Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots

For anyone wondering just how easy it is to make granola from scratch? Or who's looking for a homemade granola that's much low(er) in sugar and fat? Or who's fed up paying grocery-store prices for what's no more than oats, a few nuts, a little sweetener and few spices? Today's your lucky day because my Homemade Granola is super-easy to make with pantry ingredients. It's sweetened with maple syrup and enriched with healthy olive oil.

Fresh & Seasonal. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meal Prep & Homemade Food Gifts.
Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots ♥ KitchenParade.com, just a little sweetness, just a little oil, ensuring the toasted oats, nuts and dried fruit are the real stars. Recipe, tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points.


Cut Back the Fat and Sugar for Taste

Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots ♥ KitchenParade.com, just a little sweetness, just a little oil, ensuring the toasted oats, nuts and dried fruit are the real stars. Recipe, tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points.

When Mother Nature provided blessed relief from summer's scorching heat last week, I fired up the oven for a batch of homemade granola.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working to create a "base recipe for granola" that’s healthy and natural. One batch after another, my goal has been to reduce the fat and the sugar – for health and diet reasons, of course, but most of all to allow the oats and nuts and dried fruit to be the real stars, for taste!

Finally, I've got it, to my taste (at least), the perfect balance of sweetness, toasted oats and nuts, and dried fruit. Fingers crossed that you'll love it too!

Is Granola a Healthy Dessert or a Not-so-Healthy Breakfast?

Leave it to America to eat dessert in the guise of a "healthy breakfast".

You see, the typical store-bought granola – even the typical recipe for homemade granola – is heavily oiled and sugared then adds sweetened fruit and nuts for good measure! Too sweet and way too many calories!

Granola "nutrition" (yes, the word nutrition is in "quotes" on purpose) in store-bought granolas (and even many granola recipes made from scratch) is a breakfast mess – (too many) calories, (too much) sugar, (hardly any) protein.

Until I decided to accept granola for what it is – a sweet topping – it just didn’t settle well.

Now I'm definitely not the granola police: you eat granola whenever it works for you.

But if granola has always tasted too sweet for breakfast, as it is for me, try it by the tablespoon as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Better yet, try some Greek yogurt topped with a little fruit and a spoonful of granola. Now that, that, that’s a dessert to live with.

A Perfect Balance of Sweetness and Toastiness

Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots ♥ KitchenParade.com, just a little sweetness, just a little oil, ensuring the toasted oats, nuts and dried fruit are the real stars. Recipe, tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points.

With less sugar and less fat, my Homemade Granola stays loose and pourable. No sugary clumps!

Seasonal Granolas

Pumpkin Granola, healthy homemade granola ♥ A Veggie Venture, just oats, pumpkin seeds and nuts, lightly sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar, gently spiced with our favorite fall spices. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Homemade Granola with Apricots & Almonds is my year-round granola. But as a seasonal cook, I'm always looking for ways to adapt my recipes especially for seasons and holidays. Here are two cereal-style seasonal granolas.

But for Fall Salads, Vegetable Sprinkles and More ...

I definitely recommend Sweet Pumpkin Seed Crumbles. They're outright addictive! The recipe originated with Gerard Craft who's a James Beard award-winning chef here in St. Louis. Some oats give the crumbles substance but the real stars are the pumpkin seeds.

Just updated! First published way back in 2011.


Just a little sweetness, just a little oil.
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 6 cups (easy to divide or multiply for smaller or larger batches)
  • 3 cups (260g) old-fashioned oats (not quick or instant)
  • 1 cup (125g) toasted almonds, whole or slivers or sliced or better still, a mix
  • 1 cup (45g) unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds or toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (no skimping)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or sorghum
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) vanilla
  • 1 cup (135g) dried apricots, cut with scissors into slivers
  • 1/2 cup (75g) dried sour cherries or dried cranberries, cut into slivers if large

Heat oven to 350F/175C. Line one or two baking sheets (see TIPS) with parchment or spray lightly with cooking spray. (The baking sheet may be left bare but cleanup is easier with parchment or spray.)

MIX WELL In a large bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, coconut, seeds, spices and salt. With a spatula, carve out a well in the center and pour the olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla into the well. Stir well, take time stirring, really getting in there, it's important to evenly distribute the liquids.

BAKE Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it evenly across the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 – 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes after 15 minutes. (In my oven, 18 minutes is perfect!)

AFTER BAKING Remove the granola from the oven but while it's still warm, stir in the dried apricots and cherries, stirring really well to distribute the heat and slightly soften the dried fruit. Let cool completely.

Transfer to a tight container and refrigerate. For gifts, transfer to pretty glass jars, label and store in the refrigerator. Best used within three or four weeks.

ALANNA’s TIPS This large batch is perfectly fits a standard-size half sheet pan. (That's the big one that fills a rack on in a home kitchen's oven.) If your pans are smaller, split the mixture into two batches, it should be no thicker than an inch, otherwise it will steam, not roast, and get soggy. Not nice! Watch the time carefully, granola moves from golden to burned just like that. I add the dried fruit after the oats and nuts are roasted, otherwise, the fruit dries out. To really reduce the sugar in granola, skip the dried fruit entirely and substitute another cup of seeds and nuts. To reduce the fat, eliminate the oil entirely! The granola isn't quiiiiite as good but still very good! Price-wise, there's no beating Trader Joe's for price and quality for nuts and dried fruit. I love that many nuts, especially during the Christmas baking season, have already been toasted! If your almonds aren't already toasted, throw them in the oven alone, first.
MINIMALIST GRANOLA I truly appreciate the simplicity of this version of Homemade Granola. Skip the sunflower seeds but throw in a few more almonds. Skip the dried apricots and dried cherries but substitute about 1-1/2 cups dried currants.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per quarter/half cup: 134/270 Calories; 7/14g Tot Fat; 2/3g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 26/100mg Sodium; 15/32g Carb; 3/6g Fiber; 6/13g Sugar; 3/6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3/5 & PointsPlus 3/7 & SmartPoints 5/10 & Freestyle 5/10 & myWW green 5/10 & blue 5/10 & purple 4/8 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized".

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love homemade granola - I've been working on mine for a couple of years now too!

    I like to freeze half of the batch right away (when it's cooled, of course!) - that way I don't have to worry about it going stale in the cupboard.

  2. Kris ~ We have "granola" in common too, then! What are your goals, working on your recipe? PS I store granola in the fridge cuz yes, otherwise it does go stale after a few days.

  3. I love making homemade granola as well. The box varieties just don't compare. This sounds delicious.

  4. V eats granola every single morning (!) so I've had a chance to work on the perfect granola recipe too, tweaked to his taste. Turns out the one he likes best is very similar to yours, but with no oil at all. Who knew? I often add a touch of molasses to mine.

    Do you find that the salt settles to the bottom and the last helping of granola is too salty? That's happened to me, and I try to dissolve the salt in a sugar (or maple syrup or whatever) solution before adding it to the granola.

  5. Vicki ~ So glad to find our little "club" of granola makers!

    Nupur ~ Every morning? Wow! I tried to go to "no oil" so would love to know how you got there. And I LOVE the idea of a little molasses, consider it a given in the next batch! I've never had an issue with the salt but your solution is a good one. I do find that salt is really important to the taste.

  6. Bobi from Mexico4/22/2015

    I have been subscribed to Kitchen Parade and Veggie Venture for some time and really enjoy both the column and the blog. Your Homemade Granola was what inspired me to try my hand at, rather than buy those awful one they sell in the grocery stores.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna