Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade PLAIN Granola

Peaches & Cream Parfait with Homemade Granola

As far as fast food treats go, McDonald's fruit and yogurt parfaits have been a favorite of mine for years. I liked that it was basic stuff-- fruit, lowfat yogurt and granola. It also had only a few Weight Watcher's program points which made it a reasonable choice for a drive thru breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. The part I liked best about it was the tiny little packet of granola you got to stir in before eating. It added a nice crunch and touch of sweetness (which is helpful when the berries are particularly tart).

When I went looking for a store bought granola that would be similar to the one they serve at McD's, for my own homemade parfaits, I ended up completely stumped. Most granolas had added dried fruit, nuts or coconut and an ingredient list that seemed unnecessarily long.

It became clear, very quickly, that I would have to make what I wanted myself. After testing several recipes over the last few months, I have finally found a great recipe for just plain granola. Its pretty simple and will give you fairly consistent, good results. If you leave it big pieces, you'll get unshaped crunchy granola bars. If you break it up, you'll get a great basic granola you can use as a topping or breakfast cereal with milk.

As this is completely and perfectly plain, it does lend itself quite readily to custom blends. If you are looking for something more, just add in a 1/4-1/2 cup of almonds, raisins, dried blueberries or cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, shredded coconut, etc. Basically the only limit is your imagination!!

Kept in an airtight container, this granola will last up to 2 weeks. If you do add dried fruit pieces or nuts, you may want to consider keeping it in the refrigerator. I have also heard that it will keep indefinitely if you keep it in the freezer but I have not tried that myself.

This recipe was adapted from the one I found on this website.

Recipe: Plain Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbs. canola or other light flavored oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
2) Stir in oats until well coated.

3) Spread on a pan lined with silcone mat or parchment paper.
4) Bake at 325 F for 10 minutes. Stir (edges will tend to brown first). Mix will look very wet as its cooking.
5) Bake for 10 more minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals until golden brown.

6) Cool on baking sheet. Break up into large pieces for granola bars or put into a baggie and crush for crumbled topping/cereal.

Freeform Granola Bars
Granola Crumbles

7) Store in an airtight container!

Comment below and let me know how this worked out for you! Did you leave it plain or fancy it up a bit??


  1. FYI: this is my absolute favorite plain granola recipe! I used dark brown sugar in my latest batch and it was ssooooo yummy!

  2. This turned out so delicious!! My son even loved it and asked for me to put some in his lunch box as his dessert.