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How Making MORE Healthy Snacks from Scratch Saves me Time {Homemade Granola Recipe}

Homemade granola has become a staple in the Kimball household. We just love healthy granola bars and I love making them. I’ll tell you why. 😉  

Crunchy coconut granola, homemade granola recipe

I am an efficiency freak. If I can save time or combine a trip, even if it’s just around the corner four feet to the bathroom, I’ll load up and figure out how to take the fewest number of steps.

I especially have a dislike of dishes, and I’ll try to pull a “two-fer” whenever possible. Making homemade granola bars and granola is one of those golden opportunities.

Healthy Homemade Granola

By making granola AND granola bars at the same time, I can get all of the ingredients out for both recipes at once. There are enough crossovers that this definitely saves steps. I also just use the same mixing bowl and many of the same measuring utensils (make the granola first).

This really is my mom’s homemade granola recipe from my own childhood. I have fond memories of taking it for a snack at school. You can “drink” the granola from the bowl and then have a cup of milk next to it. I swear, it’s almost better that way than the traditional milk-on-top in a bowl method!

There are about a million different granola recipes on the Internet but this is my favorite, not only because of the nostalgia and habit, but because it really tastes good, with a light, slightly coconutty flavor, and there are ONLY EIGHT ingredients. Some of the other recipes I’ve found take up a whole page. That overwhelms me! (Lydia’s gluten-free granola that she shared here is very doable as well though!)

PLUS, I’ve added a new component to increase the health benefits of the granola, and it had another very surprising result!

RELATED: Cooking Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

Crunchy Coconut Homemade Granola Recipe

crunchy coconut granola recipe, homemade granola recipe

Remember, save time by making a double (or even quadruple!) batch AND make granola bars as soon as you empty the bowl. You’ll never go back!

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Katie’s Healthy Homemade Granola

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Breakfast



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  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. In the pot you used to melt the coconut oil, mix wet ingredients.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and stir well.
  4. Pour into 9×13 pan or a cookie sheet.
  5. Toast in a 350 degree oven.
  6. Stir after 10 minutes, then more frequently until browned (every 5 minutes).
  7. Store in an airtight container.


Other Add-ins for Granola, Before or After Baking:
* ground flax
* sesame seeds
* dried fruit (after baking)
* 1 tsp. cinnamon

Variation: You can also bake at 250 degrees for 30-60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the granola inside overnight to crisp up.

Soaked Variation: Because raw oats are going to be tough to digest, I almost always make the “soaked” version nowadays, which is why the photos are all crispy chunks. It tastes even better! I just soak the oats overnight in 1 cup water with a tablespoon of whey and continue with the recipe (minus the water).

Dehydrated Variation: When making soaked granola, you can dehydrate instead of toasting, 12-24 hours at 115-145F.

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Soaked Granola???

soaked and dehydrated crunchy granola, homemade granola bars

Yes, soaked. You can read about the health benefits of soaking here, but really, the homemade granola tastes so much better and has an amazing texture when you soak it, so you should do it even if you don’t buy the phytic acid argument. 😉

If you want to see the soaked version in video form, my 5-year-old son will show you how easy it is – check out the Premium Content series on Healthy Snacks. He does an awesome job, and your kids can totally do this themselves too (along with other snacks and eventually full meals!).

making homemade granola with kids, homemade granola bars

How to Make Homemade Granola: The Art of Granola Baking

I make a double batch almost every time I do this. It works well but can take a long time to brown, so try baking potatoes for dinner at the same time (you can stir every 7 minutes with a double batch in a 9×13 pan). Here are some lovely (not!) photos from way back in 2010:
recipe for simple homemade granola

Granola ready to go into the oven.

You’ll learn the finesse of turning the granola without getting it all over out of the pan. Stir from the outside in:

Katie's Healthy Homemade Granola

Down and then up in the center:

try this crunchy coconut granola recipe

The homemade granola is about halfway done here, my third stirring after 10 minutes, 7 minutes and 7 minutes. You want to make it evenly spread out when it goes back into the oven.

If you use cookie sheet(s), watch it very closely. Better to err on the side of not brown enough than too brown, which happens quickly at the end! I prefer my baking stone for soaked granola (recipe variations in the Healthy Snacks to Go eBook.)

Katie's Healthy Homemade Granola

The finished product, above. This is as toasty brown as you would want to go. The granola browns first on the edges and bottom, which is why stirring is so important.

Traditional Foods? Wish you knew what I’m talking about when I say “soaked”? Check out this soaking grains research OR for a multimedia basics approach, see the GNOWFGLINS Fundamentals eCourse to learn how to cook real, traditional foods at your leisure.

Snacks Efficiency: Save Time in the Kitchen!

healthy homemade granola with a special crunch

While the homemade granola is baking, you should be in the kitchen anyway since you have to stir every 5-7 minutes. I use this time to whip up this chewy granola bar recipe, which can wait in the bowl while I clean up and wait for the granola to be finished and cool enough to store. I often make dinner while this is all happening, too (did I mention I’m an efficiency freak?).

My family has fallen in love with these homemade granola bars, and they are the most popular recipe at Kitchen Stewardship®. I can’t keep them on hand fast enough. You can store them right in the 9×13 pan, covered, or cut into bars and store in any tightly sealed container. If you were going to keep them around more than a week, I would recommend freezing them right away to preserve the best flavor. Around here, we haven’t had to do that yet!

Lunch-packing Tip: Have the kiddos (or whomever) bring home the plastic baggie each day and just toss a new bar in. Easy way to save packaging and remember to take a bar every day! Check out all my healthy lunch packing tips and green lunch ideas, too!

Added Bonus: You also only have to turn the oven on once and can use the same 9×13 glass baking dish for both recipes, saving energy/$ and yet another dirty dish!

Healthy Snacks To Go eBook

If taking real food on the go is a challenge for you, you’re not alone.

Join thousands of other happy owners of Healthy Snacks to Go, an eBook that is helping real foodies everywhere keep their families nourished (and kids happy) even when they need to pack a snack — without resorting to processed junk food or expensive health food store treats.

With over a dozen different “bar” recipes alone, including many that are grain-free and contain zero refined sugar, I guarantee you’ll find a new family favorite in Healthy Snacks to Go.

Making Your Steps in the Kitchen Count

Crunchy Coconut Granola - Soaked Traditional Recipe for homemade granola

This combination is one that I would call a quintessential Kitchen Stewardship® habit (along with chicken stock, homemade yogurt, natural green cleaners, and using dried beans).

Kitchen Stewardship® is all about helping people balance their time, budget, nutrition and environment, and you can do it all while making healthy snacks! Both recipes are such a healthy upgrade and so frugal compared to storebought items, and the timesaving options are many when combining both recipes in one baking day!

Compared to breakfast cereal’s sugar and puffed grains, granola packs in the protein (nuts) and has natural sweetener (honey). For the bars, you know there’s no trans fats, soy, or high fructose corn syrup, and you can choose your sweetener as well.

Granola in the store is quite expensive, and it often contains unsavory fats like canola and soy (sigh), so for both the health savings and dollars, you’re getting a great deal. The granola bars are less expensive by at least half than storebought granola bars, even the least expensive brands.

I maintain that by using less packaging, especially in the granola bars (if you don’t individually wrap them yourself), you are even protecting the environment a little bit.

Check out the top 10 foundational KS habits HERE.

Love bars? Here’s one that’s even low carb and much lower sweetener than the granola bars: Almond Power Bars

How will you make homemade granola in your kitchen?
Homemade Coconut Granola, homemade granola bars
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

About The Author

52 thoughts on “How Making MORE Healthy Snacks from Scratch Saves me Time {Homemade Granola Recipe}”

  1. I’m making granola/energy bars with coconut oil and can’t figure out how to keep them from falling apart without refrigeration. Is there a secret? Thank you.

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Are they falling apart because they’re too soft or too crunchy and crumbling apart? Your baking time might be off, too short if they’re soft and too long if they’re too crunchy.

  2. Thanks again for the recipe. I made this granola in the slow cooker. About 2-2.5 hours on high stirring every so often. Much less likely to burn and stuff doesn’t spill out onto the floor of the oven.

  3. I just wanted to thank you for this web page. I have made both your granola and bars before, but today I needed to make more. When I was pre-heating the oven for the granola, I realized (smelled) that I had never cleaned up the fish juice that had spilled in the oven on Ash Wednesday. Fortunately, I was not in a hurry and was able to clean the oven FIRST, then make the food. This time I tried grinding up some oatmeal to use as flour in the bars.

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  9. Hi Katie! I finally convinced my DH to let me make some homemade granola this weekend. I’m wondering how well it would work if I substituted molasses for the honey? Would I need to adjust the amount of water that’s added?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I’m way too late to answer – what did you end up doing? Your comment came in just before I launched my book and I was totally swamped. I would think molasses for honey would be a one-to-one sub, but it would radically change the flavor. Personally, I wouldn’t use more than a few Tbs. of molasses. Hope it worked out! 🙂 Katie

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  12. Hi there, loved the granola bars. Made them once already, but this time around i’m wanting to skip the flour and just add extra oatmeal. Do you think it would work?

    Thank you:)

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I’ve tried it with no flour at all, and it’s totally granola. Doesn’t stick together worth a darn. If you want no flour, you have to change what you do to the fat and sweetener, like this: (same ingredients minus flour, basically).

      Hope that helps; sorry my answer was so delayed! 🙂 Katie

  13. I just wanted to say that I love the granola recipe. I did try the bars ONCE. They barely made it through the cool-down stage, and not one was left by the next morning. I asked the Manlings if they “needed” it cooked. They said no. Just mix it all up, stick it in a jar in the fridge, and they’ll eat it on yogurt, for snacks, whatever.

    So. I have one-upped your “less is more” philosophy by completing eliminating that whole pesky cooking process! LOL

    Now…I’ve got to go make a double batch for two working Manlings and the Hubby for this week, and the two younger Manlings who probably won’t leave any for anybody else anyway! Thanks!

  14. I made the granola for the first time today and LOVED it! I added almonds and after I cooked it I added rasins before I stored it. It was so yummy! 🙂 Thanks for this great recipe 🙂

  15. Jennifer Fierro

    I just found these recipes while trying to find a healthier granola bar recipe. I am going to make them tonight and stock up for school that starts in two weeks! Thank you!

  16. I have been making these now for a couple of years. My family loves them – I never know how long they really last since they are gobbled up within a few days! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I pass it on to other people all the time, and my kiddos definitely will not touch storebought granola bars now.

  17. This really is the best granola bar recipe. My son (10) really likes it and is really picky when it comes to food. I am slowly weaning them off the store bought ones and replacing them with these ones.

  18. Is it possible to leave out the shredded coconut. I really don’t like it. But would use it if thats the only way to get them to turn out right. Any substitute suggestions?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      The granola should be just fine w/o the coconut, and you can always add a smidge extra nuts or seeds, or maybe ground flax, to make up for any lost bulk. But it won’t NEED a substitute.

      I really dislike sweetened coconut and didn’t even think I liked coconut, period, until I tried the real stuff in recipes like this, in case you’re in that situation too.
      🙂 Katie

  19. hi katie,

    i have your healthy snacks to go ebook and am about to try the soaked coconut granola. can sourdough starter be used for the soaking process instead of whey? would that change anything?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I bet I’m too late for that “about to try” thing! I’m always getting behind on my comments…

      I would think 1 Tbs. sourdough starter per cup water wouldn’t change the taste too much, and it should be a fine choice for acidic/fermented medium. Did you try it? Did it work? I sourdoughed our morning oatmeal once, and I could tell it was soaked/fermented, but we didn’t love the additional flavor. 🙂 Katie

  20. Do you think I could sub all or part of throw honey for light Karo corn syrup? I have some I need to useuse up?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Wellll…as a healthy food blogger, it would kind of be immoral for me to say yes (although I’m sure the recipe would turn out fine). I would use your Karo in a recipe out in the garden (try Jerry Baker’s books) or as part of homemade ant killer. It will last forever…

      🙂 Katie

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  22. I made these using oat flour since I didn’t have WW flour on hand and they were wonderful! Gluten free too! I am thrilled!

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  24. I somehow stumbled upon your website and love it!!! I tried the granola bar recipe because they looked awesome! Mine did not look or taste anything like the picture. I took your suggestion and halved the butter and added 1/2 cup peanut butter. They were incredibly dry! I put them in the fridge, and went to cut them later and they were hard as a brick. Not sure what went wrong, other than the pan may not have been completely cool when I put it in fridge. Any suggestions as to what went wrong? I am trying to ‘crisp’ some of them now, but I think I have ended up with pretty paperweights. Help!!!

    1. dllynch, the same thing happened to my bars when I tried using peanut butter. They were way too dry. Since then, I stick with her original recipe and use all the butter. I think they are super tasty when I make them that way! I’m literally eating on right now! I haven’t tried her updated version yet, I think it is in her eBook.

    2. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      You know, I don’t think I’ve tried the pb version since I added a half cup flour! Maybe try taking the flour back out – down to 1 c. total – and see if that makes a difference. (half batch, perhaps?) When I’ve done PB, I didn’t notice such a terrible dryness…
      🙂 Katie

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  26. These are awesome and my kids love them. I do have trouble transporting them though to school for a quick breakfast (the 3 yr old just can’t help turning them into a mushy mess), so I used a melon scoop to pack the dough into tight balls and baked them for 11 min. Made great little cookies. My add ins are sun flower seeds, chia, walnuts, and sesame seeds.

  27. Oh, Katie! I made these last night (non-soaked) and all I can say is THANK YOU and WOWWWWWWWW! This is an excellent and highly adaptable recipe. The bars held together well and are crunchy, but not tooth-breakingly so. Again, THANK YOU. God bless.

  28. Michelle Ann Anderson

    Thanks for this recipe, Katie! We LOVE granola here. In fact, I make this to keep on hand and don’t ever buy cold cereal…it’s that good. :o)

    One request that the hubster had was to make it more “chunky”. He likes granola clusters instead of just bits of oat flakes and other goodies. So, I took the liberty of tweaking your recipe and came up with a solution that works for us.

    In a nutshell, I double your recipe using unsweetened coconut. Since the coconut tends to be dry, I add a lot more liquid. What liquid I use just depends on what I have on hand. A whole can of oconut cream works really well. ;o) And, we like the granola a tad sweeter than what the unsweetened coconut can impart, so more honey is stirred in, too. I don’t chop the walnuts that I toss in to give hubster more chunkiness. (is that even a word?) I’m an eyeballer with recipes, so, I’m just looking for enough wetness to make it hold together pretty nicely.

    Then, I press it all into a parchment-covered sheet pan and bake VERY slowly at 250 degrees F. until it’s pretty dry…with no stirring (I’m guessing a dehydrator would give you the same result) Then I bump the temperature up to 350 and bake until golden.

    When it’s cool enough to handle, I break it all up into hubster-sized chunks and store in big glass jars. We go through a couple batches of this stuff a week. I love that I can dump in whatever I happen to have in the pantry, homemade raisins, dried blueberries, flax seeds, sunflower seeds…YUM!

    Hope this helps someone who likes chunky granola, too. ;o)



  29. I just made the bars. Mine are very cake like & not at all like I had expected them to turn out. I thought they’d be more chewy. Is this how they are supposed to be? They have a nice flavor though.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      So sorry it took me so long to respond…I got absolutely behind on comments when I released the second edition of the snacks book and truly have never caught up.

      You would probably like my other bars, more like store bought granola bars and not so cakey:
      🙂 Katie

  30. I figured it out!! The secret to non-crumbly granola bars. It actually makes me kind of sad…you have to cut back on the butter. I used half the butter called for and left out the baking soda and my bars stuck together like…stuff that sticks together really well. Sorry, brain’s not working so well this morning. 🙂

    1. Hayley,
      I wonder if it’s as much the baking soda as butter? I tried cutting 1/4 the butter, and I thought it made some difference but not quite enough. Maybe 1/2 would do it. Adding that 1/2 cup flour – which was already in the recipe when you commented here – made a huge difference as well, so you can probably put the butter back in! 😉 Try the re-toasting trick; it’s like magic. 🙂 Katie

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  34. I made these granola bars Sunday night exactly like the recipe except I added a half cup of chopped walnuts and a cup of mini chocolate chips and they turned out perfectly. (And, oh my goodness, they are divine!) I’ve seen other comments about people saying they didn’t hold together well, so I wanted to say that I baked mine a little longer than it called for and then I pretty much immediately covered the pan and put it in the refrigerator overnight. They cut perfectly and haven’t crumbled at all. (Oh, and I’ve just kept them in the refrigerator.) I bought one to work for a co-worker today and she agreed with me that they were the best tasting granola bars she’d ever had…I’m never going back to store bought ones! Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try using peanut butter next!

    1. Melissa,
      Awesome! I also just recently fixed the crumbly problem and will be updating this post asap. 😉 Katie

  35. Hi Katie, I love your granola/granola bars recipes. It is the first one I’ve used that everyone loves!!

    I do have a couple of questions though. I have quickly read all the comments and did not see my questions; hopefully you have not already addressed the following:

    1) I’m so curious about adding whole wheat/ spelt/buckwheat flour to have some phytase available to break down the phytic acid. I learned about soaking from Sally Fallon years ago but never read about this requirement to neutralize phytic acid. Where did you learn this?
    2) How did you come up with 1 Tbs of whey and 1 cup of water for soaking 3 cups of oats? Again, I’ve used Sally Fallon’s instructions and she always has 2 Tbs of whey per cup of oats. I’m just wondering if 1 Tbs of whey is enough to break down the phytic acid for 3 cups of oats.

    Believe me, I’m not challenging you, I just want to make sure that all this work I do actually accomplishes what I’m wanting it to.

    Thanks so much…love you site!!

    1. Debra,
      I just discovered your comment lost in the fray, apparently! Sorry I never answered. Everything I know about the “soaking” process is here: but basically:

      1. phytase recommendations are changing – I think Fallon now recommends wheat flour. Amanda Rose just came out and said no whey at all, just warm water, so what can you do?
      2. it’s the pH of the liquid that makes a difference, so the amount of whey has to go with the amount of water. Most oatmeal uses 2 c. water per 1 c. oats, so that’s why it’s usually 2 Tbs. whey.

      Hope that helps! Katie

      1. Thanks, Katie…that helps a lot. Amanda Rose’s site provides the data that I have always lacked.

        Thanks so much!! Appreciate all the info you have on this site!


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