Making granola is as simple as mixing together a bunch of ingredients and then baking them for 45 minutes. I often keep all of the ingredients needed for granola in my pantry, so the most difficult part is hunting for the nuts or seeds that end up in the back of a cupboard. Granola is very flexible (and it is especially good for cleaning out your pantry of random nuts and dried fruits). You can substitute any nuts, raw seeds, or dried fruits you like as long as you keep the volume about the same; taste the raw granola and adjust the spices, seasoning, oil, and sugar if needed. You can halve this recipe if you want to make a smaller amount.
Most types of dried fruit should be mixed in after the granola is cooked because the long baking time will dry them out. However, by accident I’ve found that golden raisins will turn golden, slightly caramelized, and sweeter from the heat, so I like to mix them in before baking.
(The picture above shows my granola in an acai bowl.)
Source: Heavily modified from “Double Coconut Granola” recipe from “Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make” by Melissa Clark
Double Coconut Granola
- 3 cups (315 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw nuts (about 130 grams), a mix of your choosing (e.g. pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews)
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) coarsely chopped nuts *
- 1 cup thickly grated non-sugared coconut (thinly shredded non-sugared coconut can be substituted)
- 1 cup (150 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
Dry Spices and Seasonings:
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (use 1 tsp if you like a noticeable cinnamon flavor)
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- (optional) handful of candied ginger or 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil (you can substitute olive oil, rice bran oil, or any neutral flavored oil)
- (optional) 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup golden raisins (115 grams) or substitute any type of dried fruit you like (e.g. regular raisins, dried cherries, etc.)
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a large bowl or in your baking dish, combine all dry ingredients except for the dried fruit. Add the spices and seasonings. Throughly mix the granola to evenly disburse the dry ingredients.
Mix all of the wet ingredients together, and then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If using golden raisins mix them into the granola; reserve other dried fruits (including regular brown raisins) to mix in after the granola is cooked.
Spread out the granola evenly across a baking dish; you may need to use two baking dishes. The thicker the layer of granola, is the longer that it will take to cook.
Bake until golden all over, about 45 minutes to an hour (or longer if your layer of granola is very thick), stirring approximately every 10 minutes. If using other dried fruits besides golden raisins, mix them in to the granola.
Variation Almond-flavored granola with some clusters: Substitute 1/3 cup raw sesame seeds for the pumpkin seeds. Use thinly shredded non-sugared coconut for the coconut (it sticks to the clumps better). Use powdered ginger (not candied ginger). Use dried currents or omit the dried fruit. Substitute 7 oz Almond Paste (e.g. Odense brand almond paste –the almond paste should have about 80 g sugar in it) for the brown sugar, but don’t add the almond paste into the dry ingredients. Instead, break the almond paste into small pieces. Mix the almond paste as best as you can into the wet ingredients; take your time. Leave some clumps of almond paste — variation in granola bites is satisfying. Mix the wet ingredients with the rest of the ingredients; mix some of the clumps into the granola in order to distribute the sugar, but don’t break up all of the clumps. The number of clusters in the finished granola depends on how many aren’t broken apart; the clumps won’t reform after they have been mixed into the granola. Taste the granola and evaluate the sugar content before baking; if it isn’t sweet enough you can mix in more of the clusters or add brown sugar.
Variation: Use palm sugar instead of light brown sugar. Palm sugar is often sold in cakes, which dissolve easiest with gentle heating. For this recipe, dissolve the palm sugar in the maple syrup by gently heating the maple syrup to a bare simmer and stirring in the palm sugar; do not let boil.
* Nuts can be chopped with a knife or food processor. Alternatively, the nuts can be put in a clean plastic bag and smashed with a hammer. If using a mixture of different types of chopped nuts, then each type of nut should be cut or pounded separately, since they differ in hardness.