This homemade Honey Flax Granola is a healthier version of granola that combines honey, flax, almonds and dried cranberries for a super tasty way to start your morning!
I've been a granola fan, maybe more like an addict, for years. I eat it several days a week with fruit and yogurt for breakfast and often for afternoon snacks as well. When I first started making my own granola, I used a recipe I found in Cooking Light magazine. It had great flavor and was pretty easy to make. Then I found a honey flax granola at Whole Foods and was hooked on that, so I got out of the habit of making my own. This healthy granola recipe is inspired by that Whole Foods granola.
There really is nothing like fresh, homemade granola warm out of the oven and packed with good for you ingredients! One of the reasons I like to make my own granola is because when you do, you know exactly what's in it and you can control the amount of fat and calories. Some store-bought granola can get really high in calories!
With this granola you have the option of making it really flaky - this works well if you like to sprinkle it on yogurt - or a little chunkier if you prefer it as cereal or maybe just a snack on its own. The key to getting it a little chunkier is to press it together a bit right when it comes out of the oven and then let it cool. It will stick together in larger chunks.
What Goes into Granola?
Once you've got a good base recipe you can experiment to create your own unique homemade granola. There are always a few key ingredients you find in any granola:
Old-fashioned oats: You want old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant oats.
Nuts + seeds: For this recipe, used almonds and flax seeds, but pistachios, pepitas and sunflower seeds are always popular additions to granola.
Healthy fats: Oil is what makes granola crispy and tasty. I've switched to making coconut oil-based granola however you can substitute any vegetable oil although the flavor may vary slightly.
Sweetener: You need something to give your granola a bit of sweetness and also help it stick together. For this recipe, I use a combination of honey and brown sugar. You'll often see maple syrup in granola.
Salt + spice: You've got to have a little salt to achieve a flavorful granola! There is just no getting around it. I use sea salt, that's pretty much all I cook with, but you and substitute regular table salt if that's what you have on hand. I add vanilla to this recipe as I like what it does for the flavor. Cinnamon is another common spice in granola.
Dried fruit: The dried fruit gets added to the granola after it is done cooking. You can toss it on top while it's cooling and then mix it up when you put it into a storage container. I added dried cranberries to this one. Dried cherries, apricots or even raisins are other good additions. Pretty much any dried fruit will work! I try to always use dried fruit from the bulk food section of the grocery store because it generally has less sugar than the pre-packaged versions.
If you're looking for a great option for an easy, protein-packed breakfast, give this granola a try on my Protein Peach Smoothie Bowl!
Homemade Honey Flax Granola
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup roasted almonds
- ¼ cup flaxseed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix oats, nuts, flaxseed and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine oil, honey, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and mix thoroughly, ensuring all the oats are well coated.
- Spread mixture onto baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and stir. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries while the granola is cooling. Cool completely before storing.
Updated. Originally published February 2015.