Learn how to make granola with this super easy Homemade Granola that relies on a lower baking temperature to avoid the risk of burning—and increases the chances of a completely delicious batch! This homemade granola is way easy and delicious to make, even if you have toddlers underfoot and calling for your attention. And it’s sweetened with applesauce!
I love to have homemade granola on hand, but I have a habit of getting involved with the kids and not hearing the timer go off when it’s time to stir it…which can lead to it burning. This easy recipe avoids that all together! It’s a simple combination of oats, nuts or seeds, applesauce, oil, and spices. No hard to find ingredients—just pantry staples that taste so good when baked together and served over yogurt or with milk.
Lower Sugar Homemade Granola
This granola recipe is sweetened with applesauce, so it has a much lower added sugar amount than most commercial granolas. (P.S. It doesn’t have a strong apple flavor, so it just tastes like granola!) And since it isn’t as crunchy as some store-bought granolas, it’s a healthy granola that toddlers can safely eat too. We love this granola for an easy toddler breakfast or as a snack any other time of the day. This is also a great topping for yogurt if your toddler won’t eat yogurt…they might just realize that they like it after all!
Easy Granola Recipe
This homemade granola uses a very simple method of simply stirring the wet ingredients (applesauce, oil, and a little honey, if you choose) into the dry and spreading it on a lined baking sheet. Then you can simply put the pan into the oven, set the timer, and come back 45 minutes later to perfectly baked homemade granola. And if you miss the timer? It won’t instantly burn! I use a lower temperature than most other granola recipes to prevent burning. It does require a longer cook time, but it’s all hands off so you can do other things.
How to Make Homemade Granola Step-by-Step
Here’s what you need to do to make this granola recipe:
- Gather the ingredients including oats, nuts or seeds, oil, applesauce, vanilla extra and cinnamon.
- Grind or chop any nuts to make them small enough that they’re safe for little eaters.
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Spread onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges. No need to stir it!
How do I make crunchy granola?
You can add a lot of oil and honey and sugar to a homemade granola recipe to make it crispy—or you can bake it low and slow in the oven to give the ingredients a chance to crisp up. This healthy granola recipe uses the latter technique, and it results in a crunchy granola that’s not too crunchy for toddlers. This doesn’t have giant chunks (which could be a choking hazard for toddlers), but instead has an overall crunchiness that’s really pleasant to eat.
Why do toddlers like crunchy foods so much?
Many toddlers like crunchy foods because it appeals to their sensory-seeking nature, but it can be hard to find options that are also easy enough for them to chew. This is a good option. I started giving this to my toddler (who called it “crackers”, like anything else crunchy she eats!) when she was about 20 months old. She most often has it with plain whole-milk yogurt.
I chop any nuts I add to my granola (though sunflower seeds could go in whole). If you need to soften the finished granola slightly before serving, stir it into yogurt or milk and let it sit for a few minutes first. Or, try grinding up the cooled granola in the food processor to make granola “sprinkles”. Those will be easier to chew.
How to Make Granola with Honey
To keep this granola recipe low in added sugar, I use unsweetened applesauce for both flavor and natural sweetness. Then, you can add an optional 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup for a tiny bit more crispness and sweetness. There are also rolled oats for fiber and B vitamins and sunflower or sesame seeds for healthy fats.
Homemade Granola Recipe with Coconut Oil
Wondering how to make granola with coconut oil? It’s easy! You can make this granola recipe with melted and slightly cooled coconut oil as the neutral oil. The coconut oil will add a subtle coconut flavor that pairs well with the applesauce and will crisp up nicely.
This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges!
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If using cashews or walnuts, chop in a blender or food processor.
- Stir all ingredients together well in a medium bowl. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (You can stir halfway through if you’re around but it’s optional!)
- Remove from oven and let cool fully on the pan.
Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month or store in freezer containers or zip top freezer bags for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To make this without nuts, use sunflower seeds.