Sweet, sticky, and crunchy granola exploding with vanilla and almond flavors. Ditch store-bought, healthy homemade granola is easy!
I’m a little granola obsessed. Can’t get enough of it, any which way. Apple, pumpkin, and especially when it tastes like peanut butter cups. (!!!)
Homemade granola may be boring to some people, but it is actually one of my favorite things to munch on. I can say no to Doritos and french fries. Sometimes. But fruity, nutty, crunchy granola? My self control never stands a chance.
The other day I came home from running 5 miles (for my 100 mile goal this month – am I crazy?) and craved crunchy carbs like a mad woman. I had quite the interesting array of ingredients and flavorings in the pantry and decided homemade granola was on the menu.
Today’s crunchy granola recipe is filled with so much flavor… it’s sort of a mish-mash of my post workout cravings. Aromatic vanilla, pure maple, almond, and cinnamon merge together bite after bite. This stuff is seriously the best.
Have you ever read the ingredient list on a bag of store-bought granola? Just… don’t. It’s scary. I don’t recognize half of the ingredients! What are “polyglycerol fatty acids” and why are they in my bowl of granola? No thank you.
When I make homemade granola, I like to focus on whole, natural things. Healthy foods without a bunch of excess sugar and foods that I can actually pronounce.
You only need 7 ingredients to make this granola. And they’re all foods you likely have in the pantry right now. Start with some cinnamon, oats, and almonds. I used honey roasted sliced almonds that I found at Trader Joes – have you ever tried them? Regular sliced or chopped almonds would be just fine instead.
(Those honey roasted almonds make incredible homemade almond butter.)
The wet ingredients are what make the granola so sticky, crunchy, and cluster-filled… aka GOOD. A little pure maple syrup to sweeten, some melted coconut oil for richness and crunch, and vanilla + almond extracts for flavor. I use a light hand when adding the almond extract because that stuff is potent! But in this recipe, it isn’t too strong– just a nice undertone to enhance the vanilla flavor and give the granola that something special.
I love this vanilla almond granola not only for the sweet flavors, but because it is so light tasting. Which is a little dangerous because I feel I could eat the entire batch in one sitting. Sort of contradicts the whole idea of it being a healthier breakfast option, right?!
I did practice some self control – this stuff lasted 3 whole days! New record.
So ditch the pricy, sugar-laden store bought granola! I swear, that stuff has more sugar in it than a candy bar. With homemade granola, you have complete control over the healthy ingredients. Now dive into a bowl of these naturally sweetened, nutty clusters!
Sweet, sticky, and crunchy granola exploding with vanilla and almond flavors. Ditch store-bought, healthy homemade granola is easy! This recipe is vegan and gluten free (if using certified GF oats).
Yield: 2-3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling
Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Toss the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup and coconut oil together until combined. Whisk in the almond and vanilla extracts. Pour over the oats and toss to coat. Make sure all of the oats are moistened.
Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow granola to cool completely - the air will help the granola obtain a crunchy texture. Granola remains fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
*I used honey roasted slivered almonds that I found at Trader Joe's - they're delicious! If you use honey roasted almonds, the granola will no longer be vegan.
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Try my Banana Nutella Granola next… it will magically disappear.
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