Weekend Chew: How To Make Your Own Granola

Granola is to food as a bow is to a beautifully wrapped gift. Granola makes food just a little more special with added flavors, nutrients and a satisfying crunch! What’s not to love? Sure, you can buy granola from the store when you are crunched (ha!) for time. There are plenty of varieties to choose from.

But this weekend, take some time to make your own granola. Granola requires a few essential basics, but making your own unique recipe is easy and fun. Also, if you have any allergies, sensitivies or intolerances to food, making your own granola can help bring some peace of mind.

Here is a breakdown of what you would typically find in a granola recipe:

Oats: Oats are the "bread and butter" of granola. They are also packed with fiber and protein and keep their shape during baking.

Nuts and/or seeds: Nuts are a heart-healthy snack that are chock full of healthy fats and come in a wide variety of choices. Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and cashews are just the tip of the iceberg.

Healthy fats: A good cooking oil will help make the granola crisp. You can experiment with several varieties including olive, coconut, sunflower, canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil.  

Sweetener: Maple syrup or honey are the perfect way to sweeten up your recipe.

Spices: Salt is an important ingredient for granola. You can also experiment with other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

Tasty extras: Dried fruit (such as cranberries, figs and raisins) are a nutritious way to round out your granola recipe. Add some chocolate after the granola has cooled for some extra sweetness (and antioxidants).

Most recipes to make granola are pretty simple. Just mix your chosen ingredients together and bake in the oven. Your imagination is the limiting factor on exploring different ways to use granola. It can be added to yogurt, smoothies, salads, and more!

So this weekend, make your own batch of granola and use it throughout the week. It’s worth noting that granola is a calorie-dense food, so keep portion sizes in check.