Healthy Granola Recipe

Want a healthy granola recipe that’s actually good for you? Here’s the only recipe you need! The maple pecan flavor is nutrient rich and 100% delicious.

Healthy granola recipe

As a rule: granola is not healthy. Many store bought and homemade granola recipes are full of sugar and oil, and very high calorie. Just how did granola get away with the image of being “healthy person food”? We’re not sure. But Alex and I set out to make a recipe to sprinkle on our son Larson’s yogurt that was actually healthy. It ended up being healthier than most granolas, and easy to make too! It’s so delicious: perfectly crunchy, warmly spiced, and just the right amount of sweetness. Keep reading for all our healthy granola secrets!

Healthy homemade granola

What’s healthy when it comes to granola?

This recipe came about because our son Larson loves granola with his yogurt every morning. Alex and I realized that so many brands and recipes out there are too full of sugar and oil. Many recipes are also high calorie. Some of them are 500 calories per 1/2 cup serving! Our goal for making a healthy granola recipe was to stay around 200 calories per serving.

In researching for our healthy granola recipe, the following tricks helped us to create a nutrient-rich granola that met our calorie goal:

  • Puffed rice is a great way to add texture to a granola using a low calorie whole grain! Puffed rice is actually a minimally processed whole food: it’s simply rice that’s been puffed so that it’s crunchy! You should be able to find puffed rice cereal at your local grocery store.
  • Lowering the ratio of nuts helps reduce the calories in a healthy granola. It’s just the right amount of nuts to be a texture contrast and pack the granola with protein, but not so much that it overwhelms the granola.
  • Reduced oil and maple syrup versus other granola recipes also helps to reduce the calories and sugar. Together, all these components work out to make a delicious and healthy granola recipe!
Spoon on baking sheet of healthy granola

How to make a healthy granola recipe (basic steps)

How to make this healthy granola recipe? If you’ve never made homemade granola: now is the time to start! It’s so easy, and you know exactly the ingredients that go into it. No sneaky additives or preservatives here! Here are the basic steps to making granola at home:

  • Mix the wets. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: neutral oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add cinnamon and allspice: the allspice is optional, but adds a nice warmth to the granola.
  • Add the dries. Then stir in the dry ingredients: oats, puffed rice cereal, and pecan halves. You can use any type of nut, but we especially love the flavor of pecans in granola.
  • Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this helps with cleanup). Then spread the granola in an even layer on top.
  • Bake! Pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once.
  • Cool. Once you remove the granola from the oven, it will feel a bit soggy to the touch. Allow it to cool completely, and it will become crispy as it cools. Then place it in a sealed container: we store ours in a jar on our counter.
milk pouring into bowl of cereal

And that’s it: {actually} healthy granola!

This healthy granola recipe is our new go to! I don’t think we’ll ever make another recipe again (really). It’s super crunchy, with just the right texture, warm spices, and light sweetness from the maple. The puffed rice brings in a crunch without adding too many calories, and the toasted pecans are cinammony sweet. (Got leftover pecans? Head to more pecan recipes.)

We’ve been bringing it to new moms, friends and neighbors. Our son Larson eats it on the daily. It’s the perfect homemade gift–or breakfast–or snack–that’s wholesome at the same time. Let us know if you try it out in the comments below!

Healthy granola recipe

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, plant-based, dairy-free, vegan, naturally sweet, and has no refined sugar.

how to make granola
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Healthy granola recipe

Healthy Granola Recipe (That’s Actually Good for You!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.14 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 14 servings (about 7 cups) 1x

Description

Want a healthy granola recipe that’s actually good for you? Here’s the only recipe you need! The maple pecan flavor is nutrient rich and 100% delicious.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups old fashioned organic rolled oats
  • 3 cups puffed rice (substitute rolled oats if you can’t find puffed grains!)
  • 1 cup pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  3. Add the rolled oats, puffed rice, and pecans. Stir with wooden spoon to evenly coat.
  4. Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake around 25 to 30 minutes until golden and toasted, stirring once. 
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely: the granola becomes crispy as it cools. Store in airtight container.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Healthy granola recipe, Homemade granola, Granola Recipes, Vegan Granola, Gluten Free Granola, Best Granola Recipe, Easy Granola,

Looking for breakfast recipes?

Outside of this healthy granola recipe, here are a few breakfast recipes we love:

Last updated: December 2019

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Greg
    March 27, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Hello. Do you think this recipe would turn out well with puffed amaranth in place of the rice krispies? I always have that around the house but not puffed rice cereal. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 27, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Yes, we think puffed amaranth would work great! Let us know if you try it.

  • Reply
    Jamie Scarlett
    March 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    So many intresting Facts about granola. I Love making things at home compared to shop brought because of all the nasty aditives. Your recipe here is awesome, Healthy granola that is actually healthy! Suprising how many people think that certain foods straight from the shop are instantly healthy! Cant beat home made :) Thanks for sharing, looking forward to giving this recipe a go :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Totally! It’s funny how something with a healthy reputation can sometimes be loaded with sugars or additives. Let us know if you try this one out!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 29, 2019 at 9:39 am

    This was delicious! Simple but flavourful and so quick to make. My 4 year old approves!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 31, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Oh we are SO glad to hear this!!! It’s always a huge win if the kiddos approve too – yay!

  • Reply
    Britt
    March 31, 2019 at 11:56 am

    I’m having a hard time finding puffed rice anywhere! All I can find are rice krispy-type cereal— would this work? Or any suggestions on where to find puffed rice? Thanks !

    • Reply
      Alex
      March 31, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Hi! We can usually find it in bags in our cereal aisle. Check a health food store if not at your regular grocer! I think a rice-krispy type would work as long as it isn’t sweetened.

  • Reply
    Jess
    April 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Cinnamon and pecan is my absolute favourite combination for granola – I just love it! I can’t wait to give this a go. I love the idea of giving it as a gift (although I will definitely be in danger of eating it all myself or using it for baking).

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 22, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Haha yes it’s hard not to eat it all yourself! Let us know if you try it!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    March 31, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Can you use almonds instead of pecans?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 31, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Yes!

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