Almond and Coconut Granola

This granola recipe is the best you will ever taste—just ask my grandmom. The coconut and cinnamon add a richness to the slightly sweet oats. Also delicious over soy yogurt with fresh fruit.–Emily Mainquist

LC Groovy Granola Note

We concur with Emily—her granola recipe is the best. (Yes, we know, there are gobs of granola recipes. Yet we’re partial to this one. It’s sweet but not too sweet. It’s sufficiently healthful to feel virtuous rather than repentant after a quick nosh. And it’s made with just enough ingredients to lend it intrigue rather than being crammed full with so many flavors jostling for your attention that it makes you wonder if the Mad Hatter dreamt it up.)

That said, you can make Emily’s granola exactly as its written, or you can play around with it a little in terms of the stir-ins, add-ons, and mix-ins. If you subtract one thing, add another little something. Here, a few of the more groovy granola ingredients we’ve experienced, if only in our imagination.

Dried Turkish figs, chopped [Editor's Note: Hey, don't forget to swipe the blade of your knife with a paper towel dipped in oil to keep the figs from sticking to the blade]
Sesame seeds
Fennel seeds
Candied ginger

Almond and Coconut Granola Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 55 M
  • Makes 7 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup mild honey or light agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (148°C).
  • 2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, coconut, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  • 3. Heat the oil and honey or agave in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds or combine the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until combined. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture, add the vanilla, and stir until combined. Working quickly, spread the granola on a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet.
  • 4. Bake the granola, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and aromatic, 25 to 40 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack, stir in the dried fruit, and then push the granola to one side of the pan to allow the granola to sort of stick together in clusters as it cools. (You can keep the granola in an airtight container for up to 1 month.) We trust that you can take it from here.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice says:

    [Tracey G.] I love how easily this recipe came together. The granola had the perfect amount of sweetness for me—I like a little bit of sweet, but don’t want to feel like I’m getting cavities from my breakfast. I’d probably switch to slivered almonds instead of whole almonds next time, and use a little less dried fruit. But other than that, this recipe is a keeper!

  2. Testers Choice says:

    [Fran Brennan] I make granola often, using the same basic recipe that I’ve tweaked to make everyone in my house happy (and to make me feel good about what I’m feeding us all). I’m not averse to trying something new, though, and this recipe looked pretty simple. I practically had to sit on my hands not to add some of the extras I generally use, but I managed to follow the recipe exactly. And I was very glad I did. My 11-year-old daughter was raving about the smell while it was baking, and she couldn’t wait until it cooled to try it. My husband, a big fan of my usual granola, loved this one. And my running buddy immediately picked out the vanilla in the mix (“I knew it! I love vanilla.”). It’s so easy to make, stupidly expensive to buy, and really a lot better than most store brands. This recipe is going into our weekly rotation.

  3. Testers Choice says:

    [Linda Bernskoetter] Sometimes, the simplest recipe is the best. This granola is lightly sweet, and nicely crunchy. I’ve made much more complicated, sweeter, higher-fat recipes for granola, but I think this is the one I’ll keep going back to. I didn’t get many clusters, even though I piled it on the sheet pan while it cooled, but that didn’t stop me from eating it—a lot of it!

  4. Testers Choice says:

    [Carol Anne Grady] This granola has a lovely balance of flavors, and is easy to put together. I found that 40 minutes was a little too long in the oven, leaving the granola slightly dry and loose, but this is easily fixed by keeping an eagle-eye on the oven from 30 minutes onward. I used a mix of blueberries, sour cherries, and cranberries, and plan on making some granola bars to have as a quick working breakfast.

  5. Testers Choice says:

    [Anne Wallace] This is an easy, basic granola for those seeking an alternative to store-bought granola. Yes, it uses brown sugar and light agave, making this not as healthy as a granola made sans sweeteners. However, it serves as a good base to add your own favorite nuts, dried fruits, and other health-boosting ingredients. I prefer smaller pieces of nuts in my granola, so I chopped up the 1/2 cup of almonds. By finely chopping the quantity, twice as many pieces of almonds were now in the mix—a plus for this almond lover. After tasting the basic recipe, which had a good flavor, I made a second batch that included ingredients found in my favorite health food store granola, plus a wider variety of dried fruit that I like. I added 1/4 cup flax seeds, sesame seeds, and oat bran to the mix. When the granola finished toasting, I stirred in 6 ounces of tart dried cherries, 1/2 cup apricots snipped into small pieces, 1/2 cup golden raisins, and 1/2 cup toasted, unsalted cashews. My variation didn’t set up in chunks, but that’s just fine by me. It has much more nutrition per spoonful!

  6. Testers Choice says:

    [Robert Castagna] The simplicity of the recipe and easy execution produced wonderful results. 

  7. Testers Choice says:

    [Elsa M. Jacobson] Here’s a well-balanced, not-too-sweet, perfectly textured, easy granola recipe. This one’s a keeper! Where there were options, I used vegetable oil, light agave, and a dried fruit mix of golden raisins, cherries, cranberries, and blueberries. The timing was perfect, though I did use a slightly larger baking dish than the one specified. It’s great to think this granola would keep in an airtight container for up to one month; however, it will never last that long at my house. At brunch, I served it over homemade Greek yogurt with just-picked strawberries. Though I offered milk as an option, everyone picked the homemade yogurt. Tomorrow morning, I’ll have this granola with milk and a sliced banana. The idea of allowing the granola to cool in clusters also makes taking it along in a small plastic bag for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack a viable option. Making it again, I think it also would be terrific with dried sour cherries, dates, or any kind of raisin. I also think the nut variety could be switched out—walnuts, cashews, pecans, or hazelnuts all come to mind, or even a mix of nuts. To avoid a flavor collision, I’d either mix the dried fruits or the nut option, but not both.

  8. I am on a bit of a granola kick right now and am adding this recipe to my pile “to be tested”. Holy yum!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Glad to hear it, Mardi. Me, too. That is, the granola kick. Love the spare, slightly sweet simplicity of this one, so versatile in terms of stir-ins…let us know what you think!

  9. Soozll says:

    I just happen to have my spiced nuts recipe sitting in front of me and it uses egg white with  1 tbsp water and sugar to help the coating stick to the nuts.  Wondering if the inclusion of some egg white would help this granola clump together better.  I’ve had  problems with the mixture being too loose when using other granola recipes. 

  10. claire says:

    I think this sounds lovely. Just purchased a big bag of oats. I will use coconut oil in this as it is one of the healthiest oils you can eat. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Lovely, Claire. Coconut oil will not only lend health benefits to your granola but a faint sweetness as well. Let us know how it goes…and you’re welcome.

  11. Brig says:

    I’ve just pulled this out of the oven and added the dried fruit (apricot and cranberry). I used hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in lieu of the almonds because I just couldn’t find them anywhere in the pantry! I also added in some ground nutmeg.

    It’s delicious, if a little hot on the tongue because I just couldn’t wait to try it! I misread the recipe and added in double the honey and oil quantities, which was particularly bad because I only had 3 cups of traditional oats to begin with! To rescue my first granola attempt, I added some quick oats and almond meal to the mix about halfway through cooking. I also changed to a larger baking pan so that it could dry out faster. It took quite a while in the oven, but this was to be expected due to the additional moisture. On the plus side, it should “clump” pretty well.

    I’m so glad to have come across your recipes—-I love the clear instructions and all the humour too!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Brig, I love that you love our recipes! Many thanks for letting us know. We test each and every recipe over and again before deciding if it’s inspired enough to put on the site. And we especially like this granola recipe. That said, it’s a blueprint, as you well know! Really like your tweaks, the almond meal was a brilliant addition given your situation. Thanks, too, for the kind word about the humor—we’ll try not to let it go to our heads. In the meantime, can’t wait to hear from you on other recipes….

      • Brig says:

        Thanks Renee. I just finished batch number two—the first one sort of “ran out” after a few days! It’s very tasty again, and at least I read the recipe properly so kept the honey and oil down to the prescribed levels. I threw in some golden syrup to replace some of the sugar this time. It’s so tasty!

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