Friday, October 26, 2012

Vanilla Hazelnut Granola

 Most people feel they're doing something great for their bodies when they eat granola cereal.  For the most part, this is true.  Granola contains whole grains, fiber, and protein.  Still, many store-bought granola cereals also contain high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, and other strange ingredients such as BHT and guar gum (?).  Because of this, I like to make my own granola.  I've actually been trying out granola recipes for over 10 years now, and this is the end result:  a little of this and a little of that from each recipe I've sampled over the years.  I love it, and I hope you do, too!


3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (or nut of your choice)
1/4-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger*
1/2 tsp. nutmeg*
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. pure Mexican vanilla
4 tbsp. coconut oil (or butter)

*Ginger has long been known to help settle upset stomachs.  I used to chew on candied ginger to help with my stomach problems before I started this diet, and I've heard from some women that it can help keep morning sickness at bay when pregnant.

*Did you know that nutmeg is an anti-inflammatory?  It can actually help regulate your GI tract, and it also has anti-bacterial properties.

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.

2.  Add BOWL A ingredients to a large mixing bowl.  Stir until combined.

3.  Pour ingredients into greased baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Meanwhile, combine ingredients for BOWL B and pour into a small pan on stovetop.  Heat on medium, stirring constantly until coconut oil is melted and all ingredients are combined.

4.  Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Pour liquid ingredients (BOWL B) over dry ingredients (BOWL A).  Stir to combine.  Use a spoon to press granola into baking dish.

5.  Bake about 10 minutes, then remove and stir.  Use spoon to press granola into baking dish.  Bake another 5-10 minutes, until oats are crisp and golden.

6.  Set on cooling rack until baking dish is cool enough to touch.  Use a spatula to scrape granola from bottom and sides of dish.  This is important!  Don't let your granola cool completely before you attempt to scrape it - it will turn into a rock hard mess.  Trust me, I know... : )

7.  Enjoy!  I like to eat my granola as a cereal; but it also works as a trail mix, an ice cream topping, or an addition to some oven-baked fruit.

Gather Ingredients.

Combine BOWL A ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Pour ingredients into a greased pan and bake for 25 min, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, heat BOWL B ingredients on stove over medium heat until coconut oil is completely melted.  Stir constantly.

Pour BOWL B ingredients over BOWL A ingredients and stir to combine.  Press into pan using a spoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stir, and press into pan again.

Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until oats are crisp and golden brown.

Scrape from pan before granola has completely cooled, but when pan is cool enough to touch.  ENJOY!


  1. looks so good and easy! I have never tried using coconut oil in anything. How is it different than butter?? (flavor? health aspects?)

  2. Coconut oil is great because it has a slight coconut flavor, which adds to this recipe (or any recipe, in my opinion!). Plus, it's SO GOOD FOR YOU!! :) Here's a link so you can find out more about the health benefits:

  3. I made these this morning... it was really easy, delicious, and filling! My whole fam ate it up. I added coconut and currants, and used almonds/walnuts instead of hazelnuts. Thanks!


  4. I'm so glad you liked it! Your substitutions sound delicious. I'll have to try the almonds/walnuts next time.

  5. I've made this recipe several times now, and each time it turned out differently (depending on if I subbed ingredients or cooked it longer). All attempts were successful, delicious, and healthy! My family loves it. I am curious how I can get the granola to turn out crunchier though... I've been making double batches stuffed into a casserole pan, and maybe if I used a larger pan or made a regular-sized batch and the granola was more spread out/less dense it would become crunchier. Anyways, I love it anyways and thanks!

  6. I think that you're right... it would be crunchier if you spread it out in the pan, or even used a cookie sheet. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting!