Don’t Call Me a Hippie–Homemade Granola

by Sarah on December 6, 2010

I found this old recipe for granola originally in my dad’s old notebook of recipes.  I think it may have come from my short-lived wicked stepmother (just to be clear, I am not talking about my current, and certainly not wicked but wonderful stepmother) but I’m not sure.  I don’t remember ever eating any homemade granola.  Anyway, I was going through an old recipe notebook that I had from 20 years ago–clipped out newspaper recipes, some written on scraps of paper, dishes that I could easily make now without consulting a recipe.  It was a fun trip down memory lane, back to when I was a very young wife and mother (age 21–the same as my oldest child now–isn’t that nuts?), trying to teach myself to cook cheaply yet healthfully.  The Sacramento Bee’s food section, Elizabeth David, Julia Child and the Joy of Cooking kept us fed pretty well in those days.  Anyway, when I saw that granola recipe, it just hit me that nothing sounded better to me that some yogurt with granola and maybe some fruit.  And packaged granola is expensive!  And sometimes just too sweet.  I checked out this recipe and it was pretty healthful–still a fair amount of honey and oil but no sugar and chock full of raw nuts, oats, wheat germ and other good-for-you stuff.

I think it’s best if you go to the hippie department where they have those bins of odd brown things and scoops–you can get just the amounts of everything you need.  And they usually have the raw nuts, unlike the packaged stuff with is usually already roasted and full of salt.

I just put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mixed them up.  Then, added a cup each of honey and grapeseed oil.  I got the grapeseed oil tip from Thomas Keller–it is virtually flavorless and is a very light oil.  It’s good for when you want to let the other ingredients do the talking.  I buy it at Trader Joes’ for a reasonable price.

Now listen.  I line my baking sheets with these silpats.  They are made in France and they are absolutely wonderful.  I don’t know what I did without them all my life.  They are not exactly cheap (around $20) but last forever.  Crate and Barrel also had some that were less expensive.  I highly recommend them–easy to clean and really keeps things from getting too browned or stuck to the bottom of the sheet.  They are super easy to clean too–just wipe ‘em off.

Spread out about half the granola on each sheet–it will fill 2 baking sheets.

Bake it at a low 250* oven for about an hour.  I let it go 75 minutes.  It won’t look browned and you will wonder if it’s really done.  It is, I promise.  Take out and let cool completely on the sheet pans.  It will harden some and break apart.  This is when you can add in chopped dried fruits or chocolate chips if you desire.  We added some dried cranberries.

This recipe makes enough for two large ziploc bags!  On the recipe card it says it makes enough to fill a 5# coffee can.  If anyone still uses 5# coffee cans.

I really loved this recipe!  The wheat germ and sesame seeds really give it a great crunch and flavor that you don’t get in the commercial brands.  It made a great little dessert tonight and I can’t wait to make this a regular breakfast or lunch for me at work.  It was perfect topped with some of those little wild blueberries that they have in the frozen section at TJ’s.

I really recommend you try this if you’re a regular granola purchaser.  It’s totally cost effective–it makes at least 2 boxes of cereal and half the price.  And also, it’s much more delicious.

Homemade Granola


  • 5 cups rolled oats (about 1 can of the Quaker dude's)
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup dry powdered milk
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1-1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1-2 cups flaked coconut, preferably unsweetened, but the sweetened kind is ok too--just scale back on the amount a little, to taste.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup grape seed oil, or other light oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 cups dried fruit of your choosing: cranberries, apples, pears, dates, raisins


  • Preheat oven to 250*.
  • Add all dry ingredients into a large bowl (except fruit). Heat the honey, oil and vanilla together and pour over the dry goods. Mix thoroughly until all of the dry stuff is well coated. Divide granola between 2 baking sheets, lined with silpats or with foil or parchment paper. Bake for one hour +/- 15 minutes. The mixture will not be browned or especially crunchy at this point.
  • Rest on a rack and let cool completely. Add in the fruit, if desired and store in an airtight container. Serve with yogurt, milk or ice cream--or even as a delicious little snack. It's delicious. And beware! Somewhat addicting!

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