Healthy Homemade Granola is made with gluten-free oats and sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup. This quick and easy recipe is loaded with dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut flakes. Learn how to make the best breakfast or snack recipe that is full of big clusters for your next camping or road trip.
Healthy Granola for Camping
Over the years my husband and I have gone on numerous backpacking and camping trips.
We have hiked through Yosemite, backpacked in Big Sur, and canoed our way down a 70-mile stretch of a West Texas river.
The moment I start to get a little anxious about the amount of physical exertion these trips will entail…
I quickly remember that I will have the BEST homemade granola on hand to fuel me through it.
You don’t need to be hiking or paddling vigorously for hours to enjoy this, either.
It also tastes great on top of some yogurt for breakfast, or as a car snack on a long road trip!
Best Homemade Recipe
This homemade granola recipe is seriously the BEST recipe out there for a few reasons:
There are big clusters in every bite thanks to a trick you’ll learn below.
It’s made healthy by using gluten-free old-fashioned oats and is refined sugar-free.
Vegans can also get down on this recipe since pure maple syrup is used instead of honey.
It has the perfect balance of sweet and salty so you’ll never get bored of it after a week-long trip!
You only need 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare it.
I know this because our 60-pound dog got into a batch of this and I had to quickly remake it one morning.
As mentioned previously, this breakfast or snack recipe is gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, vegetarian, and vegan.
The ingredients you will need to make it include:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats. You’ll want to make sure to get gluten-free oats if you or someone you know is Celiac or sensitive. Also, do NOT get the quick cooking oats as they will not be as thick as you need for this recipe.
- Pure maple syrup. Make sure you get pure maple syrup and not the pancake syrup. Also, feel free to substitute with honey if you are not vegan.
- Coconut sugar. Using unrefined coconut sugar makes this recipe Paleo. However, you can use brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
- Olive oil. It may sound weird, but olive oil is what gives this recipe a unique taste and flavor.
- Salt. A little bit of salt makes it perfectly sweet and salty.
- Pecans. Coarsely chopped pecans give it a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
- Pumpkin Seeds. Make sure you get raw, and not salted or roasted, pumpkin seeds, or pepitas.
- Coconut flakes. Get large, unsweetened coconut flakes and preferably not shredded coconut. Shredded coconut will work, but the big pieces taste and look so much better.
- Cherries. Dried cherries are added once the granola is done baking. If you are Paleo, make sure you look for an unsweetened variety.
How to Make
This recipe is very similar to any other granola you will make from scratch.
To make this recipe, there are a few quick and easy steps you will need to follow:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add oil, syrup, and sugar to a small to medium-sized skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low. Continue stirring for an additional minute.
- Pour the sauce over the oats in a large bowl and toss to coat.
- Add pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut flakes. Stir until well combined.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread granola mixture evenly into the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and let sit until it reaches room temperature.
- Break apart the granola into pieces and mix in dried cherries. Enjoy!
Best Way to Get Big Clusters
There are two things you must do in order to get big clusters:
- Do not toss the granola while it is baking in the oven.
- Let it sit after baking, undisturbed, until it is room temperature.
Tossing while it is still baking in the oven breaks it apart and prevents it from clumping together.
Allowing the granola to sit at room temperature gives it enough time to caramelize.
Trust me, letting it cool to room temperature is totally worth the wait!
It can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I would not recommend refrigerating it or freezing it. The taste and texture will be greatly affected.
There are a few ways you can serve and enjoy:
- Eat it by the handful. <– My preferred method.
- Top a container of yogurt with it and eat for breakfast.
- Make a parfait with some homemade coconut whipped cream.
- Add a crunch to a bowl full of berries.
Variations to Try
The ingredients you see in this homemade granola recipe are the best I have tried so far.
But you can always switch up the ingredients depending on what you have on hand:
- Substitute the pure maple syrup for honey or agave nectar.
- Use walnuts or almonds in place of the pecans.
- Dried cranberries and raisins are more affordable and easier to find than dried cherries.
- Add in a handful of chocolate chips.
- Use avocado oil or coconut oil instead of the olive oil for a less robust flavor.
- Swap out the pumpkin seeds for flax seeds or sunflower seeds.
This granola is one of the best and easiest food gifts to give.
Not only is it dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan, but it’s also completely gluten-free, too.
So almost everyone can enjoy it!
To make this into a DIY food gift:
- Add to a glass mason jar.
- Tie a pretty ribbon around the next of the jar.
- Optional: Attach a hand written recipe to the ribbon so your recipient can make it again!
What is granola?
It is a combination of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that is baked in the oven until crunchy.
It is typically served over yogurt for breakfast or eating as a camping or car trip snack.
Is granola gluten-free?
Not all granola is gluten-free since oats can be cross-contaminated with gluten. You can make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats.
Is it good for you?
It is relatively healthy since it is full of fiber from the oats, healthy fats from the nuts, and antioxidants from dried fruit.
However, granola can be full of sugar so making it from scratch is the best way to ensure you are eating healthy granola.
Other Healthy Oat Recipes
Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe
Healthy Homemade Granola is made with gluten-free oats and sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup. This quick and easy granola is loaded with dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut flakes.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats rolled, gluten-free
- ⅔ cup coconut flakes unsweetened
- ⅔ cup pecans raw, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds raw
- ⅛-¼ tsp. salt to taste
- ⅔ cup dried cherries or cranberries*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add oil, syrup, and sugar to a small to medium-sized skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for an additional minute.
Pour the sauce over the oats in a large bowl and toss to coat.
Add coconut flakes, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Stir until well combined.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread granola mixture evenly into the pan.
Bake granola in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and let sit until it reaches room temperature.
Break apart the granola into pieces and mix in dried cherries. Enjoy!
- If you are Paleo, make sure to get unsweetened dried cherries or cranberries.
- Serving size is for ~¼ cup of granola.