Quick breakfasts are made enjoyable by the simplest of ingredients. Seriously, a plain bowl of yogurt can be made into something exquisite with a well-executed granola. My Honey-Almond Granola is a basic recipe that can easily be modified. Add your favorite dried fruits, nuts, or flavorings to customize it your way. I make it in bulk quantities for those mornings where I’m not inspired to create extravagant breakfasts for the crew. The basic flavors combine seamlessly with other (bolder) flavors, too. As a result, Honey-Almond Granola is great for stirring into smoothie bowls, topping ice creams, or sprinkling into breakfast popsicles.
So, Let’s Get Started!
To make Honey-Almond Granola, you’ll need honey and almonds. And more stuff, of course, but those are the base ingredients. Since I love almonds, I’m using slivered almonds that I won’t process further. I’m also adding pure almond extract. Oats, more nuts, and a binding syrup are the remaining ingredients. But, we’ll get to those later. Have all your ingredients ready to go, and turn on your oven. Putting together this recipe will be quick.
It’s All About that Base
Grab a large mixing bowl and some old-fashioned rolled oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats are the only oats you should use for homemade granola. Organic oats from Bob’s Red Mill are the ones I use because they’re thicker than their counterparts. You can use your favorite brand, just make sure they’re old-fashioned rolled oats. “Quick-cooking” old-fashioned rolled oats, instant oatmeal, or steel cut oats should all be avoided when it comes to this recipe. They will either bake too quickly and burn; or, with the latter type, not cook properly and be rock hard.
Once you’ve grabbed your oats, the rest of the base comes together fast and furious.
Slivered almonds make up the bulk of the nuts that I’m adding to this recipe. If you are allergic to tree nuts, swap out the almonds for an equal amount of oats, instead. I also add chopped pecans if I have them in the house, but they’re totally optional. The variety of flavor they contribute to the granola make it worth the extra two seconds it takes to measure and add them.
Add the coconut flakes to the base mixture. You want to use unsweetened coconut flakes, if you have access to them, because it controls the overall sweetness of the recipe. I add a heaping cup of the coconut flakes just because we’re fans in my house. This is optional, as well, so it can be omitted. Substituting the coconut flakes for chia seeds or flax seeds (in smaller quantities, no more than a quarter of a cup) is also a great idea.
Once everything has been added to the bowl, toss it together to combine. Set this aside while you make the honey-almond syrup.
Mix the Honey-Almond Syrup
In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the flavorings for the honey-almond syrup. We’re going to add this binding agent to the base we prepared earlier. Start with kosher salt which will balance the sweet and spice we’re going to develop with the rest of the ingredients.
The “spice” isn’t hot spice, but ginger and cinnamon. Add both of these to the bowl that has the salt in it. Other spice options are cardamom, nutmeg, or mace.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the bowl. The surprising addition of lemon juice adds a brightness to the overall honey-almond granola that, once you try it, makes sense.
To create a binding syrup, I add a neutral-tasting oil (vegetable, canola, or grapeseed). First, add the oil to your measuring cup and swirl it around to coat the insides lightly. You’ll see why in a minute. Pour the oil onto the spice mixture.
Now measure the honey into the cup that’s coated with the oil, then add it to the rest of the syrup mix.
Here’s why we measure the oil and coat the cup first. The slick oil prevents the honey we measured after from sticking to the measuring cup. It just slides right out with no issue. Hold your applause til the end.
Finally, add the pure almond extract to the syrup mix. I don’t think there’s such a thing as “artificial” almond extract- there’s only what’s called “almond flavor”- but I just want to be clear. The strong almond flavor in this honey-almond granola will only come from using the pure stuff, so treat yo’self.
Whisk to combine everything in the bowl.
Combine, Toss, Smooth, and Bake…and Bake…and…
Once your honey-almond syrup is mixed well, pour it over the oat-nut mixture in your larger bowl.
Toss, using a rubber spatula, to coat the oat-nut mixture completely in the honey-almond syrup.
Pour the granola mixture onto a half sheetpan that’s been lined with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Use the rubber spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Bake the granola for fifteen minutes, then remove the pan from the oven, and toss the granola. Smooth it out again into an even layer and bake for an additional fifteen minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and toss, smooth, and bake for another fifteen minutes. Repeat this process once more. By the time you’ve gone through four fifteen-minute baking cycles, the Honey-Almond Granola should be golden brown and crunchy.
Enjoy it Anyway You Want
Once the granola has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it cool on the pan. Once the mixture is cool, break it into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container in the pantry.
There’s no end to the ways you can enjoy this Honey-Almond Granola, so pin the recipe and get creative. Let me know in the comments below your favorite way to eat it!
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- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure almond extract
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Add the rolled oats, almonds, pecans, and coconut flakes to a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together to combine. Set this aside while you make the honey-almond syrup.
Mix the Honey-Almond Syrup
- In a smaller, separate mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice, almond extract, honey, and oil to combine.
Toss, Smooth, and Bake (x 4)
- Once your honey-almond syrup is mixed well, pour it over the oat-nut mixture in the larger bowl. Use a rubber spatula to toss the oat-nut mixture completely in the honey-almond syrup.
- Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Bake the granola for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and toss the granola. Smooth it out into an even layer and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pull the pan out of the oven and toss, smooth, and bake for another 15 minutes. Then repeat this step once more until the granola is a golden brown color and is crunchy.
- Once the granola has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it cool (on the pan) completely. Once cool, break the granola into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container in the pantry.
- This granola will keep, in an air-tight container in the pantry, for 1 month.
- Stir into yogurt or smoothies, or top ice cream, or oatmeal with it.
This Honey-Almond Granola isn’t the only way to enjoy oats!
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