Delicious homemade granola that is so aromatic with cardamom and full of chunky cashew clusters. It tastes heavenly and is so healthy. Enjoy it with milk and fresh fruit. Makes an excellent homemade gift that will be loved by all.
Make this granola and your whole house will smell like dessert. It is just fabulous. And anyone who is familiar with South Asian and Middle Eastern sweets and desserts will know what I am talking about.
Enjoy it with milk and it will feel like you are having a dessert for breakfast while being perfectly nutritious. I have had so many compliments for this recipe. You will love it!
If you have never made homemade granola then you must try this. It is so easy and better than even the best granola mixes you can find in health food stores.
Homemade granola gives you the flexibility to be creative and make your own flavor combinations. It is so much cheaper, easier and can be made fresh as needed.
Store bought granola is expensive, has too many fillers, high in sugar and often contains unhealthy ingredients.
How to Make Homemade Granola
Below is a brief overview. Full recipe is at the end of the blog post.
- Dry Ingredients: Preheat oven. Take all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Wet Ingredients: Whisk wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
- Combine it all very well.
- Transfer mixture to baking sheet and press it down.
- Bake until lightly toasted and aromatic. Remove from oven and let cool. Break it up into chunks.
- Serve or Store in an airtight container.
Homemade Granola Ingredients
Best Oats for Granola
The best kind of oats to use for granola are the rolled oats or old fashioned oats. These are whole oats that are steamed and rolled. They are less processed than the quick cooking oats.
Whole oats are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Oats are considered very healthy because of how they moderate blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
However, the processing of oats is also to be considered. The steel cut oats are the least processed, followed by the rolled oats and then the instant or quick oats.
Rolled oats have a lower glycemic load, slower release of sugar from the carbohydrates, resulting in a slow release of energy throughout the morning and helps keep one full longer. On the other hand, instant oats may sometimes have added sugars and unnecessary ingredients.
Nuts and Seeds
For this recipe I used cashew halves and some chopped or sliced almonds. You may also consider pistachios, walnuts or macadamia nuts.
As for seeds, my favorite is green pumpkin seeds. But you can also use sunflower seeds. I add some hemp seeds for some extra protein and crunch. Chia seeds are another nutritious addition.
Here I chose raisins, sultanas, chopped dates, dried apples and prunes as that goes so well with the remaining ingredients to keep up with the eastern flavor profile I wanted to retain for this recipe.
But feel free to experiment with other "unsweetened" dried fruit such as dried figs, dried apricots, dried cranberries etc. Because I wanted to make the granola clumpy I added the dried fruit right in the beginning. So it is important to bake at low temperature to prevent the fruit from getting burnt.
Real maple syrup is my favorite choice for sweetening granola. It gives homemade granola a delicious flavor and works better than honey.
Most often I use avocado oil or olive oil. But you can also use a little bit of coconut oil for a hint of flavor if you like. The fat helps crisp up and toast the granola.
The whisked egg whites help with making the granola clumpy. They also enhance the protein quality and quantity of this granola recipe.
Spices and flavors
I used quite a bit of ground cardamom in this homemade granola recipe. You may use less and increase as needed, if you prefer. Cardamom goes so well with cashews and the other dried fruits and nuts chosen here.
You could also use hints of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Be sure to use that pinch of salt. It will intensify the overall sweetness and flavor of the granola.
Homemade Granola Variations
- Gluten-Free: Oats are often processed in facilities where other gluten containing products are processed. Therefore make sure to use certified gluten free oats.
- Nut-Free: Skip the nuts and increase the amount of seeds and coconut flakes.
- Vegan and Egg-Free: Skip the egg whites. If you still want to make the granola clumpy then make sure to compact the granola mixture very well before baking. And allow to cool completely after baking.
- To make it clumpy: line baking sheet with parchment paper, use whisked egg whites, compact the granola mixture well, bake at low temperature, press down once more before cooling, then cool completely.
- To make it loose: You can skip the egg whites and don't need to follow the guidelines above. And can bake at 325 to 350 degrees F. Add the dried fruit in the end.
- Allow the granola to cool completely for it to become fully dry.
- How to store: Homemade granola keeps well for at least 3 to 4 weeks. It can be frozen for up to three months in a freezer safe bag. You may use vacuum sealed bags for better storage. Thaw the granola before serving.
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- Barley Porridge with Blueberries and Walnuts
- Soft Honey Wheat Rolls
- German Apple Pancakes
- Mango Chia Smoothie Bowl
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Cashew Homemade Granola Clusters
- 3½ cups rolled oats old fashioned
- 1½ cups nuts (⅔ cashew halves, ⅓ chopped almonds)
- ½ cup seeds pumpkin, sunflower, hemp etc
- ½ cup coconut flakes dried
- ⅔ cup dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dates, prunes, dried apples)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup olive oil light
- 2 egg whites whisked
- 1½ teaspoon green cardamom ground, fresh
- 1 big pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet that is about 15 x 12 inches with parchment paper. Take all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients and combine very well. You may use your hands or utensils that will help you combine it really well.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer. Compact it by pressing down the mixture using your palms or a wide spatula.
- Bake it for about 40 minutes until lightly toasted and aromatic.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Break it up into smaller clumps and store it in an airtight container.
- Granola keeps well for at least 3 to 4 weeks. It can be frozen for up to three months in a freezer safe bag. You may use vacuum sealed bags for better storage. Thaw the granola before serving.
- Watch the time and temperature especially close to the end of baking time to prevent granola from getting burnt.
- Gluten-free oats: Check the package, as most oats are processed in facilities that process other gluten containing products.
- To make loose granola: Skip the egg whites and don't compact the granola. And bake at 325 to 350 degrees F. Add the dried fruit in the end.
- For other tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
More Oats Recipes
This post was first published on 13th March 2019 and has been updated with video, process pictures, formatting, tips and additional enhancements.