My husband and I love to stir granola into our yogurt, and since I forgot to buy it when I went to the grocery store this weekend, I had the perfect excuse to do some baking! After what seemed like an eternity of searching, I found a “master” granola recipe that seemed pretty healthy, inexpensive, and extremely versatile for endless flavor combinations.
I was able to trace the original recipe back to USA Today Weekend (find it here.) As I normally do, I tweaked the recipe to be a little bit healthier, as well as to match what we had in our cupboards. I think you’ll be just as pleased as we were with the results!
Here’s What You Need:
2 cups Old-fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Quick Oats (to help it clump together)
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons sugar free maple syrup (or regular)
1 Tablespoon Water
2 Tablespoons applesauce
1 Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
1/3 cup mixed, unsalted nuts
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup raisins
Here’s What You Do:
1. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position, and preheat your oven to 275. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Stir your oats, brown sugar, salt, nuts, and coconut together in a large bowl.
3. Put your honey, syrup, water, applesauce, oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on the stove. Then drizzle it gradually into the oat mixture, stirring to combine.
4. Pour the mixture into the pan, then use your hands to clump it together.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir in the raisins and bake for another 15 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown!
The verdict? Pretty darn amazing. I don’t think we’ll ever buy granola again! This recipe is so easy, and it’s healthier and less expensive than the stuff you buy at the store. It also comes with so many variations that you’ll never get tired of it!
Speaking of variations, if you want to try one of the other flavors, just omit the nuts, coconut, raisins, and cinnamon from the recipe above, then add in the extras for any one of the alternatives below:
- Classic Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
Flavoring: ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Crunchy Granola
You can replace the ¼ cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbsp each of maple syrup and molasses.
Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup slivered almonds, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, 6 Tbsp currants
- Granola with Tropical Flavoring
Add the coconut along with the cashews and banana chips.
Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews, ¼ cup chopped banana chips, ¼ cup sweetened flake coconut, ¼ cup chopped dried pineapple
Flavoring: ½ tsp ground ginger
- Granola with Cherries and Almonds
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
Flavoring: ¾ tsp almond extract
- Trail Mix Granola
Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, ¼ cup sweetened flake coconut, ¼ cup dark or golden raisins, ¼ cup mini chocolate chips*
*Note: Stir chips into the granola only after it has completely cooled
- Orange-Berry Granola with Pecans
Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup dried blueberries
Flavoring: ½ tsp finely grated orange zest
- Pear Granola with Hazelnuts and Vanilla
Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, ¼ cup chopped dried cherries, ¼ cup chopped dried pears
Flavoring: 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Orange-Flavored Granola with Pistachios, Mangos and Dates
Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped roasted pistachios, ¼ cup chopped dates, ¼ cup chopped dried mangos
Flavoring: ½ tsp finely grated orange zest and ¼ tsp allspice
Okay, so what are you waiting for? Go make some!
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