Making granola is easy and can use up a range of pantry leftovers.
Fancy granola can be really expensive, but you may have all of the ingredients you need right in your pantry! Granola is also a great way to use up any last odds and ends from snacks and past baking efforts.
- 1/2 cup oil (coconut, canola, and olive work great, but use what you have)
- 1/2 cup sweetener (use what you have, but honey, maple syrup, and agave syrup are good options), or as desired
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or other spices (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups rolled oats
- roughly 1 1/2 cups of add-ins (nuts and seeds, dried fruits, chocolate chips, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it, otherwise don't worry about lining the sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sweetener, spices, and salt. These measurements are very forgiving, so there's no need to be exact. If you don't like a lot of sweetness in your granola, or you plan to add a lot of dried fruit and chocolate, add less of your sweetener. If you would like your granola to be more like a dessert topping, add more! Same goes for spices, though limit the total amount to about 1/2 teaspoon to not overwhelm the flavors.
- Add the oats, nuts and seeds to the oil mixture. Gently stir until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Save your dried fruit and chocolate or other chip add-ins for the end.
- Spread the oat and nut mixture on the baking sheet in an even, thin layer. You can use a spatula or spoon to smoosh down clumpy bits.
- Bake for 20 minutes, mixing and then evenly spreading it again about halfway through.
Note: If your dried fruit (including banana chips, raisins, cranberries) are a little stale, you may want to consider mixing these in and putting the sheet back into the oven for a few more minutes to freshen them up.
- Granola is ready when the oats are a golden brown color. The mixture will still be quite soft, but it will harden as it dries. If you want a more clumpy granola, press the oats and nuts down with a spatula or spoon while they're still warm; it'll force the oats to stick together a bit more.
- Let the granola cool and dry on top of the stove or on a cooling rack where the pan can cool also from the bottom.
- Once completely cool, use a spatula to loosen the granola from the baking sheet and break it up if needed.
- Store the granola in an air tight container or in reused jars to give away as gifts!