If there’s a blog dedicated to granola, don’t tell me about it because I’ll be compelled to try every recipe and will subsequently be buried in mounds and mounds of granola. Then again, maybe not. It’s one of those treats that’s so easy to wrap and share. Plus people react differently to a gift of granola than they do cookies because it’s perceived as nutritious. Or at least until one realize they can’t stop eating it until the bag is empty. But there’s a remedy for that, too. Just put a lot of nuts in the granola. The protein and fat offsets the sugar a little bit and in my opinion, makes the granola more satiating.
This chunky granola is our family’s favorite granola It’s not loose, therefore it’s not perfect for sprinkling or pouring milk over, but it’s great for eating on the go because it’s in big chunks and slabs as demonstrated in this awful photo.
The secret ingredient in the chunky granola is the egg white, which helps bind the granola and lets you get away with using less oil and butter. I apologize for the fact it calls for 1 tablespoon of egg white. It’s kind of a pain to measure it out (not that you have to be precise), but I get the best results when I use around a tablespoon rather than the whole white. If you end up doubling the recipe (which I don’t recommend until you’ve at least made one batch), then you can use 1 full egg white.
Another fun thing you can do is swap out the 1/2 cup dried fruit with 1/2 cup of interesting dried fruit type trail mix. For instance, you can give it a tropical theme by using one with dried mangoes, papaya, etc. or go with an American theme by using dried cranberries and blueberries. Or you can just leave the fruit out completely, which is what I have to do thanks to FUZZ.
Updated: I’ve changed the directions a bit over the years. First, I lowered the heat. Baking at 275 is less stressful because the granola won’t burn as quickly and you don’t have to stir as much. Not stirring too much means more chunks. Also, the coconut and pepitas are definitely optional. I’ve made many a batch without those things.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon egg white, approximately (15 grams)
- 2 cups oats, old fashioned type (230 grams)
- 1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)
- 3/4 cup mixed nuts**
- 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice
- Preheat oven to 275 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in oil, sugar, maple syrup, honey and salt. Cook for about a minute over low, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
- Put the egg white in a large mixing bowl.
- Put oats into the bowl with the egg white, then stir with a mixing spoon to blend the white in with the oats. They'll still seem pretty dry at this point.
- Add the seeds and nuts to the mixture, then pour the liquid mixture into the bowl and stir until blended.
- Spread the mixture over the bottom of the lined baking sheet to make thin slab. It should be all squished together, as if you were making bars.
- Bake at 275F for 40 minutes. After about 20 minutes in, carefully scrape up edges with a spatula and flip the granola on the edge towards the center. With the back of a spatula gently mash it back into a slab and continue cooking.
- Remove from the oven after the full 40 minutes. It should be warm, slightly browned and still chewy, but will crisp as it cools. Let cool completely. Break into chunks and stir in the fruit.
For the nuts, I sometimes use the lightly salted type from a canister for a sweet & salty granola.
I used to bake this at 300, but now I use 275 and bake for a little longer. The granola browns slower and doesn't require as much stirring which means you get more chunks in the end.
And one more tip -- to press the granola into a slab, you can dampen your hands with a little water. This keeps the granola from sticking to your hands and it also adds a tiny bit of moisture to the granola which helps it stay in chunks. You don't want to add too much water, though.