Chunky Homemade Granola

chunky homemade granola

Perfectly crunchy, not overly sweet, and loaded with chunks, this granola recipe makes two big baking sheets full and is a welcome breakfast or satisfying snack. It’s basic pantry ingredient cooking at its best!

This recipe is one of the first I shared through the Fountain Avenue Kitchen. The accompanying photos were pretty bad, so it’s unlikely that many people paid much attention to the recipe! Because I have continued to tweak the recipe–and because it’s rather popular in our house–I thought it was time to give it a makeover.

As evidenced by the early pictures (see below), I have absolutely no photography training. Fortunately, my older son, John, was taking a photography class at school when I began my cooking adventure.  He gave me some of my best pointers.  I remember hovering over a tray of granola as he told me to get up close and try to show some of the texture in the food–using my iPhone camera, no less!  I have thought of that tip many times in the last couple of years.

When I first made granola from scratch, I started with a basic recipe and altered it over time.  My goal was granola with big, snack-worthy chunks, ideally with less sugar and oil than the variety I typically bought.

Delightful as a topping for yogurt or cereal–or eaten by the handful–this chunky granola also serves as a base for a hard-to-resist snack mix.  Dried cranberries, cashews, and white chocolate chips are our add-ins of choice. With the added benefit of being mostly healthy and portable, this mix is a welcome lunchbox addition and a filling snack.

My husband, a frequent flyer, thinks this is the perfect snack to take while traveling…no need to refrigerate and, when paired with fruit and a yogurt, can stand in for breakfast or lunch.

Chunky Homemade Granola
Yields 2 full baking sheets.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  2. 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
  3. 1 1/2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds
  4. 1 cup whole wheat flour (see notes)
  5. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 3/4 cup melted coconut oil (may substitute; see notes)
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (may substitute honey)
  10. Optional: 2/3 cup shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease or line with parchment paper two baking sheets (with sides).
  2. In a very large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flour, brown sugar, salt, and optional coconut. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until the dry ingredients are completely moistened.
  3. Spread the oat mixture over the prepared baking sheets. I press the mixture into a big, even rectangle on each baking sheet to start.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping in large sections with a spatula after 10 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, switch the trays around in oven and bake 10-20 minutes more, stirring every 10 minutes, or until golden. (If you prefer smaller chunks, stir and break up the mixture as you go. If you want bigger chunks, flip in sections, breaking them up, as desired.)
  5. Remove from the oven, and do not stir again until completely cooled. Stored in an airtight container, the granola will stay fresh for at least a week on the counter and a month or more in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. I have substituted my all-purpose, gluten-free flour blend with excellent results.
  2. While my favorite oil in this granola is coconut oil (for both its aroma and light flavor), I have used canola and olive oil and both are fine substitutes.
  3. Favorite combinations for snack mix add-ins include the following: 
white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and cashews; dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, and walnuts or pecans; mini M&Ms, raisins, banana chips, and peanuts; butterscotch or cinnamon chips, chopped dried apricots, and macadamia nuts.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
A good friend sent me this photo of her new kitchen canister, which is dedicated solely to this granola recipe. I'm so glad her family enjoys it a much as we do!

A good friend sent me this photo of her new kitchen canister, which is dedicated solely to this granola recipe. I’m so glad her family enjoys it a much as we do!

This is one of the first recipes I shared through The Fountain Avenue Kitchen.  Here are some early photos…

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Comments

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  3. Charlie Gilner

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    Reply
  4. Amie

    I halved this recipe to see if we would like it. It is delicious! I only had Splenda brown sugar and sugar free maple syrup, so it didn’t stick together like your pictures. The taste is great and it is more like cereal. We’ll still eat it, but I think I’ll try the full sugar ingredients next time.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Too funny, Amie…I literally just ate a handful of this before I read your comment. This granola is one of my go-to snacks. I have never tried the Splenda sugars–other than the little yellow packet!–but this is helpful feedback for others who may try. Thanks for the helpful comment!
      One extra thought…you can get bigger chunks if you start by patting the mixture into a big rectangle on the baking sheet. When it is time to stir, use your spatula to essentially flip in big chunks, breaking into smaller pieces as desired.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I have not, Rebecca. If you try, perhaps you could make half a batch–which will still make a good amount–and decide if you like it that way. If you do try with quick oats, please report back!

      Reply
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  6. Rosemary Locatelli

    I just love this recipe, have been making this over & over.
    Changed this recipe by adding dried cranberries,
    blueberries, different soy beans and a variety
    of nuts. (Being there is now so much to mix, I have to
    add more liquids. Also I bake this at 250 degrees
    for 1 hour turning it every 20 minutes. Also tried making
    little balls to get chunks without using my hands once
    it’s in the oven.)
    Again, thanks for the idea.
    Have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am so glad to read your comment, Rosemary. I love this recipe, too! Thanks so much for letting me know, and Happy New Year to you, too!

      Reply
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  9. Mary Lou Keller

    I just took my first batch of this out of the oven to cool Ann. It smells wonderful in my little house. Only problem I had, it did not stick together at all. No matter though, I know we will love it just as it is, especially added to yogurt with fruit. Or heck, just eating out of a bowl with a spoon 🙂

    Thanks dear Ann for another wonderful recipe!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I love the aroma, too, Mary Lou! It is strange that it didn’t stick together. Did you use the flour? The only other suggestion would be to make sure you press it together at the beginning and flip in sections as I mention. That helps to make the bigger chunks. Thanks for the feedback…enjoy!!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Bertie,
      I think I have an idea….My granola gets equally chunky when using gluten-free flour or regular wheat flour. Typically, I used bulk old-fashioned oats, but recently I used Bob’s Red Mill Oats for the first time. Their oats are wonderful, although they are cut a little thicker than many varieties of 5-minute cooking oats. I noticed that the thicker cut oats created granola that was equally tasty but not as chunky. Let me know if you think this is helpful…and I am glad you love it regardless!

      Reply
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  11. Susan

    To make my granola chunky I use egg whites. Added protein and makes it all chunk up nicely even when I turn the granola while cooking.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Great comment, Susan. I have done that as well, and even ran a side-by-side comparison using this recipe–one batch using egg whites, the other without. In this recipe there was little difference. I think the key is the specific protein, which is provided via the flour (either gluten-free or regular works) as opposed to the egg whites in this recipe. Perhaps next time I should make with the egg whites but without the flour!

      Reply
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