Homemade Trail Mix Granola

Despite whatever stereotypes go along with being a lover of granola, I really can't help the way I feela about it. It's crunchy, hearty, a bit sweet, and filling. Plus granola (especially of the homemade variety) can be flavored in so many different ways - you can completely personalize this snack to include whatever fruity, nutty, sweet or salty additions you please. And granola is such a wonderful food because you can make it super healthy by loading up on certain add-ins while avoiding some of the less natural and healthy sweeteners (ie. corn syrup). Plus it is great with milk, in a fruit and yogurt parfait, as topping for a fruit crisp, or eaten as a snack on it's own.

Oats are, obviously, the base for any granola, with a mix of some important wet ingredients for flavor and to improve cluster-ability - water, sugar, a touch of corn syrup, maple syrup, vegetable oil, and honey. I don't really have any exact measurements for the wet ingredients. I'd recommend using 2 cups or more of oats, then a tablespoon or so of each of the wet ingredients. Mix everything together and add more wets as needed. The  oats shouldn't be sopping wet but they should be moist enough that they sort of clump together and have a darker color. I taste it and if the flavoring is well-balanced, but the mixture a bit dry, I add more water. If it's not quite as sweet as I'd like, I add a bit more corn syrup. Just allow your taste buds to guide you.

Once you've got the essentials down, it's time for fun with the mix-ins. I love to add seeds of all kinds - pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseed, you name it. Then there's the nuts. My favorites are almonds and pecans but the flavor possibilities are endless - peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, walnut, macadamias, and on and on. Then I spread the mixture out on a baking sheet and these all go in the oven to get roasted and toasted up, then the sweeter stuff gets mixed in after a little cool-down. I'd recommend setting your oven between 250 and 325 degrees, then popping the granola in from 45 to 75 minutes. You don't want the oats to burn but rather to get crunchy and golden brown.

Dried fruits are my favorite part for their sweetness and chewy texture. Cranberries and golden raisins top my list but you can find all kinds of dried fruits these days, from banana chips to apple bits, from apricots to blueberries. And don't limit your sights to dried fruits. If you want dehydrated vegetables, go for it. Some chocolate chips or peanut butter bits are also great flavor additions. If you want to be real adventurous, you can even add some flavorings into the granola itself, such as spicy chipotle powder, autumnal pumpkin puree, creamy peanut butter, or savory dried herbs. Go as creative and flavorful as you like! But if you're not feeling too confident to go it alone yet, here's a basic outline of what I did to make the granola you see in the photos here. Enjoy!

Basic Granola Mix


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whet germ or milled flax seed (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup (optional but increase honey and veg. oil by 1 Tbsp each if omitting corn syrup)
  • 4 Tbsp water


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Combine oats, sugars, wheat germ or flax seed, cinnamon, salt, and nuts in medium to large bowl. Mix so everything is incorporated.
3. Move ingredients to sides of mixing bowl to create a hollow in the center. Add honey, vegetable oil, corn syrup, and water. Mix well to incorporate. Add more water as needed to fully wet all ingredients.
4. Spread granola on baking sheets and cook for 1 hour, or until granola becomes an even golden brown. 
5. Add any other mix-ins such as dried fruit. Enjoy! 


  1. Homemade granola is a perfect way to start the day! I haven't made it in a while and you've given me inspiration with your delicious recipe here. :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by my bloG! How cool is yours though?? You are like miss everything! I am excited to try some recipes, because heaven knows I need some major help in that area.

    And so happy we all survived Y2K :)

    Glad we follow each other now! -Steph

  3. Hey Laura.. I'm so glad that you like Glocal Girl! I totally agree with your thoughts on granola... it's the perfect snack/breakfast/lunch. My favorite is granola, greek yogurt and frozen blueberries and raspberries!


  4. your granola looks delicious and not too complicated, which is perfect! i'm going to have to try this recipe.


  5. This granola looks yummy! I love the pictures on your blog. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog!
    Xo Mandy


  6. Perfect way to start the day (and the year for that matter!)

  7. I've been meaning to make granola for some time lately, but I'm not quite sure what I'd do with it once I have it. I know, I could eat it straight but I've always had it on top of stuff. I think it's time to try. Definitely.


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