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your best homemade granola recipe

cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 10:54 AM

Hi all, I am looking for a great granola recipe. I have never made granola and always buy it and am sure homemade is better ( and cheaper too). No dietary restrictions so anything will do. I look forward to your ideas!

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  1. p
    PAO RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 11:29 AM

    From a Sunset Magazine cookbook:

    MEDFORD OATS

    8 cups regular rolled oats
    1-1/2 C. wheat germ
    1-1/2 C firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 large package (8 oz) shredded coconut
    1-1/2 C. roasted salted cashews

    1/2 C. vegetable oil
    2 t. vanilla
    ¾ C. honey

    1-1/2 C. dry fruit, chopped as needed (optional)

    In large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, sugar, coconut, and cashews. Set aside.
    In small pan over medium heat, combine oil, honey, and vanilla. Cook, stirring, until bubbly. Pour over oat mixture and mix thoroughly.

    Grease two 10x15 (or larger) rimmed baking pans (or use silicon or parchment). Spread mixture evenly in pans. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring two or three times, or until coconut is lightly browned.

    Stir granola in pans several times while cooling (otherwise it clumps). Let cool thoroughly, then stir in dried fruit if using. Store in airtight container.

    Yield: 16 cups.

    Notes: This makes a lot. I typically makes ¾’s of the recipe. When I’ve made the full recipe, it has taken longer—up to 40 minutes—to bake. It may depend on your oven, the size of pans, etc. So you may have to experiment with times. When I bake two pans at a time, I switch the pans midway through the baking.

    Other nuts or shelled sunflower seeds can be used. Whole, roasted, salted almonds are good, as are pecans and walnuts. Dates, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, etc. can be used for the fruit in any combination. Dates, however, tend to be moister than other dried fruit and can make the granola less crisp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PAO
      cassoulady RE: PAO Mar 10, 2009 11:51 AM

      thanks! I will try this!

    2. Niki in Dayton RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 12:28 PM

      I use the recipe from USA Weekend, which is very similar to PAOs recipe from Sunset Magazine, although the cook time/temps are different. Key things to remember are to use old-fashioned rolled oats (the quick cooking type don't work) and to bake the granola low and slow. Here's the link: www.usaweekend.com/06_issues/060226/0...

      11 Replies
      1. re: Niki in Dayton
        cassoulady RE: Niki in Dayton Mar 10, 2009 01:31 PM

        niki, do you think Steel cut oats would work?

        1. re: cassoulady
          Niki in Dayton RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 06:51 AM

          Yes, I've made it with steel cut oats and loved it! I vary the fruits and nuts depending upon what I've got handy and who I'm making it for (I'm now the granola supplier for my in-laws, and they have various preferences). My personal favorite has slivered almonds, dried cherries, and chopped dried apricots.

        2. re: Niki in Dayton
          MMRuth RE: Niki in Dayton Mar 11, 2009 07:07 AM

          Why don't the quick cooking kind work? I have some McCann's Irish quick cook oats that I'd love to use up. Thanks!

          1. re: MMRuth
            b
            bear RE: MMRuth Mar 11, 2009 09:49 AM

            McCann's is my go-to for granola and I've never had a problem.

            If you are in need of a recipe, Ina Garten's is very good. I use it as a base, but cook at 300-325 instead of 350, and stir often. I also wait about 15 minutes to add the nuts so that they don't burn.

            The recipe seems to have an error. It says to mix the cherries in at the beginning...don't add any fruit until the granola has finished cooking...it will burn and be inedible! Lots of dried fruit works well in this recipe.

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

            1. re: bear
              MMRuth RE: bear Mar 11, 2009 10:09 AM

              Thanks - I just made a batch using her recipes as a guide, along with another one. I think mine did get a little browner than it should. I used old fashioned rolled oats, blanched slivered almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, some coconut, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, sea salt and vegetable oil. I then add some raisins and chopped dried figs and apricots. We'll see if my husband likes it - I don't really eat it, but thought it was silly for him to spend ten dollars on these little bags of granola!

              1. re: bear
                cuccubear RE: bear Oct 7, 2009 10:55 AM

                I've had good success with her recipe as well. I also add wheat germ, and lower the temperature too.

              2. re: MMRuth
                Niki in Dayton RE: MMRuth Mar 11, 2009 01:26 PM

                Here's what the lady on the USA weekend site says about the difference between regular and quick: For the best results, reach for old-fashioned (not quick) oats, which will bake into crisp, golden granola. Cereal made with quick oats clusters better, but the texture is powdery, not crisp, and it tastes of raw starch.

                That said, I've never actually tried making granola with quick oats. I keep old-fashioned in the house, so used those. And I've read this thread with interest, because I never tried any other recipes after finding this one. This made the kind of granola that I like, so I didn't look any further....

                1. re: Niki in Dayton
                  MMRuth RE: Niki in Dayton Mar 11, 2009 01:56 PM

                  Thanks - I might give the quick ones a try next time, thuogh raw starch taste doesn't sound appealing. My granola did not clump up at all - not sure why.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    Caitlin McGrath RE: MMRuth Mar 11, 2009 03:35 PM

                    I have never had my homemade granola clump, but the poster gordeaux offered a tip on getting clumps, summarized here http://www.chow.com/home_cooking_dige... (click on the thread linked at the bottom for gordeaux's more detailed descripyion).

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Niki in Dayton RE: MMRuth Mar 12, 2009 06:06 AM

                      I get plenty of clumps; as instructed in the recipe I posted the link to, the key is to squeeze small handfuls of granola together before baking it (after adding the liquids). One's hands get quite sticky, but it works well. My husband sometimes helps make granola, and his hands are bigger than mine; his clumps are too big for my preference so I'm continually reminding him "SMALL handfuls, dear, SMALL handfuls" ;-)

                      1. re: Niki in Dayton
                        m
                        modthyrth RE: Niki in Dayton Mar 12, 2009 02:19 PM

                        I think adding in the 1/2 cup of cream of wheat does wonders for clumping.

              3. Sarah RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 01:53 PM

                Ina Garten has one that sounds fabulous -- you can find it on FoodTV.
                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                1. d
                  dijon RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 02:21 PM

                  rolled oats, the brn sugar, honey, vanilla and oil are the main ingredients. I think the secret ingredient is sesame seeds. I dislike coconut so I don't use it. slivered almonds are very good. I think toasting at 350 is required for browning and carmelization of the nuts and other ingredients, at lower temps it just doesn't happen and it is not nearly as good. You do need to watch it a little closer for burning than you would at lower temps. The biggest problem is that it is so addictive it disappears way too fast.

                  1. j
                    janniecooks RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 02:56 PM

                    another poster put up the same query today, posting same response to you that I posted to that poster:

                    here's a couple of threads to get you started:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505811
                    http://www.chow.com/home_cooking_dige...
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281477
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437809
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/465919
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/407462

                    and here's a link to the other thread posted today asking for granola recipes:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602574

                    1. m
                      modthyrth RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 03:31 PM

                      If you're looking for a super-healthy version, simply mix up:

                      4 cups rolled oats
                      1 cup powdered fat free milk
                      1/2 cup cream of wheat (dry)
                      Then wet down with enough sugar-free flavored syrup (like you'd put in coffee--my favorite brand by FAR is Monin) to make it clump up.

                      Bake around 300, stirring every 15 minutes until the clumps look golden and dry. Let cool completely before storing in a bag. I like to mix in freeze-dried fruit after I'm done cooking the granola. It's not particularly low calorie, but the calories that are there are hearty, filling, have tons of fiber, and are good for you.

                      (This was a CORE ww recipe back when there was a CORE plan. I've been pregnant since shortly before they changed the plans, so I have no clue where it would fall now.)

                      1. d
                        DebL RE: cassoulady Mar 10, 2009 05:32 PM

                        From "The Tassajara Bread Book":

                        10 c of mixed dry ingredients (about half or a bit more rolled oats)
                        1/2 c honey
                        1/2 c oil
                        Water enough to mix it all together
                        Optional: a pinch of salt

                        Mix everything together and spread into a cookie sheet or half sheet pan. Bake at 250 for about 1 hour until golden and crunchy. You can add more honey if you like your granola sweeter, up to 1 c. Add dried fruit of your choice to taste.

                        I typically add 1/2 c sesame seed, 1/2 c wheat germ, 1 c broken raw cashews, 1 c roasted unsalted peanuts, 1 c slivered almonds to 6 c rolled oats.

                        Don't use steel-cut oats unless you like oat-flavored gravel in your granola!

                        1. r
                          RosemaryHoney RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 09:09 AM

                          I've made lots of granolas, but my favorite is based on Alton Brown's recipe, because it's easy, with no fuss ingredients, and tastes excellent.

                          Preheat oven to 225.

                          Mix together in a large bowl:
                          3c old fashioned oats
                          1c slivered almonds
                          1c shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
                          1/2c brown sugar
                          1/2c pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
                          1/4c golden flax seeds
                          1T cinnamon
                          2t salt
                          1-2c dried fruit and other nuts, to taste (I use everything from dried cherries to sesame seeds to raisins to pecans...really whatever I'm in the mood for or what's on hand)

                          Mix together in measuring cup:
                          1/4c maple syrup (or golden syrup or honey)
                          1/4c vegetable oil

                          Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir well until everything looks coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 1.5 hours, turning every 15-30 minutes or so. Enjoy!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RosemaryHoney
                            MollyGee RE: RosemaryHoney Mar 12, 2009 12:08 AM

                            Alton Brown's is always the granola recipe I use, too. I vary the nuts, seeds and dried fruit also. I like it with sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and raisins.

                          2. v
                            veggielover RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 09:22 AM

                            I like Mark Bittman's recipe for granola, no extra oil, very easy..I use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit that I have around. I use the minimal amount of honey or maple syrup. Here is the link:

                            http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: veggielover
                              e
                              Eddie H. RE: veggielover Mar 12, 2009 04:26 AM

                              Bittman's recipe is my standby, too. Versatile according to what you have on hand, healthy, easy, and tasty. I love it with almonds, dates, and honey.

                              http://culinarystudio.blogspot.com

                            2. d
                              dianana RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 09:42 AM

                              Brooke's Granola
                              I make this a couple times a month, it's hands down the best granola I've ever had. My friend Brooke tweaked and tweaked her recipe to come up with this. And yes, I have her permission to tell the world.
                              4 cups rolled oats
                              1 1/2 cup nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds)
                              1/4 - 1/2 c brown sugar, to taste
                              1/2 t salt
                              1/4 t cinnamon, or more to taste
                              1/4 cup oil (canola, sunflower)
                              1/4 cup honey
                              1 t vanilla
                              1 1/2 cups dried fruit

                              1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. combine first 5 dry ingredients in a
                              shallow pan - I use a big deep dish pizza pan, works perfectly.
                              2. In a small sauce pan measure in oil - measure in honey using the
                              same measuring cup so it comes out clean. melt oil and honey together
                              over medium-high heat, whisking to incorporate (it will form an
                              emulsion, kinda). Turn off heat and whisk in vanilla (it'll bubble
                              like crazy, I was amused)
                              3. Pour over dry mixture and mix together - I use my hands or a flat
                              wooden spoon, those two work the best for me. Make sure it's all
                              mostly coated and evenly distributed
                              4. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, stir to distribute melty sugar
                              and honey mixture. Repeat 3-4 more times until toasty and golden brown.
                              5. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. let cool for at least 30
                              minutes, tossing every once in awhile - it'll be soft when it comes
                              out of the oven, crisps as it cools.

                              1. waver RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 09:43 AM

                                I posted a similar question a a while back, tried a few out and the one linked below was the tastiest but not low cal. In fact I no longer make it as we couldn't resist snacking on it all day long. Bittman's was good too in the simple/healthy category.

                                http://www.travelerslunchbox.com/jour...

                                1. Katie Nell RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 02:18 PM

                                  My favorite is my grandma's peanut butter granola that I've posted before: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4659...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Katie Nell
                                    p
                                    PAO RE: Katie Nell Mar 11, 2009 03:20 PM

                                    Does it matter whether the peanut butter is the regular commercial kind (Skippy, Jiff, etc) or a natural brand where you have to stir the oil in?

                                    1. re: PAO
                                      Katie Nell RE: PAO Mar 11, 2009 03:22 PM

                                      I don't think I've ever tried it with natural peanut butter, but I'm not certain. I would try it- I like to live on the edge!

                                  2. p
                                    Procrastibaker RE: cassoulady Mar 11, 2009 06:11 PM

                                    You will not go wrong with this granola. I've made it million times with a million different combinations. One favorite is to sub in candied ginger and pecans. I've had so many compliments on this granola and it always makes me feel a little bad because it's sooo easy-- it's the recipe, not me! I think flax seed and/or wheat germ could also be added to up the fiber/nutritional value. And I have occasionally cut the white sugar in half.

                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Procrastibaker
                                      p
                                      PAO RE: Procrastibaker Mar 12, 2009 09:14 AM

                                      I've used Procrastibaker's recipe often as well, since it doesn't have coconut, which is high in cholesterol. Again, as with most granola recipes, the nuts and fruit you put in are highly variable.

                                    2. l
                                      laliz RE: cassoulady Mar 12, 2009 03:18 PM

                                      I've made this many many times and have given it as gifts. It is wonderful. From the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge.

                                      Polo Lounge Granola

                                      Ingredients :
                                      1/2 cup honey
                                      1/4 cup corn syrup
                                      1/4 cup apple juice
                                      1/2 cup oil
                                      6 cup oatmeal
                                      3/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
                                      3/4 cup sesame seeds
                                      1 1/2 cup pecan pieces
                                      1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
                                      3/4 cup pine nuts
                                      1 cup shredded coconut
                                      3/4 cup wheat germ
                                      1/2 cup lecithin
                                      salt
                                      1 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
                                      1/2 cup brown sugar - (packed)
                                      1/2 tsp cinnamon
                                      Method :
                                      • Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
                                      • Combine the honey, corn syrup, apple juice and oil in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
                                      • Combine the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, coconut, wheat germ, lecithin, a dash of salt, the dry milk, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add to the hot liquid in the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
                                      • Spread the granola mixture on 2 baking sheets and bake, stirring with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes, until the cereal is lightly browned and crunchy, about 40 minutes. Cool, then store in airtight containers.
                                      • This recipe yields 24 half-cup servings.

                                      ________________________________________

                                      1. h
                                        HillJ RE: cassoulady Oct 10, 2009 11:02 AM

                                        http://locallemons.com/local_lemons/2...

                                        This one from food blogger, Local Lemons. The use of dried figs in this version really sets it apart.

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