Making your own granola is so much easier than you may think, and so much healthier for you than the majority of granola options that are available for purchase in the grocery store. I am always amazed when I take the time to actually read the ingredients on products – either I don’t know what some are, I don’t know why they are in that item, or there is just an excessive amount of unnecessary sugars and sweeteners added.
This granola recipe calls for almonds and dried cherries, but granola is such an easy thing to make and use up whatever may be taking up permanent residency in your pantry. The main ingredients are oats, some sort of nut, and some sort of dried fruit. You can also easily substitute the sweetener and oil. You could easily use maple syrup or agave instead of honey. Same goes for the oil- if you prefer safflower to coconut or canola, it’s your call. You generally just need something to sweeten the mixture, and an oil to help bring it all together.
I like the level of sweetness and tartness that you get from dried cherries, but you could sweeten this recipe by adding in chocolate chips (once the granola is cooled). I know my husband has a big sweet tooth so he immediately started searching for chocolate to add into this recipe. To each their own…
This recipe is pretty simple and straightforward, and very simple to adjust based on your preferences. Enjoy!
- 4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats or steel cut)
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 1 ½ cups dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (your choice of coconut, etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 300F
- In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, almonds, cherries, and chia seeds.
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey, vegetable oil, vanilla, and almond extract over low heat.
- Pour the honey/oil mixture over the oat/almond mixture, and stir until well coated. Add the cinnamon and stir again until well mixed.
- Spread onto a baking sheet (or two depending on what size sheet you have), and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the granola becomes a nice golden brown color.
- Allow the granola to cool, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!