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Perfect Homemade Granola

What makes me feel like home? The perfect homemade granola! Not too sweet, not too heavy, not too complicated. A healthy day starts with a healthy breakfast and granola makes a healthy base of nutricious carbs to which you can add fresh or dried fruit, milk, nut milk or yogurt. Oats are a great gluten free grain, but if that’s what you need, make sure that your oatmeal is labeled “gluten free” to guarantee it has not been processed in a facility with wheat. Granola is simply a good start to a great day.

I started cooking and baking when I was probably about ten. And granola was one of the first things I ever made! I had a children’s cookbook that contained a delicious recipe, but it contained a lot of oil – vegetable oil. And that tasted good going down and felt heavy in my stomach afterwards.

While the kids were growing up, the girls always loved homemade granola. But I never had a recipe that I was completely happy with. Getting the fats and sugars balanced and getting the right texture, always seemed out of my grasp.

Recently, one of my good friends commented on how much she likes my sister’s granola. Really! And Rebekah had even posted it on Life Over Lunch and I had never made it! So of course I gave it try.

granola beside blueberries and craisins
a bowl of granola, greek yogurt and nectarines

So here’s what Rebekah’s recipe had going for it. Here was finally a homemade granola that did not feel heavy! I loved that it used coconut oil which is a healthy fat that feels good and doesn’t have a strong flavor. Check out some of the health benefits of coconut oil here. This recipe also has honey – a healthier sugar with its own list of benefits. I use raw honey in mine.

Rebekah’s recipe had a surprise ingredient – egg white! This helps make clusters of the oats and adds protein. I had wondered if this would change the shelf life, and maybe it does, but neither Rebekah nor I have had it hang around long enough to go bad! Refrigerate it if you’re concerned, but it doesn’t last very long at our houses.

But of course, I made a few of my own changes. Rebekah’s recipe called for sunflower seeds, which are okay, but I prefer pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are delicious, and I recently discovered, high in zinc! And although Rebekah used coconut oil, her recipe did not have any shredded coconut which I consider to be a granola must!

Strangely, I actually think that this recipe is best without the optional salt, vanilla or cinnamon. Granted, I’m usually using roasted and salted pumpkin seeds. And occasionally I’ll make it with cinnamon to change things up. But the vanilla really doesn’t add unless you’re using a quality vanilla.

So welcome to my version of Rebekah’s perfect homemade granola.

granola beside blueberries and craisins

The Perfect Homemade Granola

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

The best mornings start with the perfect granola. This blend has oatmeal, nuts, pumpkin seeds and coconut, but the recipe is highly customizable!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (I use sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg white, optional
  • Salt, vanilla or cinnamon, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a a large bowl.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir into dry ingredients.
  4. Spread granola over one rimmed or two regular baking sheets. Parchment paper or silicone lining is recommended.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes. Stir occassionally. Granola browns quickly near the end so watch closely.
  6. Remove and cool completely. Stir in 1 cup of dried fruit if desired.

Notes

You can swap any nuts for the pecans and other seeds, like sunflower, for the pumpkin seeds. You can also feel free to leave out the shredded coconut altogether. Dried fruits like raisins and craisins should be added after granola is baked.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 13 Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g

So of course, many traditional granolas have raisins. How delicious is this with raisins and cranraisins? These pictures are making me hungry!

a pile of granola with nuts, raisins and craisins
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