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Crunchy Granola

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Total Time 1 hour


This recipe combines my mom’s recipe from the 1970s with my own efforts to create a recipe that uses less oil and honey, without compromising either the taste or appealing crunch. This makes a large quantity — perfect for giving some away — that must be baked in separate batches. Use any combination of dried fruits that you like or have on hand; my favorite is half apricots and half cherries. This is especially good atop plain yogurt and fresh fruit.


cups raw sunflower seeds
2 cups sliced or chopped almonds
cups pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts
¾ cup raw sesame seeds
¾ cup wheat germ
7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup bran
tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
~ Zest of 1 or 2 large oranges
½ to ¾ cup honey (depending on how sweet you like your granola)
½ cup canola oil
cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla
cups dried fruit: apricots, cherries, cranberries, raisins, pears and/or prunes (cut larger fruit into slivers or bite-size pieces)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. On separate baking sheets, toast the sunflower seeds and nuts for 8 minutes, and a combination of the sesame seeds and wheat germ for 5 minutes; let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the toasted seeds and nuts with the oats, bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest.
  3. In a saucepan, heat honey and oil together just until runny, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla and orange juice. Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Divide half of the granola mixture between two large, shallow baking sheets and spread out evenly. Bake at 300 degrees in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, stirring the granola and switching the pan positions after 15 minutes. Continue baking for another 15 minutes or until golden brown, checking and stirring every 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the granola with the dried fruits and stir to combine. Prepare pans to cook the second batch, following the above directions. Once the remaining batch is cooked, add to the rest of the granola and cool, stirring occasionally.


To streamline making granola, I often substitute (pre)toasted, sliced almonds and roasted sunflower seeds (which I purchase at Whole Foods or Trader Joes). Also, this recipe is extremely flexible, just stick with the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. If you don’t have wheat germ, substitute flax meal. Don’t eat wheat? Leave out the wheat germ and wheat bran and substitute the equivalent in oats or nuts. The variation I make most often consists of all almonds (3 1/2 cups) and dried cherries. For Christmas granola I like a combination of hazelnuts and dried cranberries with extra orange zest.

Be sure to read Carrie Floyd’s Kitchen Limbo on the pleasures of feeding granola and other healthy foods to kids.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 8 comments on this item
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0% recommend this recipe
1. by anonymous on Jan 30, 2008 at 3:41 PM PST

This sounds really good, I’m a big fan of homemade granola. I like to add shredded coconut (unsweetened) and cashews. I have never added any spices or fruit juice or zest, but it sounds great, I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks!

2. by umsami on Feb 5, 2008 at 9:03 PM PST

I’d love to adapt this into a chocolate-coconut granola (yeah..I know...the illusion of health). ;) Any ideas??

3. by Carrie Floyd on Feb 5, 2008 at 11:07 PM PST

I love chocolate, but chocolate in granola is a new one to me! How about a cup of toasted coconut (I’d buy the large unsweetened shreds and toast it myself) then toss it in with the oats and other ingredients. As for the chocolate, how does this sound: instead of 3 1/2 cups of dried fruit, try 1 cup chocolate chips and 2 1/2 cups (combined) dried cherries and raisins, added to the granola after it comes out of the oven and has cooled. Since this is an experiment, perhaps you should cut the recipe in half (including the above recommendations) just to make sure it’s something you like (before ending up with a huge batch of something that is not-so-great). Let me know how it turns out!

4. by umsami on Feb 6, 2008 at 5:17 AM PST

Oooh Carrie, that sounds yummy. I’ll give it a try this weekend. I had never had chocolate granola either until I stumbled upon this Bare Naked Brand mix called Continental Divide. Extremely addictive.

5. by magpie26 on Mar 10, 2009 at 8:12 AM PDT

I made a batch of this granola yesterday and I love it!! I made a kind of deconstructed version because my boyfriend does not care for nuts. It worked out will though because now we can customize the granola to our cravings (more sweet or more salty).

Besides the taste being great my kitchen smelled amazing while it was baking!

6. by Linda Burton on Jul 12, 2009 at 11:12 PM PDT

I absolutely love this granola. However would love for it to “clump”. Any suggestions? Thanks...

7. by Carrie Floyd on Jul 13, 2009 at 7:53 AM PDT

I think if you increase the liquid (honey, oil, orange juice mixture) the granola will probably clump more, because you’ll have more binder to hold the loose pieces together. Let me know if that works.

8. by Jenniffer Hrovat on Aug 31, 2009 at 10:12 AM PDT

For the readers who’d like chocoalte in thier granola, how about adding M&M’s to the mix?

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