I want to say something about how spring is beginning to brighten our days. But as I write this, many of us are working from home (if we're lucky), stuck in our houses or yards (if we're lucky), with our children theoretically doing schoolwork but really underfoot. With these pressures, we turn to the kitchen for either comfort food, or food you can make with your children. Like granola - this Cherry, Almond, and Cinnamon Granola, in particular.
This granola is a favorite of mine, from 10 years ago when I started this blog to do my 365 recipe challenge. I've adapted it from Ina Garten's original, though, to make it a bit healthier. Plus, it's customizable!
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Basics of Making Granola
I originally made this granola as recipe 340 of my 365 recipe challenge back in 2010. It was part of my Christmas gift packages that year, but I've made it from time to time since then for myself - it's that good.
Granola is a great recipe to make with kids. Just whisk together oil and sugar/honey/sweetener of choice. Toss in lots of oats, some nuts (almonds, in this case), and dried coconut. Amelia loves using the whisk (for a little bit, at least), and likes using the rubber spatula to stir everything together.
Spread it onto a baking sheet. Bake it at a low temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Kids can't do this step unless you really trust them not to burn themselves on the metal pan. Once everything's golden, let it cool a bit.
granola, before toasting granola, after toasting
Afterward, sprinkle dried fruit of your choice on your cooled mixture. We use dried cherries here, but any dried fruit will work. Chop up the fruit if it's large.
As I've said, this granola recipe for Cinnamon, Almond, and Cinnamon Granola is based on Ina Garten's recipe. My main change has been to reduce the amount of oil in the recipe, to make it a slight bit lighter.
Oats are an essential ingredient in granola. You can choose gluten-free oats if you'd like. I used old-fashioned oats, but rolled oats should work as well. Do not use steel-cut oats or instant oats. At least half of your dry ingredients should be oats.
The rest of your mix-ins are pretty much up to you. Use any nut you want; to satisfy a nut allergy, try pumpkin seeds (my preference based on flavor) or sunflower seeds. Sesame seeds may also work, in small quantities.
You can use either sweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened coconut chips. It's not very sweet if you use unsweetened coconut chips; I like it that way, but you may not. I recommend using sweetened coconut (like you find in the baking aisle next to chocolate chips and nuts) if you prefer a little sweeter; it's also easy to find.
Don't use more than 2 cups coconut for your 8 cups of granola - I can tell you from experience that it will be way too coconutty.
The things that make granola secretly unhealthy are the sugar and oil that bind it together. I cut back on the amount of oil in this recipe with no problems.
I like the flavor of honey here. You can try using an equal amount of brown sugar or maple syrup instead, if you prefer, but the granola may end up stickier.
Of course you can add whatever fruit you'd like to granola. I like cherries, especially with the almonds. But as always, use whatever dried fruit you'd like. I prefer to add it after the granola is cooked and cooled; I've scorched fruit when I've toasted it alongside the oats.
How to Serve and Store Granola
Granola, when stored in an airtight container, should last a month or two at room temperature. (It looks nice in a mason jar!) Granola may stick together a tiny bit after a while, but just shake it a little to break it up.
You can eat loose granola as a snack (Amelia's favorite). Top it with milk as you would cereal, or sprinkle it on flavored or plain yogurt. How do you eat your granola?
Although I love this granola, I also love this richly-flavored Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios; give it a try, too!
Interested in other recipes? I save and share recipes I like or want to try on my Pinterest page - follow me there! You can also check out my Facebook page for more recipes and helpful tips. I'm also happy to try to help troubleshoot my recipes there.
Have you tried this recipe? Or have a question about it? Rate it or leave a comment below! (PS: rating my recipes helps other people find them, too!)
In the past:
One Year Ago: Fake Steak
Three Years Ago: Roast Beef Hash
Four Years Ago: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Five Years Ago: Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie
Six Years Ago: Bourbon Brioche
Nine Years Ago: Freezer Pancakes
An easy, lightly sweetened granola flavored with honey, almonds, and cinnamon and sprinkled with dried cherries.
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (320 grams)
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (80 grams)
- 2 cups sliced almonds (280 grams)
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil (use up to ½ cup if desired) (75 grams)
- ⅓ cup good honey (112 grams)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups dried cherries (chopped) (210 grams, 7.5 ounces)
Mix together oil, honey, and cinnamon. Add oats, coconut, and almonds; mix to combine.
Pour onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle the chopped cherries on the warm granola. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
You can use sweetened, shredded coconut like what you find in the baking aisle, or you can use unsweetened coconut chips. Both work well. Unsweetened coconut chips will make the granola only barely sweet.
Don't toast the cherries, or they may dry out.
Nutrition is calculated based on ½ cup per serving.
Adapted, barely, from the Barefoot Contessa
[Originally posted December 23, 2010. Updated March 2020 with new text, photos, and recipe instructions.]