This hearty Homemade Granola is easy-to-make, gluten-free, oil-free, and naturally vegan! Slow-baked in natural sweeteners for a deeply satisfying crunch, it's a delicious source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
Recipes for granola - favorite breakfast cereal turned traveling-snack of hippies and aging boomers - are as numerous and varied as are the ingredients used to make them. However, this healthy granola recipe stands out from the rest in a few significant ways:
- It contains no added fats.
- It uses only natural sweeteners.
- It contains no treats (i.e., carob, chocolate, candy-coated M&M's and the like so often found in "trail mix" granola varieties).
- It is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
And with just the right amount of sweetness, it is a delicious, healthy, natural source of protein and complex carbohydrates. This is one granola recipe you will be making over and over!
- Oats: Be sure to use Old-fashioned Oats. Uncle David's said, "Preferably Quaker or Three-Minute brand—avoid other and most bulk brands. They go to pieces and don’t make a tender, flaky granola"
- Honey: The use of honey is a hot-button of contention in the vegan community: some are fine with it, while others are vehemently opposed to its use. Uncle David is one of the former; however, if you avoid honey altogether, you can substitute agave 1:1 for the honey.
- Nuts: We have literally never made this the same twice: we're always mixing up the nut blend, or adding more coconut, or throwing something in when I have a handful leftover that I don't know what else to do with.
- Dates: Dates impart a delicate, earthy sweetness that really can't be duplicated with anything else. Medjool or Khadrawi dates work particularly well in this recipe, but any dates will do.
- Coconut: We loooove coconut in our house, so we always use at least 2 cups.
- Tahini: If you don't have tahini, peanut butter makes a fine substitute.
- Vanilla: Use extract or vanilla paste.
- Molasses: We recommend using light molasses.
- Maple flavoring
- Salt: We use kosher salt.
How to Make Crunchy, Healthy Granola
Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C).
Place dates and ½ cup nuts in blender. Add hot water, honey, vanilla, molasses, maple flavoring and salt. Blend for about a minute until smooth.
Place the oats, coconut, and nuts in a roasting pan or very large mixing bowl. Add blended mix to the oats in the large bowl and gently mix together with your hands.
Work the wet and dry mixtures together for several minutes until all the oats are all very evenly moistened and coated.
Place the mixture in large cake pans or cookie sheets, taking care not to pack or pat it down tightly. Keep it light and airy.
Place pans in oven at 200°F (93°C) for about 8-10 hours. Use a spatula to turn the granola a three or four times during the baking process.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
I find that a large roasting pan is just the right size for mixing a batch of granola.
Check your oven temperature: It is a good idea to use an oven thermometer to verify the accuracy of your oven temperature. When cooking for such long periods of time at such low temps, even a small temperature variance can make a difference. Granola can easily burn if the temperature is too high.
Low and slow are the watchwords when baking granola. Do not try to rush the process. Higher temperatures can cause the nuts and coconut in your mixture to burn before it has a chance to dry out and crisp up.
Stirring the granola during baking helps to break the mixture into a more bowl-friendly pieces, and it also encourages more even toasting. Use a spatula to turn the granola three or four times during the baking process.
Allow the granola to cool to room temperature. If the granola is put away because it is completely cooled, the resulting condensation may make your granola soggy.
Once it has cool, put the granola into an airtight container or seal tightly in a resealable bag. Store in a cool, dry place for up to one month at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Baked Breakfast Recipes
If you enjoy sweet, baked oatmeal, check out our recipes for Mrs Obingers Coconut Oatmeal Cookies, Soft Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, and Butterfinger Oatmeal Bars. Or try some easy Steel Cut Oats with Apples & Cinnamon, made overnight in your rice cooker!
Note: This recipe was first shared with us by my sister’s Uncle David, faithful breakfast eater and lifelong vegan. Ever humble, Uncle David credited Neva Brackett's Best Gourmet Recipes from Five Loaves Deli & Bakery with his original inspiration.
Healthy Homemade Granola
- 2 cups pitted or chopped dates
- ½ cup walnuts roasted peanuts, or almonds
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1¼ cups hot water
- ¼ cup honey or agave, or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 42 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats about 14 cups
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, or more
- 1 - 2 cups slivered almonds coarsely chopped walnuts, and/or roasted peanuts roasted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 200°F | 93°C.
- Place dates and ½ cup nuts in blender. Add hot water, honey, vanilla, molasses, maple flavoring and salt. Blend for about a minute until smooth.
- Place the oats, coconut, and nuts in a roasting pan or very large mixing bowl. Add blended mix to the oats in the large bowl and gently mix together with your hands. Work the wet and dry mixtures together for several minutes until all the oats are all very evenly moistened and coated.
- Place the mix into large cake pans or cookie sheets, taking care not to pack or pat it down tightly. Keep it light and airy.
- Place pans in oven at 200°F | 93°C for about 8-10 hours, or until the mixture becomes crunchy and your kitchen smells like cookies. Use a spatula to turn the granola a three or four times during the baking process.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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