For my cooking segment on UCTV’s show Wake Up UConn (video yet to be posted but I will upload when it’s up), I decided to share a recipe for homemade granola…

I love granola. Granola for breakfast with fresh fruit. Granola for a snack over yogurt. Granola by itself whenever and where ever. Usually I just buy granola from the market or get granola bars to take on the go. I was looking up recipes online and figured homemade granola would be fun to make, especially because then I could adjust to include my favorite parts of the granola and get rid of the other things I don’t like in it.

Granola after being baked

I came across Alton Brown’s granola recipe on the Food Network site and started from there…

His recipe called for:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Looking this over at home, I chose to start with this as a base but changed up some of the ingredients. I changed the slivered almonds to whole almonds and traded in walnuts for the cashews. I eliminated raisins and substituted in dates.

I also got rid of the extra tablespoons of maple syrup and dark brown sugar because reviewers of the recipe said it made the granola very sweet and personally I don’t like my granola too sweet.

Homemade Granola Recipe

Some of the ingredients for granola I used included coconut, almonds, Medjool dates and walnuts.

So here is my ingredient list:

  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of whole almonds
  • 1 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup of medjool dates (about 6)
  • 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • A pinch of salt

Makes about 10 servings (1/2 cup = one serving)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

In one bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients: rolled oats, whole almonds, shelled walnuts, coconut, brown sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix all of your wet ingredients: maple syrup and the vegetable oil. Once both the dry ingredients have been mixed together in their bowl and the wet ingredients have been mixed together in their separate bowl, you can now combine the wet and dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together well.

Granola before being baked

Then pour onto a baking sheet making sure you have one even level of granola mixture across the pan. If I were to do this again, which I likely will, I would place a piece of parchmnent paper on the cookie sheet so its easier to clean later and easier to transfer the granola from the cookie sheet to a bowl when it is done. After your granola is on the sheet, place it in the oven to cook. You will need to stir the granola mixture every fifteen minutes for the next hour and fifteen minutes. Once granola mixture is browned, you can take it out of the oven and transfer to a large bowl to cool. Then you can enjoy as is or store in an airtight container for later use. Your granola will stay for the next two weeks in which you can use it for snacks or breakfasts over yogurt, with fruit, or even with milk like cereal.

This is just my adaptation of the granola, and the next time I make it, I’ll probably make even more changes. I was thinking it would be fun to experiment and use coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil as well as throwing in a dash of vanilla extract. I also would include more nuts next time. So if you have an allotted two cups for nuts. I would do half a cup of walnuts, half a cup of pecans and then a cup of almonds. Obviously you can take this recipe and run with it to have it include only the nuts you like and really make it your granola. This is a really big benefit I think about making it at home because you can’t specialize your granola at the market.

Nutrition Facts

Granola nutrition facts

Before I move onto nutrition facts, I want to point out something quickly. Granola sometimes gets a bad rep for being not as healthy as people make it out to be, but this is false. The real issue with granola is that you have to be aware that it is very energy dense (meaning it will literally give you a lot of energy to get your going and keep you going throughout the day) which also translates to high in calories. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it is something you have to be aware of when you are portioning out your granola. Maybe you’ve bought granola before or even just made it at home, either way you know that serving sizes range from as little as a small handful which is maybe a quarter of a cup to as much as 3/4 of a cup.

For this particular recipe from the original on the Food Network website, the servings yielded is only six. Six servings means you are consuming almost an entire cup of granola is one sitting which means you would be consuming almost 650 calories in one sitting. This is a little bit ridiculous. In a typical 2000 calorie diet, that’s more than a quarter of your allotted calories for the day in one meal or snack. So I personally recommend having a quarter cup for a snack and a half cup for a meal. I actually measured my granola out in this fashion and I think its really important for that portion control so that your granola remains a healthy snack or meal.

Granola nutrition facts 2

So onto nutrition facts…In one half cup serving, you are consuming about 389 calories and 23 grams of fat. It’s important to note though that these are health promoting fats. For example, walnuts used in this recipe are omega 3 fatty rich. These fats are promoting heart health. So though its higher in fat, keep in mind these are good fats coming from the nuts in the recipe. Additionally, there are 505 milligrams of potassium and 8 grams of protein in one serving. You are also getting 59 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams from dietary fiber and 22 grams from sugar.

Moving on to the vitamins and minerals found in one serving of this homemade granola…You are getting 8% of your daily vitamin B-6 and 25% of your daily vitamin E. One serving gives you 9% of your daily calcium, 10% of your daily folate, 19% of your daily iron, as well as 35% of your daily copper. Additionally, you are getting over 37% of your daily magnesium and over 100% of your daily manganese.

The complete nutrition facts can be seen in the images above and have been calculated using Sparks Recipe Calculator.