It's easier than you might think to make granola (and healthier). This easy homemade granola recipe is naturally sweetened and loaded up with cranberries, pecans and coconut. Crunchy delicious!
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If you are a regular here, you have probably seen me mention that breakfast never used to be "my meal". In school, I generally just ate a banana (and my parents still get a bunch before I visit, thinking I'll eat them). Then I progressed to toast - I know, not much better.
It was only once a certain company in the UK (if you're there, you know who I mean) introduced some really good mueslis to the market that I started to eat a more interesting breakfast. Then I'd have muesli with fruit and yogurt, plus I made my own Swiss Bircher muesli now and then.
Having had kids, I'm glad to say breakfasts have become a lot better and we rotate around various forms of oatmeal mid-week and the likes of waffles and pancakes, including Dutch baby pancakes, at the weekend.
Granola wasn't something that was around in the UK, as far as I know, when I was a kid, but that same company makes it in the UK now and we've had some on visits back.
I've meant to make my own for ages, and our last trip prompted me to get round to it. Homemade granola really is so much easier than you might think, and so delicious.
Is it really better to make your own?
I know, it may seem crazy to make something you can easily buy, but I do think homemade can be better. For a start, you can control the sweetener (I find many commercial versions WAY too sweet), as well as vary the add-ins.
Homemade granola also isn't really as time-consuming as you might think. All you do is:
- Mix the oats and nuts/seeds with oil, sweetener and any flavorings.
- Lay out on a lined baking sheet then bake.
- Stir once or twice as it bakes so it colors evenly.
- Add in the dried fruit once cool.
See how it all comes together in the short video!
Ways to adapt homemade granola
It's incredibly easy to change up the ingredients to taste. Your basic ingredients are oats, an oil (I prefer coconut oil but you could use another eg vegetable or olive oil), a sweetener and add-ins.
Nuts and seeds you can add to granola include:
- Pecans (as I used here)
- Sliced almonds
- Walnut pieces
- Coconut flakes
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Sunflower seeds
If you are using coconut flakes, as I did here, just be aware they brown much more quickly so just add them towards the end of cooking. Larger nuts and seeds are fine to add at the beginning to help give them an extra crunch (and get the flavor from the maple etc).
In terms of fruits, you can add pretty much any dried fruit that you like, eg:
- Cranberries (as I used here)
- Dried cherries
- Dried apple (the chewy kind is best)
- Dried apricots
- Dried pineapple, papaya etc.
For larger fruits, you are best to cut them into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat in the mixture. Also, for stickier fruits like dates you can either buy them ready-cut, rolled in oat flour, or I'd suggest rolling them in oat flour before adding to the mixture. This will help avoid them clumping together, but also doesn't impact the flavor of the granola.
Add the fruit after the rest of the granola has been in the oven, as they do not need to cook at all (and are sweet enough as they are).
This granola was so popular in our house, I kind of wish I'd made a larger batch. But that just means more excuse to make some more and play about with the add-ins. Though we loved the combination in this homemade granola recipe and will definitely be having it again soon. Try it yourself, and enjoy!
Try these other breakfast recipes:
- Swiss bircher muesli (the original overnight oats, with apple)
- Vegetarian breakfast burrito
- Banana oatmeal
- Plus see many more breakfast and brunch recipes in the archives.
Tools to make this
I'd recommend using parchment on top of a Half Baking Sheet to make this (affiliate link).
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Homemade granola recipe (with cranberries and coconut)
- 1 ½ c oats 145g
- ½ c pecans 50g
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ c maple syrup 4tablespoon
- 2 tablespoon apple juice
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ c coconut flakes 15g
- ½ c cranberries 70g
- Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
- Place the oats in a bowl and add the pecans and cinnamon Stir to mix.
- Pour over the maple syrup, apple juice and coconut oil. Mix well.
- Tip the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out into a layer that's still close enough together that it sticks a little.
- Bake for approx 25-30min, turning roughly halfway through then also adding the coconut flakes a couple mins before end.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before adding the cranberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until needed.
Try these other cranberry recipes:
- Cranberry Glazed Meatballs from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Roasted Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Tart Cherry Cranberry Sauce from The Spiffy Cookie
- Cranberry Walnut Bread from Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry Curd Pie from The Redhead Baker
- Easy Homemade Cranberry Vanilla Liqueur from Family Around the Table
- Cranberry Prosecco Punch from Our Good Life
- Cranberry Orange Marmalade from Books n' Cooks
- Sugared Sparkling Cranberries from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Cranberry Butter from Daily Dish Recipes