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The Best Homemade Granola

August 22, 2011

If you love granola and aren’t making it yourself, you need to try it. The first time I made granola, I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how much better it tasted than anything store bought. Since my first batch of homemade granola, I’ve experimented with a whole host of recipes. Some include different nuts or dried fruit, some use agave nectar instead of sugar, and some include some type of fat (like canola oil or butter). After all the experimenting, I have finally perfected what I think is the best homemade granola. It’s simple, easy to make, and really delicious. I suggest serving it with a little Greek yogurt and honey or with fresh berries and vanilla yogurt. I’ve also been known to eat it by the handful for a quick snack or in a bowl with milk.


The Best Homemade Granola

This recipe also works well with slivered almonds, but in my opinion this version with walnuts is the best. Also, if you store the granola in an airtight container, it will last for weeks on end. I store mine in quart-sized Ball jars (one batch of granola will fill up 2 of these jars) and I find that if stored properly this granola gets better with time. So if you think it’s good the day you make it, just wait a couple of weeks and it will taste even better!

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnut pieces or nuggets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, walnuts, and salt. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the brown sugar and water. Microwave the brown sugar mixture on high for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved; be careful not to overcook or burn the syrup and be sure to watch it while it is in the microwave because the mixture tends to bubble up. Add the vanilla extract to the brown sugar syrup and stir to combine.

Pour the brown sugar syrup onto the dry ingredients and stir until all the oats and nuts are coated with the syrup. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the granola is lightly golden on top and crunchy. Let the granola cool completely and then use your hands to break it up into pieces. Store the granola in an airtight container.

Makes about 8 cups of granola.

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