This homemade Vanilla Almond Granola is quick, easy, and delicious. Vanilla-flavored oats, almonds, coconut, apricots, and raisins baked into the perfect sweet and crunchy snack or breakfast. Gluten-free option included.
Once you make granola from scratch, you'll never reach for a bag at the store again. This vanilla almond granola is made with whole grain oats, nuts, and dried fruit. It's my favorite homemade granola recipe!
Granola is a great whole-grain snack and alternative to a heavily processed granola bar. Kids love it!
You may want to double up on the recipe because it's also great as an ice cream topping, in parfaits, topped with milk for breakfast, added to trail mix, and as a topping for apple and peach crisp.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Grab-and-go. Granola is great to store in snack bags to have a quick, healthy snack.
- It's flexible. Use this recipe as a guide and put your spin on it.
- It's egg-free, dairy-free, and can be made gluten-free.
- The flavor and crunch!
- It's cheaper to make granola from scratch.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Oats: You will need old-fashioned oats or rolled oats for homemade granola. Instant oats and steel-cut oats will not yield the same texture. For gluten-free granola, be sure to use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
- Wheat Germ: is an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, and vegetable protein. See below for gluten-free substitutions.
- Almonds: This wouldn't be vanilla almond granola without them! Fun fact: a 1-ounce serving of almonds has as much calcium as a ¼ cup of milk.
- Coconut: Unsweetened coconut flakes add another layer of crisp, good fats and vitamin B.
- Natural Brown Sugar: The added molasses in brown sugar gives the granola a deeper flavor and golden color.
- Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the pleasantly sweet and nutty flavors.
- Cinnamon: a bit of warming dry spice makes everything better. You can also use nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice.
- Natural Apple Juice: helps loosen up the wet mixture, so it coats all of the granola in sugary-sweet flavor. I use the Simply Apple brand.
- Pure Maple Syrup: Quality is essential when baking with maple syrup. Grade A dark amber pure maple syrup is the best.
- Avocado Oil: You'll need oil for the granola to clump together. Coconut oil also works.
- Vanilla Extract: adds flavor.
- Dried Fruit: I love adding juicy golden raisins and chopped dried apricot to my homemade granola. Feel free to use any of your favorite dried fruits here.
How To Make Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola
Step 1: Preheat and prep pans. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees and spray 2 sheet pans with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper). Set aside.
Step 2: Mix dry ingredients. In a bowl, mix the oats, wheat germ, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Step 3: Simmer wet ingredients. Add the apple juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and avocado oil to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Step 4: Toss together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mix and toss to coat everything well.
Step 5: Bake. Using your hands, squeeze the cereal one hand full at a time to form small clumps. Spread the clusters onto the pans and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Add dried fruit and finish. Add the raisins and chopped apricot to the baking sheet and bake until the granola is golden brown and crisp (about 15 minutes more). Let your granola cool completely to room temperature before storing.
- Don't skip the sugar! It's only a tiny amount of brown sugar but essential for coating the granola with the sweetness it deserves.
- It also makes the granola crumbly, which I like to describe as great snacking granola. I always love it when I reach into a bag of granola and pull out a big chunk.
- As tempting as it may be to bake everything all at once, don't add the apricot and raisins until the last 15 minutes.
- Don't fuss with the granola too much, so it bakes evenly and forms clumps.
For gluten-free granola, use these substitutions:
- Oats - Oats are inherently gluten-free, but unfortunately, not always processed in gluten-free facilities. Be sure to use a certified gluten-free brand of old-fashioned oats.
- Wheat germ - Flaxseed is the most similar in taste and texture. Oat bran, rice bran, quinoa, and coarsely ground sunflower seeds are good gluten-free alternatives.
The rest of the recipe is naturally gluten-free but always double-check any packaged ingredients.
I love the sweet and tart apricot and golden raisin combo. These dried fruits are also great in granola:
Add a couple of tablespoons of almond butter or a ¼ teaspoon of almond extract to the nut mixture to enhance the nutty flavor.
- Fresh granola is a great snack and topping. I love whipping up healthy protein-packed snacks with granola, like this tasty maple fig parfait. So good!
- It makes a great make-ahead breakfast -pour it in a bowl with milk and enjoy!
- Granola is an excellent topping for smoothie bowls, yogurt, ice cream, and homemade crumbles.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Granola is great to make in bulk because it stays fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Freezing: After cooling to room temperature, you can freeze granola for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
The key to achieving the crunch is cooking the granola low and slow and only stirring it once or twice while it's cooking, so it browns evenly. Also, if the oat mixture is too wet, it won't crisp up as nicely, so be sure to follow the recipe precisely.
No. Instant cooking quick oats cook much quicker than rolled outs and will burn while the rest of the granola bakes.
No. You need the fat from the oil to moisten the oat groats. You need the sugar for flavor, and so the granola sticks together.
If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats uncooked (not the quick cook)
- ½ cup wheat germ *can also use oat bran for a gluten-free version
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup unsweetened flake coconut
- 4 tablespoon natural brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup natural apple juice *I used the Simply Apple brand
- ½ cup grade A dark amber pure maple syrup
- 6 tablespoon Avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 10 dried apricots chopped
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Spray 2 jelly roll pans with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Stir together oats, wheat germ, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
- Mix apple juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and avocado oil in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Add to dry oat mixture and toss thoroughly to coat.
- Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps.
- Spread onto pans and bake for 30 minutes.
- While granola is baking, chop apricots.
- After granola has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and stir in raisins and apricots.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
- Cool and store.
*This post was updated on December 30, 2021, from the original post published on April 16, 2011.