close up of granola in baking dish

Granola is a popular breakfast and snack food in our household and it is also easy and fun to make. Best of all, as it bakes in the oven, your house will be filled with the delicious warm scent of oats and spices.

Word to the wise: the following DIY Kitchen is heavy on the Yourself part of Do It Yourself.  That is because, although I used a recipe as my jumping off point when I started making my own granola, I never accurately measured any of the ingredients.  In fact, a great deal of my cooking is done intuitively without measuring cups or spoons.  I recommend it, as taste has everything to do with personal preference.  I will provide measurements as much as possible, not for a rule, but rather for guidance.  [And as a further aside, I do use measurements in baking because I don’t have THAT much skill and baking is equal parts science and art. But by baking,  I mean cakes and cookies and breads, not granola.]

Okay, let’s get back to the GRANOLA, because presumably, that’s what you’re here for, if you are still here after all that.  So, here’s the recipe I used for reference.

Basic Granola

  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts or seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins or diced dried fruit

I use a large glass ‘cake pan’ type baking dish, 9″ x 13″ size.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put all the raw rolled oats in your baking dish, spread out.  Add nuts and seeds.  I like to use whole sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.  I don’t measure, I just add until it looks like a good ratio.  Add salt and ground spices.  I don’t like cinnamon very much, but I use a little sprinkle because it smells good in the oven.  I use more ground ginger.  Pour some vegetable oil (I use safflower) over oats, stir, pour more, stir more, until it is all in there and oats are well coated.  Do the same with honey.  Small clumps of honey and oats will form and that’s good.  I do not know exactly how much oil and honey I am putting in mine because I am not measuring, however, by my estimation I think it is pretty close to the amount in this recipe.

DO NOT add raisins/dried fruit now because they would dry up and burn.  If you want, you can add them after the granola is done.  Many people do it this way.  I try to add them about 5 minutes before the granola is finished baking so they get just a little dried out and extra chewy.

Put the pan in the preheated oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.  The granola will bake for around 25 to 30 minutes in total, but you’ll want to stir it every ten minutes or so, to keep it from burning.  Keep a close eye on it, every oven is different and you don’t want to overcook your granola.  It is done when the oats are just beginning to get a little golden on top.

Let it cool, then store in an airtight container.  This amount fits nicely into two quart sized mason jars.

Variation:  Pumpkin/Winter Squash Granola

This is a really nice fall-to-winter variation on basic granola.  When I bake a pumpkin or winter squash, say for a pie, I mash it up and freeze the extra in an ice cube tray, then transfer the frozen cubes to a bag or container and keep in the freezer for easy additions to recipes like soup or granola.

Mix together about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup (or 2 to 4 frozen cubes, thawed) of baked and mashed pumpkin or other winter squash with the oil and honey, add a tablespoon of molasses.  Combine with your oats, nuts,  and seeds.  This will take just a little longer to bake than the basic granola recipe above.   Absolutely heavenly!

granola in two mason jars