All the Granolas!
Are you following a gluten free diet? We have you covered! (Nut Free, Gluten Free granola)
No nuts? Check. This current recipe or our Nut Free, Gluten Free Granola
Vegan? All of our granolas are vegan!
High protein? Yes! For this granola, the protein content depends on the type of nuts you use. Almonds are higher in protein and give 7 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving. (Stay tuned: I am experimenting with an almond / almond butter version!). I do not use protein powders, so you will not find them in this high-protein recipe. (Higher Protein Almond Granola)
You can modify the flavorings to your heart’s content. Over the years we have tried cinnamon, cardamom, orange peel, vanilla and a variety of dried fruit; dried cherries and cranberries are our favorite dried fruits to add.
But in my family, we adore maple flavor and the other flavors seem to obscure the maple. So our granola is pretty simple.
We like our granola with big crunchy chunks. My husband figured out how to create big chunks years ago – do you know how to do it?
I would make granola with wheat germ. He would make his with oat bran (because he avoids wheat). His had big chunks. Mine did not. Bummer. We all liked the big chunks and maple flavor his had.
Turns out that the solution was a simple one: more water. (Yes, really!)
In addition to enough liquid (adding more water), if you want your granola to be chunky, pat down the mixture as you spread it out on the pan.
Then after 30 minutes of baking, it is time to flip or turn the granola. If you want your granola to be in larger chunks, carefully flip the granola one spatula full at a time. You need to take your time to flip the granola carefully so that the chunks remain intact.
Oats are the basis of this breakfast staple (which is also delicious at lunch and for snacks). Oats are a whole grain loaded with soluble fiber. Although oats do not contain gluten, they are often contaminated with gluten, so if you have celiac disease, or are especially careful, be sure you purchase gluten free oats.
The wheat germ or oat bran add nutrients and help bind the liquid and oats to form big chunks. I recommend toasted wheat germ which tastes better in this recipe.
Note: Wheat germ is not a regular ingredient in my kitchen. But I always have some in my refrigerator for making granola. It keeps well refrigerated.
The maple syrup, oil and water serve as the liquid ingredients. They bind the oats and germ / bran. As the granola bakes it dries out. If you are careful when you flip the granola halfway through baking, you will have big chunks of granola. If you dislike big chunks, you can stir the granola on the sheet instead of flipping it so that you will not have any chunks.
For big maple flavor be sure you are using dark maple syrup (previously called grade B).
There is also brown sugar in the recipe with wheat germ. There are two reasons for this. First, brown sugar gives a depth of flavor that we find appealing. Second, using brown sugar is much cheaper than adding more maple syrup. But you can certainly use all maple syrup.
Before we talk about how to make this easy granola recipe, let’s mention price. Have you priced gourmet granola lately??? Last time I did it was $9 for a bag that would be less than half of this recipe! You can save serious money by making your own granola. Enough money to justify the purchase of real maple syrup if it is not already in your kitchen!
The basic recipe and technique is the same for all the granolas. So here we go. . . .
Combine the oats, wheat germ (oat bran), brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix well. I often use my hands to break up the brown sugar lumps quickly.
Put the maple syrup, oil and water in a glass measuring cup. Microwave until steaming.
Whisk the hot liquid ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a heat-resistant spatula or spoon.
If you are adding nuts, add them now and mix again. Dried fruit will dry out too much if you add it now. You will add it when you flip the granola (if you are using it.)
Place the granola in a lined, rimmed half-sheet pan.
If you want your granola to be chunky, pat down the mixture as you spread it out on the pan. The granola should cover the pan. This is the step that takes the longest in this recipe.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully flip the granola one spatula full at a time. If you want your granola to be in larger chunks, you need to take your time to flip the granola carefully so that the chunks remain intact.
If you are adding fruit, you can sprinkle it over the granola. (You can also add it after baking if you desire.)
Turn the baking sheet back to front and return it to the oven. Bake for about 20 more minutes. You want the granola to be golden brown. It should be fairly firm, but it will crisp up more as it cools.
If you are making the gluten free version, you will need to bake it at least 30 more minutes. The wheat germ is toasted, and the oat bran is not. It makes a difference in the depth of flavor in the granola. To compensate, you can bake the granola longer so that it turns the same golden brown color. For the gluten free version, we often bake it for 30 minutes the second time and then turn off the oven and leave it in for another 30 minutes as the oven cools.
Cool the granola at room temperature until completely cool. Then store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Wheat germ is a powerhouse. There is about 1 tablespoon wheat germ in each serving of granola. For 20 calories, it supplies 1 gram of insoluble fiber, half a gram of unsaturated fat, and is a good source of vitamin E, folate, magnesium & zinc.
Oats supply fiber (mostly soluble) as well as protein. One quarter cup of oats supplies 50% of the manganese you need in a day and 64% of the molybdenum. More than 25% of phosphorus, copper and the B vitamins biotin and thiamin.
So for 1/3 cup granola you will receive 5 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, and all the vitamins and minerals in the wheat germ and oats. And if you are including nuts include more unsaturated fat, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Chunky Granola Recipe
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans, chopped *
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 6 tablespoons dark maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 275°.
- Combine oats, wheat germ, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix dry ingedients with a spoon or your hands. Be sure to break up the brown sugar.
- Coarsely chop pecans.
- Combine maple syrup, oil and water in glass measuring cup.
- Heat liquid ingredients in microwave until steaming.
- Whisk hot liquid ingredients.
- Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Mix in nuts. If using dried fruit, wait until the granola is turned to add the fruit.
- Place mixture on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with a liner or parchment.
- Pat down the mixture with a spatula to spread it out. Pat it down if you like chunks in your granola.
- Bake in 275° oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove granola from oven and flip with a spatula. If you want large chunks, try to disturb the granola as little as possible as you flip it.
- Add dried fruit if you are using it.
- Return to the oven for about 15 minutes.
- If the granola looks golden brown and is quite dry, it is done. If it is not golden brown, or too "bendy" or soft, return to the oven for about 10 minutes. The granola will firm up a little bit as it cools, but not significantly.
- Cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Store in an airtight container.
- * I most often use 1 cup pecans in this granola. That is what was used in the nutrient analysis. You can use 1 cup of any type of fruit or nuts. For gifts I often use 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup dried cherries. Walnuts and dried cranberries are another winning combination.
- Just a note on the large chunks, the more nuts you use in your granola, the harder it is to maintain the large chunks. So if you want the biggest chunks possible, use no nuts!