This is a Root Formula, a simplified recipe that shows which ingredients are core and which can be changed to create different flavor combinations or use what you have on hand.
See our Variations on this Ultimate Granola Formula below.
Life is so much easier when you’ve got the makings of good meals around the kitchen. In our house, making a batch of this easy granola every couple weeks is a worthy investment of time. It produces a large tin that doesn’t stay full for long. On mornings when there’s not time to make breakfast; when people start poking around for a mid-afternoon snack; or when you just need a handful of somethin’ to tide you over, a jar full of homemade granola is miles more satisfying than a piece of toast or bowl of cereal. Below, we give you some suggestions, but what’s awesome about this formula is that you can create your own favorite combination or switch it up with the seasons.
A note on dried fruit in this easy granola
We have been making granola for years and have tried a couple ways of adding dried fruit – either adding it in halfway through the bake time or adding it to the tin after everything has baked and cooled. But, the problem is that dried fruit runs the spectrum from plump and almost juicy to dried and desiccated depending on the fruit, the brand, and freshness.
Adding dried fruit during baking can result in either super dry dried fruit or stale-textured granola. For perfectly crisp granola and perfectly textured dried fruit, we prefer adding the dried fruit to the bowl of granola just before serving. If you prefer to bake it all together, simply stir in the dried fruit at the 30 minute point when you remove it from the oven to stir it.
Try warming your milk
During the cooler months we often warm our milk (we prefer oat milk) before pouring it over the granola. All the comfort of oatmeal with the satisfying crunch of granola!
Because having granola for breakfast is so easy, we take the time to set out a few fun toppings and stir-ins to make our bowl a little more interesting:
- Nut butter
- Extra roasted nuts or seeds
- Fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Mixed Berry Sauce
- Mini chocolate chips
Root Formula: Changeable Ingredients
This is a Root Formula, a simplified recipe that shows which ingredients are core and which can be changed to create different flavor combinations or use what you have on hand. For Ultimate Granola, these ingredients are Extras, Spices, and Flavorings.
Coarsely chopped pecans
Coarsely chopped walnuts
Coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Sunflower seeds (no more than 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons each: ground cinnamon and ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon almond extract
Our Easy Granola Variations
Use the formula and the suggestions above to make your own variations, OR try the flavor combinations we’ve created:
Ultimate Granola (A Root Formula)
- 5 cups old-fashioned oats, divided
- 1 cup whole roasted almonds
- 2 cups Extras, see above
- Spices and/or flavorings, see above
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or other neutral oil, such as vegetable
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Measure 4 cups of oats in a large bowl; place remaining 1 cup in a blender or food processor canister and grind to a meal texture. Add ground oats to the large bowl, along with almonds and Extras (except if using chocolate chips) and if using a Spice, add it now.
- Meanwhile, bring syrup, molasses, oil, water, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat, and if using a Flavoring, add it now. Pour liquid mixture over oat mixture; stir to combine.
- Turn oat mixture onto a large (18- by 12-inch) rimmed greased baking sheet, shaking pan to evenly spread it; bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir the granola. Continue to bake until impressively golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. If using chocolate chips, add them now. (Can be store in an airtight tin or jar up to a month.)