Even if you don’t consider yourself a cook, homemade granola is something you can make successfully.
Best of all, you control the ingredients.
You can cut some sweetness out (though part of what makes “chunky” granola is the melting and cooling of the sugar, so make small adjustments).
Another plus for homemade granola is that you can substitute any nuts, seeds, grains, and dried fruits that fit your needs or pantry.
So, with all of these possibilities, what really makes granola, granola?
It’s All About the Base
I’ve posted granola recipes before, but they were more of the “loose” textured variety – the ingredients are roasted together in a pan but don’t stick together.
For a more substantial granola treat, adding sugar, a nut flour, and egg white helps the ingredients hold together to form chunks.
So to make a chunky granola, you need a good base.
The base in this recipe is easy. Add a large egg white to your stand mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white on medium speed until it is frothy. Then, add your sugar, syrup, nut flour and oil. Beat for a minute or so to blend well.
That’s it. Next is the fun part.
Oats, or Not?
Decide what you want to put in your granola.
Oats and pecans or walnuts are traditional, but you could decide just to go with nuts and seeds and skip the oatmeal. In that case, you are making a spiced nut mix rather than what we think of as granola.
A variety of sizes makes granola visually appealing and also helps those chunks hold together better. Think about the sizes, colors, flavors, and shapes of your ingredients.
If you decide to add chocolate chips or marshmallows, wait until the granola has baked and almost cooled before adding these.
But, as long as you like it, and stick with the base ingredients, anything goes!
An easy recipe that allows for lots of substitutions. This version is wheat-free.
- 1 egg white, large
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 c. nut flour (coconut, almond, etc.)
- 1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
- 3/4 c. pecan halves, coarsely crumbled
- 1/4 c. sliced almonds
- 1/4 c. pepitas
- 1/4 c. sesame seeds
- 1/4 c. shredded coconut
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Beat egg white in a stand mixer with wire whisk attachment (or whisk by hand).
Add sugar, syrup, oil, and flour and continue beating about 30 seconds.
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in remaining ingredients by hand.
Pat mixture evenly into lined baking pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes. Watch during baking so that granola is browned but not burnt on edges.
Remove from oven when browned. As the granola cools, it will harden. When completely cooled, break into chunks and store in a covered container.
Pan size matters: A smaller baking pan (9×12 is pictured in the recipe) yields a chunkier granola with a longer (30-35 min.) baking time. If you are using a larger pan (12×14) you’ll get smaller chunks in a shorter (20-25 min.) baking time.
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