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Great Granola

Tired of spending $6.95 for a 10-ounce package of gourmet granola? Then don't.

Here's an easy master formula. Follow one of the eight variations, or use one to inspire your own cereal blueprint.

Master Granola Recipe

2 cups Old-fashioned Oats
½ cup Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
¼ cup Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp flavorless cooking oil, such as Vegetable or Canola
1 Tbsp Water
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below)
Flavoring (see below)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.

2. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients--except dried fruit--in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any Flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.

3. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.) Makes one quart.

You can double the recipe, but bake the granola in two pans. You also may need to increase cooking time. The key is to bake the granola until it is an impressive golden brown.


    • Classic Granola

      Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
      Flavoring: ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • Crunchy Granola

      You can replace the ¼ cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbsp each of maple syrup and molasses.
      Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup slivered almonds, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, 6 Tbsp currants
      Flavoring: none

    • Granola with Tropical Flavoring

      Add the coconut along with the cashews and banana chips.
      Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews, ¼ cup chopped banana chips, ¼ cup sweetened flake coconut, ¼ cup chopped dried pineapple
      Flavoring: ½ tsp ground ginger

    • Granola with Cherries and Almonds

      Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
      Flavoring: ¾ tsp almond extract
    • Trail Mix Granola

      Extra Ingredients: ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, ¼ cup sweetened flake coconut, ¼ cup dark or golden raisins, ¼ cup mini chocolate chips*
      Flavoring: none
      *Note: Stir chips into the granola only after it has completely cooled
    • Orange-Berry Granola with Pecans

      Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup dried blueberries
      Flavoring: ½ tsp finely grated orange zest
    • Pear Granola with Hazelnuts and Vanilla

      Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, ¼ cup chopped dried cherries, ¼ cup chopped dried pears
      Flavoring: 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • Orange-Flavored Granola with Pistachios, Mangos and Dates

      Extra Ingredients: ½ cup chopped roasted pistachios, ¼ cup chopped dates, ¼ cup chopped dried mangos
      Flavoring: ½ tsp finely grated orange zest and ¼ tsp allspice

      Copyright 2005 USA Weekend and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

        Sep. 16, 2009 4:51 pm
        can I make this into granola bars? what do you have to change to make bar type granola?
        Oct. 22, 2009 10:38 am
        Hmmm, I baked this for 30min added some cranberries and baked for only an additional 10 and it tastes really burnt >.<. Think I'll go down to 250 this go 'round and maybe just 30min will do the trick. Thank you though for all of the tips and everything, really helpful for a first time granola maker. : )
        Oct. 22, 2009 10:40 am
        You know it might be because I used half honey and half maple syrup...that has to be it, why it burned so fast -_- oh well, lesson learned. Thanks again.
        Mar. 5, 2010 4:24 pm
        how come I can't add this to my recipe box?
        Mar. 12, 2010 7:33 pm
        I would have liked to add this to my recipe box too
        Mar. 21, 2010 1:42 pm
        I also would like to add this to my recipe box
        Noriko P 
        Apr. 28, 2010 10:50 pm
        I think you can add this to recipe box as weblink. Go to recipe box,click weblink and paste this URL.
        May 2, 2010 7:20 pm
        I too would like to add this to my recipe box.
        May 6, 2010 8:30 am
        Looks yummy! I love granola but I'm pretty picky. This looks good enough for even a picky eater like me to enjoy....just wish I could add it to my recipe box!
        Jun. 6, 2010 7:02 am
        I wish that I could of put this into my recipes box and keep it but, I just copied it off. I am having a Bale Sale here in Oct. this will be a great recipe to have for the people that will buy in the morning.
        Jun. 10, 2010 2:46 pm
        to save this recipe just add it to favourites
        Jul. 7, 2010 11:42 pm
        I can't wait to try these different variations of granola :) I've only just started making homemade granola, but I know that it'll be a staple item in my fridge from now on!
        Jul. 13, 2010 11:01 pm
        Does the granola lose its ability to crisp if you leave out the oil?? I am looking for a tasty, healthy recipe that is low fat...I've tried and can't get it crispy...
        Sep. 9, 2010 9:07 am
        to cminahan: I don't think leaving out oil entirely for a recipe calling for oil is a good idea. You might try a "healthy" oil - like olive oil - or canola. Come to think of it: in cake mixes, you can use applesauce in place of the oil. Just some thoughts for lower fat content.
        Dec. 5, 2010 6:44 am
        I use honey instead of syrup.
        Jan. 17, 2011 12:31 pm
        I would like to make try making this in my husband's food dehydrator instead.
        Jan. 31, 2011 10:47 am
        recipe could not be added because it is an article not a recipe. please post article as a recipe so that members can add it to boxes. thanks!
        Mar. 29, 2012 1:46 pm
        this stuff sounds good, and im making a batch now, with pecans, almonds, and raisins, and i put vanilla and cinnamon in it. it smells heavenly, kinda like french toast :P yum!
        Mar. 29, 2012 1:59 pm
        lol, i changed my mind, no raisins... chocolate chips!
        Apr. 3, 2012 7:58 pm
        Its just an article on granola not an actual recipe
        Apr. 10, 2012 5:27 am
        I have been making this recipe for a long tme and I must say, it is the best one around! It always comes out perfect. Love all the variations on ingredients and flavorings. Love love love! I was happy to find it here on because the USA weekend lkink did not work any longer.
        Jul. 18, 2012 12:27 pm
        I love this recipe!! My kids beg for this all the time. I have made it a few times now, and no matter what all I add, it always turns out great. :D Today I am making a total of 3 batches for a weekend camping trip. I did not have enough syrup for 3 batches, so I mixed 1/4 syrup with 1/4 honey, and 1/4 molasses, and it is still turning out wonderful!!
        Jul. 19, 2012 4:34 pm
        I would like to add this to my recipe box, too?
        Aug. 2, 2012 9:06 pm
        I found this recipe exceedingly sweet. I added extra oats this time round, but in the future will cut the sugar significantly.
        Jul. 10, 2013 10:56 pm
        Best granola ever!!! I just made it for the first time and I swear, I will never buy the store brand again....
        Jul. 23, 2013 6:34 am
        how do I add this to my recipe box?
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