This 7-ingredient healthy homemade granola recipe is an easy, comforting, and delicious treat. Most of the store-bought stuff is high in sugar, contains unhealthy fats and oils, and is packed full of fillers and unnecessary ingredients.
Whipping up this healthy homemade granola recipe is super quick, and allows you to control the amount of sugar and quality of ingredients, while also changing things up and adding in the flavors that you love.
Healthy homemade granola also makes your house smell amazing—like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day even though you can make this from start to finish in 25 minutes or less!
This healthy granola recipe was one of the first recipes I’ve ever posted on this blog, and since then, it’s been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times with rave reviews. This recipe is still a staple in my house after all these years!
Healthy Homemade Granola Ingredients
You just need 7 simple ingredients to make healthy homemade granola, and you may already have them all in your pantry.
Whole Rolled Oats:
Whole oats are full of good-for-you fiber, high in protein, and contain vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium.
I buy my whole rolled oats in the bulk section at my local grocery store, but if your store doesn’t have a bulk section you’ll probably be able to find them in the baking aisle. Regardless, be sure you are buying 100% pure whole rolled oats, and avoid anything that says “instant” or “quick-cooking.” (Instant/quick-cooking oats = processed/higher-glycemic/more-bad-for-you.)
Oats are gluten-free by nature but most are held in facilities that contain gluten. Check the package label if you are concerned with any gluten content.
Coconut Oil (or any healthy oil)
I like to use coconut oil because it adds a really nice light flavor to the granola, but you can use any healthy oil that you prefer. The small amount of oil we use here helps pull healthy homemade granola, but since it’s a small amount you can barely taste it.
Other options: Macadamia nut oil would also be great because it has a slightly buttery flavor, and I’ve even used extra virgin olive oil and it still turned out wonderful. Coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, extra virgin olive oil would be my first choices. Avocado oil probably has too strong of a flavor but you could try it in a pinch.
Oils to avoid: Oils high in omega-3 fats, such as flaxseed oil, are wonderful for your health but should be avoided here as well because they’re meant to be consumed raw and go rancid when heated (omega-3’s don’t like heat at all-don’t cook with them).
Nuts, Seeds & Dried Fruit
This is where you can customize your healthy homemade granola to your preferences. I give you the exact tried-and-true homemade granola recipe I make at home below, but feel free to substitute any of the nuts, seeds, or dried fruit with an equal amount of one of the three.
I always add unsalted nuts and seeds to my homemade granola for flavor, texture, extra nutrients, and added healthy protein & fiber. If you avoid nuts, you can substitute the nuts with more pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
A small amount of unsweetened dried fruit is great, too. I like to buy unsweetened dried fruit to keep the sugar content down; I buy it in the bulk section of my grocery store for a great price. I usually opt for unsweetened cranberries and chop them up if they are large. Good ‘ole raisins work well, too. Unsweetened dried cherries are wonderful in homemade granola if you can find them. From a health perspective, read your labels. The dried fruit at conventional grocery stores often has loads of sugar added to it, but the naturally dried fruit that you find at health-focused grocery stores adds wonderful flavor and still contains many nutrients without excessive amounts of sugar.
Honey or Real Maple Syrup
To add a little sweetness to healthy homemade granola, I prefer real maple syrup. Just be sure it’s the real stuff and none of that pancake syrup nonsense (conventional “pancake” syrup is corn syrup with maple flavoring—yuck!). As with everything, read your labels. The only ingredient in maple syrup should be maple syrup.
Local raw organic honey is also a great option, especially if anyone you’re cooking for suffers from seasonal allergies—some health experts say that local raw honey that hasn’t been pasteurized will contain small traces of local pollen that can actually help with allergy issues (a little homemade homeopathy). Though it’s yet to be proven in scientific study, it doesn’t hurt to try! Healthy homemade granola is baked at a low heat so your ingredients will retain their nutrients.
Again, go easy on the sweetener to keep the sugar content down. Always avoid white, highly processed sugars and artificial sweeteners–read the labels of the maple syrup and honey and make sure the only ingredients in the bottle are maple syrup (no corn syrup) or honey.
Vanilla & Sea Salt
Don’t skip the vanilla extra and salt! Vanilla extract adds a gourmet flavor, and salt brings out the flavor of every ingredient and makes the sweetener taste even sweeter. I use Real Salt brand sea salt for purity and its finer texture that melts into recipes like this, you can find it at just about any grocery store these days. Kosher salt would work, too, but it’s a bit more course so really work it into the mixture with your hands.
Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe
This basic recipe below makes about three cups of homemade granola. Half a cup is typically a serving.
Serve it as cereal with unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I prefer it with unsweetened almond milk), or milk if you tolerate dairy
Put it on top of unsweetened Greek yogurt or make a granola & yogurt parfait
½ cup raw nuts, chopped (or slivered almonds, you don’t need to chop them)
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional; I like unsweetened dried cranberries)
Preheat the oven to 300º F (177° C).
Combine the oil and maple syrup (or honey), vanilla extract, and salt in the bottom of a large mixing bowl and give it a quick stir. The coconut oil might be solid depending on your climate (it has a melting point of about 75ºF) and that’s ok, a rough mix to incorporate the vanilla into the oil and sweetener is all you need to do here.
Add the rest of the ingredients and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat; it will be sticky and messy but that’s the fun part. Your hands will warm the oil and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left.
Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes, until very lightly toasted. (To make this recipe completely raw-friendly, dehydrate the mixture 5-6 hours at 115ºF in a food dehydrator instead.)
Homemade granola will taste like burnt popcorn if you overcook it; keep it at a low temperature just for 10-12 minutes to let it come together. I usually pull mine out at 10 minutes.
Cool 10-15 minutes before serving or storing.
This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator at home and in a BPA-free plastic bag when traveling.
Homemade granola will taste like burnt popcorn if you overcook it; keep it at a low temperature just for 8-10 minutes to let it come together.
Oats are gluten-free by nature but most are held in facilities that contain gluten. Check the package label and buy certified gluten-free oats if you are concerned with any gluten content.