I am sharing my favorite homemade crunchy granola recipe with oats, chewy jumbo raisins, apples, healthy seeds, cinnamon powder, and coconut shreds. This gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, vegan granola is so easy to make with tons of tasty ingredients—perfect for breakfast or as a snack or dessert topping!
My family loves this granola recipe—it's our favorite. I often make it on a Sunday afternoon, so I have this easy breakfast option for the coming week or two. Warning, it is hard resisting homemade baked granola fresh from the oven, and it also smells fantastic—dangerously so. Once cooled, I suggest storing it immediately away in the fridge. Otherwise, everyone keeps snacking on it.
This recipe is basic enough to add some of your pantry mix-ins and change it up. But I highly recommend giving this a try first. Because I think you are going to love it as much as my family does.
- It's perfectly crunchy;
- Deliciously flavored with healthy ingredients;
- Gluten-free, vegan-friendly and nut-free for those with allergies;
- It's only slightly sweetened with maple syrup;
- And the jumbo raisins add an extra chewy texture that is irresistible.
MY FAVORITE HEALTHY GRANOLA INGREDIENTS
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: I always use certified gluten-free oats. But if you are tolerant to gluten, you can use, of course, regular rolled oats.
- One apple: I usually go for a honey crisp. Once baked, this fruit adds a delicious flavor and natural sweetness. And the soft texture nicely contrasts the crunchiness of the oats.
- Unhulled sesame seeds: this is optional, but if you have them, toss them in. They have a sweet buttery flavor and add fiber, proteins, and healthy fatty acids.
- Large coconut shreds: large flakes become brown, crispy, and don't burn quickly. They also add a small hint of coconut flavor.
- Jumbo raisins: this is a must-have ingredient for me. Large raisins swell in the oven, but once cooled, become deliciously hard and chewy in texture—no need to soak them first. I use the jumbo raisins from Trader Joe's.
- Cinnamon powder: adds a warm and sweet-spicy flavor that works well with the apples too.
- Salt: a pinch or two is enough to contrast the natural sweetness of the granola.
- Melted coconut oil: compliments the coconut flakes and makes the oats beautifully crunchy.
- Maple syrup: I use one cup to add some natural sweetness, but you can opt for ¾ of a cup instead.
- Unsweetened sunflower butter: adds a delicate taste of creamy roasted sunflowers. It's delicious, and it doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors like peanut butter can do. But feel free to swap this with your favorite nut butter (if you have no nut allergies.)
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE GRANOLA CHUNKY AND CRUNCHY
- Don't give the oats too much space on the rimmed baking sheet. The coconut oil and maple syrup already make everything sticky. So all you have to do is press the mixture down into one layer.
- Let the mixture bake at 350° for 35 minutes—check and stir halfway through. After testing this numerous times, I have noticed this to be the magic number. Don't go for too much longer, even if the oats still feel soft. They will crisp up and brown more as they cool.
- Let the granola cool completely at room temperature to further harden and get deliciously crunchy.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It preserves the granola's crunchiness. When ready to serve, use a spoon to break it up into smaller clusters.
A FEW SERVING IDEAS
- Our favorite way is mixing the granola in some plant milk like hazelnut or hemp milk and add chopped bananas.
- Sometimes we change it up with berries, add extra cinnamon, anise seeds, or toss it in yogurt.
- I also love it mixed in chia seed pudding with extra fruits in the morning. It's delicious.
AS A CRUNCHY DESSERT TOPPING
- Add some to a creamy peanut butter avocado mousse
- Or as your crumble in the Avocado Strawberry Cheesecake in a cup.
It stays fresh for one to two weeks in the fridge. But I would be surprised if it survives for more than one week!
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- 1 apple, cored, peeled and chopped
- ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds/flakes
- 1 cup jumbo raisins
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup sunflower butter (you can use almond butter if no nut allergies apply)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180 °C and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the oats, apple, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, raisins, cinnamon powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until everything is well combined
- Pour over the melted coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, and sunflower butter. Stir until all dry ingredients are well coated with the wet ingredients. Pour the granola onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
- Bake for 35 minutes until golden, stirring halfway through. Take out of the oven and allow it to cool. It will further crisp up.
- Store the granola in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one to 2 weeks.
RIMMED BAKING SHEET: I use an 11 inch by 17 baking pan. It's the perfect size to hold this amount of granola. Have to use a larger sheet? Then press the granola into an even layer, with as little space as possible in between the grains (to allow some clusters to form.)
RAISINS: jumbo raising swell up during baking, but once cooled shrink back and become deliciously chewy. Only have small raisins? Then add them 15 minutes into the baking time (to avoid them from burning.)