Clumps of honey-soaked oats, toasty almonds, and sweet coconut come together to make this quick, easy, and super flavorful granola. Forget the store-bought stuff–homemade healthy granola is where it’s at!
One of my favorite snacks in college were these mixed berry parfaits with granola. I went to Oregon State University during my freshman year, and they had THE BEST triple berry yogurt parfaits! The tartly sweet vanilla yogurt…
the honey and almond-licious granola…
and the perfect mix of colorful berries.
Immediately, I would mix it all together so that I could savor every flavor, every texture at once–PURE ECSTASY in my mouth! They even sold the granola in little bags which I loved snacking on–no milk needed! I have yet to come across a parfait nearly as good as OSU’s. I’ve even tried replicating the yogurt and granola they used, but it never tasted the same. Luckily though, I’ve finally created a granola recipe that comes super close to the perfectly sweet and nutty granola that was served in those heavenly parfaits. The yogurt component may have to be another future experiment, but for now, I’m pretty pleased to have a granola that reminds me of the original!
If you’ve never made granola, you’re missing it out! It’s SO MUCH cheaper than the store-bought stuff (the biggest rip-off ever!), you can easily customize it with your own favorite ingredients, it’s FRESHER (hasn’t been sitting on the store shelf for months), tastes infinitely better, and it’s so easy a caveman can do it!
This granola has your perfect mix of sweetness and nuttiness. It has a whole teaspoon of almond extract which really lends a great flavor. Almond extract is much stronger than vanilla, so a little really goes a long way! I LOVE the flavor of almond extract, so I think I’ll be adding more the time next time I make this! Along with the brown sugar and honey, I decided to use some applesauce to provide some of the sweetness as well as to keep the calorie count a little lower. I know, I know. Why would I, of all people, be thinking about calories when I’m the one baking Reese’s Stuffed Monster Cookies and Strawberry Sweet Rolls smothered with sweet, buttery cream cheese icing? You gotta be healthy sometime, right?
Anyway, the applesauce lends a great sweetness for those times when you don’t want to use an entire cup of sugar or honey in your baked goods. And you’ll never notice the difference! Even with just a 1/4 cup of each, you can still really taste the brown sugar and honey flavors.
For the fat, I used coconut oil–just a 1/4 cup. Most granola recipes call for a ton of oil, in my opinion, but I wanted to add a little without sacrificing on the crispiness. The texture of the granola turned out perfect! It wasn’t too crispy or crunchy like some granola can be, and it didn’t leave your jaw super sore from just 30 seconds of chewing. The almonds added a nice crunch and the walnuts were a great addition as well. Feel free to substitute a different mix of nuts if you’re allergic to almonds or walnuts!
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it involves NO STIRRING! In fact, that’s one of the secrets to getting the nice, big, beautiful clumps of granola! Another secret to clumpalicious granola is pressing and compacting the granola in the pan before baking it in the oven. Essentially, you’re baking it together as one piece, then allowing it to cool completely so that it all holds together in one piece. Once it’s thoroughly cooled, you can break it up to as many clumps or pieces as your heart desires!
You’ll be happy to hear that everything can be mixed into one bowl! Hooray for less cleanup and very few dirty dishes!!! Now that’s my kind of recipe!
This granola is great in parfaits…
fantastic with milk…
and even better eaten by itself!
Believe me, you need to make this!
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Heat oven to 325F degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together honey, brown sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Stir in oats, nuts, and coconut.
- Spread oat mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Use the back of a large spoon or spatula to press mixture into a thin, evenly compact layer.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until lightly browned, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once granola is cool, break into clusters.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
- Makes about 5 cups