This one is a clear-cut double pleaser everybody!
I decided to put these two recipes together because I usually end up using them side by side.
A perfect pair, whether it’s breakfast, dessert or just a quick snack. These are one of my favorite oil-free and sugar-free granola and jam recipes.
First off, the Granola…
This recipe that I’m sharing with you all makes an enormous batch of granola that can be enjoyed in many ways, like smoothie bowls, with plant-based milk and yogurt, or as a crunchy snack.
It’s somewhat sweet and slightly savory at the same time. Also, the flavors can be mixed and matched each time depending on the dried fruit or nuts you choose to add-in.
This granola recipe makes a heavenly snack or breakfast (add your milk of choice and maybe top with some fresh fruit). It also stores superbly well, making it a great homemade gift.
Once you’ve tasted this homemade granola, you will realize that it’s so much better and you will never again go back to the store-bought brand.
It is also a far healthier granola alternative, since it’s made with whole grains, unrefined oil and naturally sweetened. Plus, the delicious aroma it will create in your home while baking will just make your mouth water.
Freshly baked granola is super easy to make. You’ll only need one bowl and some basic pantry ingredients.
Are you ready for the recipe?
Healthy Granola Ingredients
Heart-healthy, hearty, whole-grain old-fashioned oats keep their shape during baking. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need gluten-free granola.
Nuts and/or Seeds
I used almonds, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for this batch. Other options include walnuts, which are rich in Omega-3s, whole or chopped pecans, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
Oil gives the granola a nice crispy crunch. I like using unrefined coconut oil, which is delicious and produces the perfect texture, but you can also use extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil or even avocado oil. If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, olive oil is a better choice.
I love using maple syrup in my granola. Honey works great, too. As a bonus, these natural sweeteners infuse your granola extra-delicious flavor that sugar would not.
Salt and Spice
For flavorful granola, don’t skip the salt. I prefer using pink Himlayan salt or fine-grain sea salt.
Adding cinnamon will give a lovely and warm flavor to this batch. Ground ginger and gingerbread or pumpkin spice blends are other great options too.
Dried fruit provides additional sweetness and an enticing chewy texture. I love using dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut flakes, dried cherries, currants, raisins and chopped dried apricots and dates.
Other optional Add-Ins
For fresh citrus flavor, stir in some fresh citrus zest into the mixture before baking. Orange, lemon and grapefruit zest are particularly delicious.
You can also add dark chocolate chips after the granola has completely cooled.
Chunky Granola Tips
Don’t you just love big clumps in your granola? I know I do! Here are some tips to achieving chunkier granola:
- Your oats need to be a little crowded in the pan so they can stick together, but not so crowded that they don’t toast evenly.
- Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper so the sweetener sticks to your oats rather than the pan.
- For maximum clumps, gently press down on the granola with the back of a spatula after stirring the mixture at the half-way baking point. Then put the pan back into the oven to finish baking.
- Don’t bake the granola too long—just until it’s lightly golden on top, as described. It might not seem like it’s done yet, but it will continue to crisp up as it cools. Over-baking the granola seems to break the sugar bonds.
- Finally, let the granola cool completely before breaking it a part.
Now that you have my base recipe, you can play around with the mix-ins and spices to make it your personal favorite granola.
Speaking of which, you can preserve the freshly baked flavor by storing the granola in the freezer. Just let it warm to room temperature for a few minutes, and enjoy.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one of my supreme favorite granola recipes. Nevertheless, throughout the years I’ve managed to create lots of tantalizing variations. So, following the base recipe, here are a few I’d like to mention:
- Autumn in a bowl Granola: This recipe has a rich autumn flavor! It includes orange zest, whole almonds, dried cranberries and raisins.
- Coconut Lovers Granola: For all those coconut fans out there! This recipe calls for coconut oil, large coconut flakes and shredded coconut.
- Almond Apricot Granola: Add whole almonds and some chopped dried apricots, plus a drizzle of honey and you’re all set. Absolutely wonderful!
- Christmas Spice and everything nice Granola: Perfect for Christmas time! This granola calls for molasses and some gingerbread spice. If you don’t have any, just mix up some of your own with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, ground nutmeg and ground cloves. Add in some coconut flakes, dried cranberries, and some chopped candied ginger for an extra gingery zing.
Feel free to get creative and make your own granola recipe mix!
- 1 cup soft Medjool dates, pits removed*
- ½ cup (120 mL) tahini
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) water
- 3 cups (243 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup (72 g) raw almonds, roughly chopped
- ½ cup (65 g) raw cashews, roughly chopped
- ½ cup (80 g) raisins**
- ¼ cup (36 g) roasted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup (36 g) roasted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt (optional, but recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Add the dates, tahini, and water to a food processor and blend on high until creamy.
- To a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and mix.
- Add in the date mixture to the bowl and mix with your hands until well combined.
- Spread the granola evenly on parchment-lined baking tray and press flat.
- Bake in the centre rack of the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, stopping one or two times to stir and flatten again if needed to prevent burning and to ensure the granola cooks evenly.
- When the granola is lightly golden, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking tray. The granola will continue to harden as it cools.
- When fully cooled, you can add chocolate chips at this point if using and transfer to an airtight container or large glass storage jar.
* If the dates are not soft, soak in warm water until softened, drain.
** Add the raisins to bake with the rest of the ingredients if you like raisins that are slightly caramelized and hardened. Alternatively, add the raisins after everything is finished baking and stir in so that the raisins remain chewy.
Store sealed on the counter for up to two weeks.
Now for the Berry-Chia Jam…
This easy, mixed berry chia jam is a healthy condiment to have on hand for improving taste and nutrients of your breakfasts, desserts and snacks. A nutritious, sweet spread that’s gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free.
This recipe has no added sugar, and it really doesn’t need it. The sweetness comes naturally from the berries and that little bit of apple juice. The thickening comes naturally from the chia seeds that gel from the juices released by the berries when they thaw.
Homemade mixed berry chia jam is such a huge improvement on store bought jam. You lose all that huge amount of sugar, preservatives and potentially other chemical agents like thickeners and colorants. You add the omega-3, fibre and protein-rich goodness of chia seeds. And it’s super easy to make!
Any berries are going to work in this recipe – I usually make this with a bag of frozen mixed berries available at a local supermarket.
Just like the granola, this easy, mixed berry chia jam is a great condiment to have in the fridge for breakfast, snacks or even to top desserts or stirred in some yogurt.
- 1 cup (150 g) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup (150 g) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 Tbsp (21 g) chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple juice
- Place the berries in a medium bowl and microwave at for approximately 3 minutes, stopping to stir every minute. Otherwise, thaw the berries in a saucepan on medium heat stirring frequently.
- When the berries are defrosted, some of its juice will naturally be released. Mash with a fork, allowing some chunks to remain.
- Add the chia seeds and juice, and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for the jam to thicken, stirring once halfway.
- Transfer to your jar, and enjoy on toast, crackers along with nut butter, on oatmeal, cereal, in yogurt, for baking such as thumbprint cookies, pies and so much more!
Using frozen berries are preferred to fresh because they release extra juice when defrosted. Then, this juice is absorbed by the chia seeds and thickens after a while.
Store in a sealed container or jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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