Healthy Recipes How to Make Homemade Granola

Published on May 11th, 2015 | by Andrea Bertoli

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How to Make Homemade Granola (vegan, gluten free)

Years ago I started making my own granola, and it was a total life changing moment for me. Here’s how to make homemade granola to suit your own tastes.

How to Make Homemade Granola - Years ago I started making my own granola, and it was a total life changing moment for me. Here's how to make homemade granola to suit your own tastes.

how do YOU make homemade granola?

Homemade granola is pretty much the quintessential hippie food, and with good reason. Homemade granola really tastes so much better than anything you can buy from stores, is infinitely healthier, and it is so dang easy to make there is really no reason not too get cooking right now.

{Related: Homemade gluten-free Buckwheat Cereal recipe}

What makes this easy homemade granola recipe your new favorite?

Whole grains

Whole rolled oats are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are essential for a healthy digestive system. What’s the difference between soluble and insoluble? The National Institute of Health says this:

  • Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol, but the effect on heart disease is not known.
  • Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.

Oats are proven to lower cholesterol, by binding with excess cholesterol and flushing it out of the body, reducing your risk for heart disease. Similarly, the fiber in oats and other whole grains helps to bind with excess estrogen, leading to a lower risk of breast cancer for women. Finally, adding more fiber into your diet just makes you feel good by flushing out all of your food in a quick way, you’re keeping your body clean from the inside out.

{Related: How to relieve constipation naturally}

Healthy sweeteners

Store bought granola is really tasty, but it’s delicious because it’s made with a ton of sugar. A little sugar is not so bad, but when all of our foods are loaded with sugar (as they most are) it can lead to increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Our quick homemade granola recipe is lightly sweetened with either maple syrup or agave, natural sweeteners that are more gentle on the body, better for the planet, and taste damn good too.

{Related: 5 Reasons to avoid sugar}

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are little superfoods filled with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. I like to use sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sometimes chia seeds in my granola to add extra protein and a sweet crunch to the granola. You can also play with chopped almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and more for a nutty granola option. I find that the nuts make it almost too filling, so I choose to use them sparingly.

{Related: Balance your hormones with seed cycling}

Coconut Oil

If you have missed the news, coconut oil is everyone’s favorite oil now. It’s good for baking, for cooking, and for your skin and hair. It’s gotten a good reputation because of the healthy type of fat found inside (called medium-chain fatty acids) which can allegedly help with digestion, weight loss, improving cholesterol and more. It’s still an oil, so it’s high in fat and shouldn’t be used all the time, but when oil is needed, coconut is my oil of choice. Olive oil or a neutral oil like safflower or organic canola would also work in this recipe, but coconut is the tastiest. If you do dairy, you could also use ghee or melted butter.

{Related: Is coconut all it’s cracked up to be?}

Ok, are your ready to learn how to make homemade granola? This recipe for the easiest and tastiest homemade granola is gluten-free (choose gluten-free oats if you have a wheat allergy or intolerance) and it’s vegan, which means it’s good for everyone! You’ll notice in the ingredients that there is a lot of room for flavor experimentation: mix and match to find your perfect mix! Do you have a homemade granola recipe that you enjoy too? Share in the comments!

How to Make Homemade Granola

Yield: about 4 cups granola, approx. 8 servings

Ingredients

2 cups whole rolled oats (choose gluten-free oats if needed)
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup whole flax seeds, hemp seeds or chia seeds
½ cup shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, almonds, or cashews
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup or agave
¼ cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or choose almond, maple, hazelnut, coffee extract)
½ cup raisins (or choose cranberries, chopped dates, or goji berries)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300º. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix oats, seeds, coconut, and nuts.
  3. In another small bowl whisk together cinnamon, sweetener, coconut oil, and extract(s) until smooth. Pour liquid over oat mixture and still until coated.
  4. Pour all oats into the baking sheets, spreading into a thin layer.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir granola and add raisins. Bake 15-20 minutes more, until granola is golden brown. Remove from oven, and press flat into pan with spatula.
  6. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Homemade Granola Serving Suggestions

How to Make Homemade Granola - Years ago I started making my own granola, and it was a total life changing moment for me. Here's how to make homemade granola to suit your own tastes.

Here’s just one way of many to serve your awesome granola.

OK, so I think we’ve covered how to make homemade granola, but what do you do with all of that toasty, oaty goodness?

Of course, eat it by the spoonful or the handful! But if you’re looking to make it even tastier, try our serving suggestions for granola below.

  • With yogurt: Use your favorite yogurt or get busy and make your own homemade coconut milk yogurt. Serve with granola and fresh fruits for a sweet, simple treat.
  • With fruit: Top a bowl of chopped bananas, apples or fruit salad with granola to add crunch
  • For smoothies: Add a topping of granola to your smoothie to make it more of a meal.
  • Use in acai bowls: Make your own superfood acai bowl and cover with a serving of granola!
  • Make muffins: Use homemade granola for these sweet granola muffins that I made during a cooking class years ago!

images from Shutterstock


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About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in San Francisco, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, Green Living Ideas and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram



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