Simple and easy, my heart healthy, whole grain granola recipe will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and leave everyone wanting more. This granola recipe starts with wholesome oats and is combined with chia seeds, sunbutter, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla extract. It is slow roasted until it turns a golden hue and is then tossed with dark chocolate chips and shredded coconut. A great way to prep breakfasts for the week.
I remember when I used to incorrectly stereotype granola as a health food that only crunchy yoga moms swore by. But I sure was wrong. These days you’ll see just about anyone snacking on this golden cereal. That’s why my heart healthy granola recipe is perfect for any family to enjoy.
Granola will always be the granddad of all cereals, with it originating sometime in the mid-to-late 1800s, and it still hasn’t gone out of style. Not only is it fresh and nutritious, it’s also extremely versatile and very affordable to make.
Granola is a gourmet, more wholesome version of cereal that can be adapted to fit any taste or style. Even old Papa who is pretty simple and prefers a no-fuss breakfast. Enjoy this on yogurt with morning coffee and fruit for a full meal.
Marketers at food companies love to mark it up in price and label it with super trendy buzz words like “superfood” and “ancient grains.” Let’s be honest, the lingo sells.
But now you don’t have to fall into the trap of spending $5+ on a small bag of crunchy goodness because you’re smarter than that, and you can make a large batch yourself for much less. Oats and other basic mix-ins are nutrient dense and affordable. Plus by simply mixing and baking, you’ve got the freshest granola around.
I like enjoying a bowl of granola with whole milk, just as I would a bowl of cereal. The best part: You can add anything to it.
Health nut? Add hemp seeds and dried fruit. Fan of all things sweet? Chocolate and more chocolate will do. Anything your heart desires, really.
Here are some of my favorite combinations for making the best heart healthy, whole grain granola:
- Chocolate chips & cinnamon
- Chia and hemp seeds
- Coconut chips and cashews
Feel free to add as many mix-ins as you want! This is your own personal cereal.
Enjoy with milk, snack on it plain, or sprinkle over a bowl of yogurt or cereal!
Tools you may need:
Large cookie sheet
Silpat or parchment paper (optional)
Oats – I use quick oats because the texture is perfect for granola.
Chia seeds – Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They are barely noticeable in this recipe, so I sneak them in.
Sea salt – I love using sea slat in cooking, so I always keep this on hand. If you prefer regular table salt, that is fine to use instead.
Cinnamon – This is optional. I sometimes like to use it because it complements the chocolate flavor.
Vanilla extract – I homebrew my own vanilla extract. Use the real thing if you can. It enhances the flavor the most.
Pure maple syrup or honey – I love both of these options, so use whichever you like best. This will sweeten the granola just enough.
Sunbutter, tahini or nut butter (I like to use this Sunbutter) – Any of these ingredients works to bind it together and add healthy fats in.
Dark chocolate chips – I refer dark chocolate chips, but it really doesn’t matter what you use.
Shredded coconut, optional – I love coconut. This blends well with the chocolate and has healthy fats in it.
Preheat oven to 225° F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, chia seeds, sea salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the maple syrup, seed/nut butter, and vanilla.
Mix until everything is relatively uniform. Pour this over a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and spread evenly into a thin layer.
Bake for an hour, stirring halfway through and being sure it’s all spread out evenly again. Remove from the oven once the granola is dry, after the full hour is up.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the granola and let cool completely before stirring and storing. Once cooled, use an airtight container to place in a cool, dry spot. Store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Tips for Making This Healthy Granola Recipe
If you’re having trouble mixing the wet ingredients into the oat mixture, either use your hands to help break it up in the mixing bowl or heat the nut/seed butter on low heat with the maple syrup beforehand. Stir the warm mixture into the oat mixture after it has melted.
This recipe is a use-whatever-you-have-in-the-pantry kind of recipe. No chocolate chips? Use just coconut chips, or toffee chips, or cashews. Really, it’s whatever you want.
Wait to add mix-ins until after baking. Add-ins like coconut chips, nuts or chocolate may get too dark while baking in the oven for an hour. Chocolate will just make a big mess when you stir it halfway through, so add these in after baking. Trust me on this one. I’ve tried this recipe so many different ways, so many times.
You can also use half oats and half Grape Nuts for some added fiber and iron. I tried this once and it was delicious.
I listed tahini (toasted sesame seed butter) and sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) specifically because my husband is allergic to nuts. All recipes in my house have to be nut free just to be safe. But feel free to use any nut butters you may have on hand instead.
Make sure to spread the granola in an even, thin layer on a large cookie sheet. If you only have smaller ones, use two or more smaller cookie sheets to ensure the oats all have enough room to dry out and get toasted.
Stirring the granola and spreading it back out halfway through is important. You want to make sure it all cooks evenly. The final product should be dry and you also don’t want it to get too dark. You really just want a golden hue and all the wonderful flavors to be well absorbed into the oats for optimal snacking later.
More Delicious Breakfast Ideas:
Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole
Healthy Chocolate Baked Oatmeal
Healthy Granola Recipe
- mixing bowl
- large cookie sheet
- rubber spatula
- silpat or parchment paper
- 3 cups oats
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup sunbutter, tahini, or nut butter
- 1 cup shredded coconut optional
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 225° F.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, chia seeds, sea salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the maple syrup, seed/nut butter, and vanilla. Mix until everything is relatively uniform.
- Pour this over a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and spread evenly into a thin layer.
- Bake for an hour, stirring halfway through and being sure it’s all spread out evenly again. Remove from the oven once the granola is dry, after the full hour is up.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips (or other mix-ins) over the granola and let cool completely before stirring and storing. Once cooled, use an airtight container to place in a cool, dry spot. Store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
2 thoughts on “Heart Healthy Granola Recipe”