The first job I ever had was working as a hostess at The Cottage in my hometown of La Jolla, California. It’s one of the best breakfast spots in the nation, and that ranking is due in large part to a single menu item: granola!
The Cottage makes the absolute best granola loaded with chopped nuts, toasted oats and dried fruit. And while their recipe has remained a secret for decades, I’ve whipped up a similar version inspired by their light and crunchy breakfast staple as well as my favorite chewy Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.
Mastering my Easy Homemade Granola comes down to a few simple tips and tricks:
- The darker the granola is in color, the crunchier it’ll be in consistency.
- Letting the granola cool completely on the baking sheet also ensures a crisp (rather than chewy) texture.
- Toasting the nuts before mixing them with the wet ingredients enhances their rich flavor without adding more fat.
It’s just that simple! You can also mix and match various dried fruit and nut combos based on your personal taste preferences. I’m a big fan of cashews and dried cherries or almonds and dried pineapple. Whatever mix-ins you choose, one thing is certain: Store-bought granola doesn’t stand a chance against this DIY version!
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- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (See Kelly’s Note)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the oats and nuts on the baking sheet, mixing them to combine, then bake them for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the toasted oats and nuts to a large bowl.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the honey, vegetable oil, egg whites, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the oats and nuts and stir until the mixture is combined.
- Pour the mixture back onto the lined baking sheet, spreading it into an even layer, and bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until it’s golden brown and mostly dry. Remove the granola from the oven, stir it one more time, then allow it to cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Once the granola has cooled, stir in the dried cranberries and serve it immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and store it for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.
- Any type of nuts will work in this recipe but I prefer using unsalted mixed nuts.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.