy is spot on or theres the bottomless pit my kids had), making double recipes of granola hardly lasted still. My mantra…make MORE and have it lots of times. Or at least make it thru the meal that other famiilies would have mad leftovers from 🤦♀️
I don’t think I would put coconut flakes in the oven but stir in with the fruit at the end. We are used shredded coconut w/my older kids and that was good toasted in the oven. It was more of a filler though; coconut flakes are tastier. I always use sesame seeds and they coat the oats, yum.
I also use water with the honey/maple syrup and butter. You want the mix wet but dont need so much pricey stuff. We used to splurge on freeze dried blueberries and thick cut hazelnuts when I ran a monthly co op. OMIWORD. Put some cream or canned coconut milk on that…heaven.
Dont peel the apples, the skins mostly disintegrate! Chunky applesauce is the bomb too. I make it with halved apples and lightly mash only, The nutritious part of most produce is right below the skin. When you peel, you throw out the best part!
Esp in a crockpot the skins will be mostly gone by morning – doesn’t everyone do applesauce overnight so you wake up to gloriousness in the morning?!
Love waking up to applesauce! You know, I tried leaving the skins on the apples for applesauce, but my little kids did NOT like it. We did a fair amount of “suck it up buttercup, this is what there is to eat,” but apparently they could tell the difference. Didn’t hurt them though! I like it with the skins.
Heres a frugal tip for honey. Nuke your butter or coconut oil in the measuring cup for the honey, till mostly melted. Do not spatula the cup. Pour honey in there and it will mostly just slide out and then you can easily spatula out the rest. Measure the water in it to get every last bit. Im a bit ocd about pricey sweeteners lol
Yes! We do this all the time! It works.
I’ve made this recipe 2-3 times now. Always good! Today I used some leftover dry cereals that had been sitting in my cupboard for a while (about a cup of plain Cheerios and plain Rice Krispies). I kept the ratios the same and used 3/4 cup brown sugar instead of honey. It turned out great!
Yay, Bethany! I love that variation idea too!