Homemade Granola with Almonds and Raisins

I’ve never really given much though to granola, and certainly never thought about making it at home. But thanks to Chris Kimball I see that it’s mostly just oats; plain old Quaker. Most ready-made granola binds the oats together using honey, this recipe uses maple syrup. While more expensive, maple syrup has bolder and more interesting flavor; a definite upgrade. Also most ready-made granola skimps on the nuts and raisins, because they cost 10-times more than the oats. This recipe uses lots of nuts and raisins, and achieves a much tastier balance. 4-stars

Best granola ever; I guarantee it.

This will undoubtedly be the best granola you will have ever tasted in your life; I guarantee it. The flavor of the almonds intensify and the oats cook. While my main complaint about granola still stands; that it is too dry; it is still delicious.  I’d recommend eating with something moist; adding milk and eating as a cereal or as an American-style parfait (yogurt, fresh fruit and granola).


  1. When walking down the oatmeal section in your supermarket, you will see two type of oats. Quick oat are ready in 1 minutes, but this recipe calls for regular old-fashioned rolled oats. They are always labelled as ready in 5 minutes.
  2. While maple syrup is very expensive it imparts great flavor. If it is too expensive for you, then substitute honey. It goes without saying that pancake syrup should never be substituted.
  3. Be sure to buy raw almonds, because you will be roasting them yourself. I found slivered raw almonds at Trader Joe’s. Avoid blanched and pre-roasted almonds.

Rating: 4-stars
Cost: $6.50 (2-lbs 10-oz granola)
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Started: 1:00 PM.  Ready:  2:45 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here.  The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

1/3 cup maple syrup (3-3/4 oz)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/3 ounces light brown sugar (1/3 cup packed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
17-1/2 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats (5-3/4 cups)
10 ounces raw almonds (2 cups)
2 cups raisins (12-1/2 oz)

  1. Set an oven rack in upper-middle of oven, and pre-heat to 325-degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar and salt, then use whisk to combine vegetable oil.
  3. Use spatula to fold oats and chopped almonds until evenly coated with syrup mixture.
  4. Line a rimmed-baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread oats onto baking sheet. Use a stiff metal spatula to tightly compress the oats.
  5. Bake at 325-degrees for between 40 and 45 minutes, or until slightly brown. Rotate the baking sheet half way through baking to ensure that it cooks evenly.
  6. Place baking sheet on wire rack and allow to cool for 1 hour. Break granola into whatever sized pieces you like. Chop raisins and stir into granola peices.
  7. You can store the granola in an air-tight container for 2 weeks.

Comparing pale lifeless store-bought to homemade.

8 Responses to Homemade Granola with Almonds and Raisins

  1. jean says:

    Mark, are you sure about the oats? Here in Canada we have instant (1 minute), quick (5 minutes) and old-fashioned (10-15 minutes?)
    I use the Pam anderson recipe published in the NY Times a few years back, it uses less oil and has wheat germ in it. I also add ground flax meal to it. It’s a standard breakfast for me with strawberries and yogurt. I need to make it tonight!

    • Hi Jean,

      I am only sure about what’s there in my supermarket. There are quick and old-fashioned oats. Here in US, instant Oat Meal is further processed; not just oats.

      It sounds like a great breakfast, much better than my standard which is Cherrios.


      • jean says:

        okay, this is weird. I have a couple of bags of old fashioned (I stock up at sales) and they’ve changed the time to prepare on the newer bags, down from 10-15 to 5-6. I’ll take a closer look to see why, it wasn’t completely obvious to me. 😉
        Quaker has started selling plain instant oats in the same packages as their flavoured types. 10 to a package and about 10 times the price to buy plain instant oats premeasured. lol
        Your granola looks great too!

  2. Patricia says:

    I made this recipe yesterday evening and it was so easy! What a brilliant way to make a lot of granola. I used the steel cut rolled oats bought in the bulk bin at supermarket (75 cents/lb.) Added 1 cup each chopped almonds and walnuts, also used dried cranberries, currants and assorted sized raisins. It makes a lot of granola so I’ll be sharing with family and friends.

  3. Sandy Prince says:

    Love this recipe! Easy!I added mixed dried fruit and walnuts, even better!

  4. I absolutely love this recipe! I do add a bit extra maple syrup and brown sugar to make the oats stick together a bit more to get bigger chunks after baking but love this overall! So much better than store bought granola. Also it makes your house smell so good when cooking it. This is the best granola I have every tasted. Thanks to my friend Johanna who shared this recipe with me!

    • I agree! Of all 500 recipes on my blog, this is the recipe that I have probably made most.

      Actually, I’ve been going the other direction lately. Cutting down on the brown sugar to make it less sweet (from a health-consciousness perspective). My boys add it to natural yogurt, but then add fruit syrup (which adds a lot of sugar).

      Similar to what they sell at Jamba Juice for $8.

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