This lovely homemade granola is extra light and crispy, not too sweet, and very snackable. It's perfect for breakfasts, anytime nibbling, and sprinkling on desserts. The recipe is quick to put together and infinitely customizable with ingredients you have in your pantry. (Skip to recipe.)
Granola is a staple workhorse in the breakfast and snack pantry - always ready to float in a bowl with a milk bath, be grabbed from the jar by the handful, or add a crunchy top layer to a bowl of yogurt, porridge, or pudding. It likes to be layered in a parfait, and can be used in the topping of a fruit crisp or on top of ice cream. It can even be sprinkled onto a salad.
This easy, crispy granola and its unlimited variations have become a favourite around here. I love having a big jar of it in the pantry, ready for snacking or breakfasts. It has basically replaced any boxed cereals I used to keep around. Although it's light in texture, it's a heavy hitter in the good nutrition department; loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and nutrients. A great start to the day.
There are two types of granola camps and people are usually in one or the other: the 'big clumps' one and the 'light crispy' one. Well, I like both. Sometimes it's fun to eat those big stuck-together clumps of sweet granola, and sometimes I want something lighter and looser and flakier. This is one of those. This one works well for sprinkling on things and layering with things and just plain eating.
The secret to an extra light and crispy granola lies in using flaked coconut - those wide thin ribbons shaved from the whole coconut rather than shredded or dessicated coconut, and using sliced or flaked almonds rather than slivers or chunks. The thin slices of both of these turn into crispy little chips once baked, giving the granola a lighter texture that is extra crunchy. Plus, the coconut oil helps in adding to the crispiness factor. All in all, it's a simple and winning combination.
This recipe comes from my daughter, she's been throwing together versions of this granola often, and we finally got together to figure out some measurements to get it nailed down with a kind-of recipe. So feel free to adjust amounts to what you have on hand or what your taste buds love.
Whip Up Some Light Crispy Granola Easily at Home
Gather your ingredients, then tip them into a bowl.
Pour over the maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Toss well to coat everything.
Then toast it until it's lovely and golden. The granola will crisp up as it cools.
This granola hits all the right notes; nutty, crunchy, lightly spiced, not too sweet. We prefer it with this sweetness level; it's plenty sweet enough and just right for snacking plain, eating with milk, or with flavoured vanilla yogurt. If you have the granola with unsweetened plain yogurt or Greek yogurt, you can always add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey to make it sweeter if you wish.
I love that you can customize this granola to your mood and the ingredients you have on hand. Sometimes I make a chocolate version, sometimes a peanut butter version. Sometimes more nuts, sometimes different spices, different seeds. If you can't do nuts, replace the sliced almonds and soft nuts with more oats and coconut flakes. If you prefer it more or less sweet, adjust the amount of sweetener. The coconut oil helps make the granola extra crispy, but you can also change up the oil, using olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee. If you use butter, watch the baking time as it browns quickly.
Breakfasts are a treat with a jar of this light, crispy granola in the cupboard.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: This granola is only lightly sweetened. If you prefer a sweeter granola, increase the maple syrup or other sweetener to ¾ cup.
If you want to add a handful or two of raisins, other dried fruit, or chocolate chips, stir them into the granola once it is completely cooled.
You can use 1 tablespoon cinnamon, instead of any spice mixtures, or customize the spices to your liking.
The Best Light, Crispy Granola
- 2 cups (200gms) large-flake, old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 2 cups (100gms) flaked coconut (large ribbons, not shredded)
- 1 cup (100gms) sliced or flaked almonds
- 1 cup soft nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts), broken or coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (70gms) extras, like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, raw buckwheat groats, etc.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon + ½ teaspoon ginger + ¼ teaspoon nutmeg + ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup maple syrup (or raw agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or liquid honey)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, almonds, nuts, extras, chia seeds, spices, and salt.
Pour over the maple syrup and coconut oil and toss well to coat everything.
Spread the granola mixture out evenly onto a large rimmed baking sheet (11½ x 17 inches/29 x 44 cm or larger), or divide it into 2 smaller baking sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes, then stir, bringing the outside granola to the inside (since the outside will brown faster).
Bake for 10 more minutes, and stir again.
Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes (for a total of 25-30 min), until the granola is golden. Watch it carefully near the end as it can get too brown very quickly once it has released most of its moisture. If you have the granola spread quite thinly in a larger pan than suggested, or in two smaller pans, start checking it often at the 20 minute mark, as it can be done very suddenly and turn too dark in minutes. The best indicator is the coconut flakes; when they are browned to your liking, the granola can be removed from the oven. It will crisp up as it cools.
Leave the granola on the baking sheet until it is completely cool. Add any add-ins (chocolate, dried fruit) if you are using them.
Store in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to a month.
Makes 6 cups (1.5l).
- Chocolate Granola - use cacao nibs for the extras, replace the pumpkin pie spice with ¼ cup/20gms unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder, and stir 2 tablespoons water into the maple syrup before pouring it on. When the granola is totally cool, add a handful of mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
- Peanut Butter Granola - use peanuts for the extras, replace the pumpkin pie spice with ¼ cup/20gms dry peanut butter powder, and stir 2 tablespoons water into the maple syrup before pouring it on. When the granola is totally cool, you can add a handful of mini chocolate chips, if desired.
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