Friday, May 4, 2012

Vanilla-Walnut Granola

I have a deep adoration for granola.  I also have little self-control over the stuff.  I don’t buy granola often but when I do, I buy the most  basic kind that I can find.  Why?  Because it’s usually vanilla-flavored.  I am a complete sucker for vanilla.  Plain, maybe.  But delicious, yes.  Fresh caviar from a vanilla bean, in my opinion, is one of the best fragrances in the world.  And if I would have had some on hand when I threw this together, you bet I would have.

I especially love homemade granola.  For one reason, it’s much less expensive to make it from scratch.  I also love to be able to control the ingredients that I use.  I would much rather DIY at home rather than pay for extra processing and preservatives.














And while we are discussing processing, Natalie of Perry’s Plate has been providing some great information on staying whole in a processed world.  This practice is important to me, and I have loved reading these posts.  I know that Natalie has put a ton of work into them so I encourage you to read these.  They are separated by topic and are all very informative; I think you will enjoy them.

Back to the granola…I decided to add a little extra nutrition with wheat bran and flax seed.  It is rare that those are found in store-bought granola.  I also added coconut.  If you know me well, you know that I’m not a fan of coconut but since I made these and enjoyed them with coconut, I though, why not?  And I love it here too.  The flavor isn’t overwhelming at all and the coconut toasts up in the oven so it adds a little more texture to the granola, which I loved.

This granola is extremely simple, quick, flavorful and I’ll be honest with you: I ate it by the handful until every last piece was gone.

PrintPrint Recipe

Vanilla-Walnut Granola Recipe

Yield: 4 1/2 cups granola

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Homemade granola full of vanilla flavor, with walnuts, coconut, ground flax,


3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (see note below)
2 Tbs. wheat germ (see note below)
1 Tbs. ground golden flax seed (see note below)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (see note below)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbs. grapeseed oil
2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, or other dried fruit)


Heat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray a 10x15 baking sheet or line with a silpat liner.

In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar, coconut, wheat germ, flax seed, cinnamon and salt and stir until blended.

In a small sauce pan over low heat, whisk the grapeseed oil, vanilla and honey until combined and just warm. Slowly add to the oat mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.

Transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees in 10-minute increments, stirring between, until browned and fragrant. Your nose will tell you when it's done. It should not take longer than 30 minutes to be finished baking. Stir in the dried cranberries and allow to fully cool.

Cassie's Notes:
I prefer Bob's Red Mill coconut flakes, wheat germ, and organic golden flax. They didn't pay me to say that, I just prefer their brand on these kinds of items. They are easy to find, affordable, and I always have good luck with their products.

As for cinnamon, I prefer Saigon cinnamon. It has a higher oil content and its flavor is much stronger. It's a personal preference, so you can use whatever you have on hand.

Don’t forget to enter my OXO 5 Pound Food Scale Giveaway


99 Responses to “Vanilla-Walnut Granola”

  1. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 4, 2012 @ 6:02 am

    Fabulous recipe Cassie! I always make homemade granola and love finding new recipes to try to switch things up. I look forward to whipping this up on my next batch!

    • Cassie replied: — May 9th, 2012 @ 10:46 am

      Thanks Jennifer, I hope you like this one. I ate nearly the whole batch by myself!

  2. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — May 4, 2012 @ 6:04 am

    This granola sounds amazing! I am such a granola freak, that I try to keep it out of the house. I ate so much granola in one week, that I gained 5lbs and it looked like I was pregnant! I actually formed a perfect circle shape in my belly.The 5lbs are worth it. I love vanilla granola! Going to bookmark your recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    • Cassie replied: — May 9th, 2012 @ 10:49 am

      I don’t make it often for that very reason. Hope you like it!

  3. #
    Jess — May 4, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    This granola is so beautiful! It would certainly be one of those eat-every-single-crumb-within-the-hour-it’s-made situations.

    • Cassie replied: — May 9th, 2012 @ 10:46 am

      Thanks Jess. Definitely ate every last crumb!

  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — May 4, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    Oh yes please… love granola!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      Hope you like this one, Liz!

  5. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 4, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    Mmm vanilla granola sounds so yummy! Love this!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:43 am

      Thanks Katrina, I ate entirely too much of it!

  6. #
    Kathryn — May 4, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    I am so with you on vanilla, I can’t think of many better smells (or tastes) than fresh vanilla. It’s just perfect. My normal complaint about granola is that it’s not vanilla-y enough so I will definitely have to try this!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      Hope you like it Kathryn! I think I am going to pick up some vanilla beans today to make it with those, I think it will be even better that way!

  7. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — May 4, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    I love the smell and taste of vanilla so I’m sure this granola would be fabulous with greek yogurt or just as a snack itself! great job 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      Yes on the Greek yogurt with granola. That is breakfast perfection right there!

  8. #
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles — May 4, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Lovely recipe and luminous photos.

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      Thank you so much, that made my day!

  9. #
    sally @ sally's baking addiction — May 4, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    Cassie – I plan to make granola this weekend. 🙂 Nutella Granola to be exact! And I made your giant sugar cookie yesterday and posted it this morning. IT WAS SO SOFT and fluffy. My bf and I devoured it. 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      I am looking forward to seeing the recipe for nutella granola! And I got the pingback on the cookie, I will check it out later today, glad you enjoyed it!

  10. #
    Bev Weidner — May 4, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    Ooooo I’m so making this!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

      Hope you enjoy it. I’m making it again (probably today) with fresh vanilla beans!

  11. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — May 4, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    Mm, I love granola! And since I’ve started making my own, I can so taste the difference from the storebought stuff–this looks delicious. 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

      Isn’t it amazing, the difference? Love it!

  12. #
    Ryan @ Spicy Richmond — May 4, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    Looks great Cassie!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

      Thanks so much Ryan!

  13. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — May 4, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    I think this needs to find its way into my kitchen asap….yum!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 9:47 am

      I think so too! Hope you enjoy Kelli!

  14. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 4, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I adore granola too, and I have to portion it out carefully or I find myself eating the large crunchy pieces by the handful! 🙂 Love your use of vanilla and cinnamon here. Pinned!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

      Thanks so much, Laura! I definitely eat too much granola too!

  15. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 4, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    Granola is always delish and makes the house smell so good while it bakes 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

      So, so true!

  16. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 4, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    This looks SO GOOD and so healthy!!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

      Thanks Claire!

  17. #
    Liz — May 4, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Oh, Cassie, this looks perfect! I could make it disappear quickly, too…yours looks irresistible! Have a wonderful weekend~

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

      Thank you, Liz, I hope you do the same!!

  18. #
    Cookin' Cowgirl — May 4, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Cassie, this really sounds good, like my kind of granola!! YUM! I love the coconut in there and the walnuts…….and your photos are beautiful! 🙂 Pinning!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

      Thanks so much, Steph! I really liked the coconut too!

  19. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — May 4, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    I eat granola by the truck load it seems – for everything but breakfast. It is so simple to make that it’s an easy food to give up buying store bought.

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

      You are so right, and I enjoy making it at home too!

  20. #
    Anna — May 4, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    Can’t wait to try this one – I’ve gotten out of the habit of homemade granola and definitely need to get back into it, it’s so good!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

      Hope you enjoy it Anna!

  21. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 4, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    Ooh, how healthy! I love it. I thought about buying granola a few times, but the long list of ingredients was a little scary. This is obviously way, way better. I love the added berries! I don’t know why but I’ve never thought of doing that.

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

      The ingredient list is scary. Hope you have a good weekend, Erin!

  22. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — May 4, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    As the token “foodie” in my family I’ve been tasked with making granola and filling mason jars with it for my brother’s fiance’s shower next month. And you know what? I’ve never made granola! Bookmarking this!

    • Cassie replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

      I hope you like it. This one is definitely a “crowd-pleaser” because the flavors are fairly neutral. Great idea for the shower too!

  23. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — May 4, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    Looks fantastic Cassie–so much better than the stuff you buy. I so agree with you about vanilla! I am also not a big fan of coconut, but have been surprised that I actually liked it in a few recipes.

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

      Thanks Jill! Hope you are well!

  24. #
    Tracey — May 4, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

    Vanilla granola is absolutely my favorite too! I pile it on my yogurt and berries every morning. There’s a recipe from Epicurious that I make almost every single week, I can send it to you if you want. Just let me know 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

      I’d love to have it Tracey, thanks so much!

  25. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — May 4, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    I have yet to make my own granola. The reason, I love the plain stuff from the store! This recipe looks great, I might actually have to try my hand at making it some time soon!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      Homemade is so easy, I know you’ll love it!

  26. #
    Stephanie — May 4, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    I’m the same way with granola. Vanilla is my fave and I have a really hard time stopping myself from eating it!! I have yet to make my own though! This looks so good! Gonna try it sometime.

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

      Thanks Stephanie, hope you like it!

  27. #
    Zsofi — May 4, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    I could just eat this granola for a week. Alternating between thick greek yogurt and skim milk or almond milk. Flax-coconut-oats-vanilla—it’s like all of the best things in one go. To be honest, I can’t really keep granola around, because it just *mysteriously* disappears. This looks awesome.

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

      I definitely ate too much of it. It disappeared very quickly in my house!

  28. #
    Ryan — May 4, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

    This looks so good– I’m with you, I love anything vanilla. Homemade granola is the best– such a great treat and I love all of the mix-ins you chose! I would eat this by the handful. 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

      Thanks Ryan!

  29. #
    luv what you do — May 4, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    I am glad to know that I am not the only one who can’t control myself with granola. It’s why I never buy it, but I would love to make it!

    I am looking forward to to checking out Natalie’s website. I find it so hard to eat whole and real foods. Good to know that there are other people out there who are interested in keeping things unprocessed!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

      Thanks! You are right about processed food too, hope you enjoyed the articles!

  30. #
    Ramona — May 4, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    Gorgeous granola Cassie!! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

      Thank you, Ramona, and same to you!

  31. #
    Natalie — May 4, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

    Cassie!! Thanks so much for spreading some love 🙂 We’re huge granola eaters around here and always have a canister full of homemade. I’d love to play around with the flavors more (and try this one!), but I have two stubborn little girls who alternate between chocolate and apple cinnamon. I shouldn’t even ask next time I make it. 😉

  32. #
    Natalie — May 4, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

    P.S. Love your blog design… especially the colors. Lindsay does a great job, doesn’t she? I’ve learned to spot Purr designs when I see them now!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

      Yes, Natalie, she does great work! Thank YOU for putting all of the work into the posts, I have enjoyed them so really wanted to share. Have a great weekend!

  33. #
    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — May 4, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    Lovely! This sounds so fresh and yummy for summer!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

      Thanks Ali! So great to see you last night. See you again soon!

  34. #
    celeste meehan — May 4, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    hi, cassie!
    this recipe looks wonderful – can’t wait to try it. i have a question, though. i’ve never used grapeseed oil – does that make a difference over other oils? i have a light olive oil, and canola oil – but if you don’t advise using those, i’ll buy grapeseed.

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

      Hi Celeste, you can definitely use canola oil. And olive oil would probably be OK too since it’s baked at a low temperature. I hope you enjoy!

  35. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 5, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    Yay, I love coming across granola recipes. I’m a granola-loving fanatic too. Can’t wait to try this version! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

      Hope you like it! 🙂

  36. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — May 5, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    I like all kinds of granola. I can get quite addicted because of the crunch texture and I can’t stop. This one is even better with the vanilla and coconut flavor. You take really delicious photos Cassie!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

      You are so sweet, Nami! Thank you for the compliment, that means a lot coming from you, your photos are wonderful! Have a great weekend!

  37. #
    Heidi @foodiecrush — May 5, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    My daughter has become a recent convert to granola and I’m pretty much jumping up and down for joy. It’s been the organic but still supermarket model, so looking forward to upgrading to your recipe. With EXTRA coconut!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

      I hope you guys like it, Heidi!

  38. #
    love2dine — May 5, 2012 @ 1:50 am

    what a great recipe i have to check it out.

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

      Thank you so much!

  39. #
    Deborah — May 5, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I have been totally into eating granola with yogurt and fruit lately – I need to try this one!!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

      Thanks Deborah…the granola and yogurt combo seems to be a popular one!

  40. #
    Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — May 5, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    I love granola. I almost always put flaxseed in it. My husband complains about it getting stuck in his teeth, but I tell him it’s super nutritious, so he should deal with it! 😀 This granola recipe looks great!

    • Cassie replied: — May 5th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

      I didn’t notice any stuck in my teeth with using the ground flax seed. It blends right in! Hope you enjoy this one.

  41. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 5, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    this sounds wonderful, cassie! i’d love this for breakfast over greek yogurt. yum!

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      It rocks with Greek yogurt, hope you enjoy!

  42. #
    Krissy's Creations — May 6, 2012 @ 12:24 am

    I also love granola! I eat it pretty much every day. Love the addition of walnuts 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      Thanks Krissy! I am a big fan of walnuts.

  43. #
    Baking Serendipity — May 6, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    I have such a love for homemade granola too! I always fill mason jars with it and bring them to work to snack on. It’s dangerous! Yours lo

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      Thanks Sarah, and I love the mason jar idea. Doing that!

  44. #
    Baking Serendipity — May 6, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    hmmm….that sent early! Yours looks so good!

  45. #
    Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious — May 6, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    I seriously need to make my own granola – it seems to be popping out everywhere in the blogs these days. Yours look delicious!

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:18 am

      Thank you Yudith!

  46. #
    myfudo — May 7, 2012 @ 4:44 am

    A great breakfast option. I love homemade granola too. What makes it closer to my heart is that I can come up with something depending on my mood. Talk about personalized granola, 😉
    Oh and by the way, thanks for sharing Natalie’s piece. =)

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:18 am

      You are so right – I love how versatile it is. It changes with my mood too!

  47. #
    katie — May 7, 2012 @ 5:48 am

    i too have recently started having a love affair with granola. You know i had to pin this to my granola board–sounds divine my friend!

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:18 am

      Thanks so much Katie!

  48. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — May 7, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    I’m totally with you on this. Much better to make it at home and have some control over how much sugar goes in. Love this!

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:18 am

      Exactly! Thanks Jackie!

  49. #
    Katie @ Epicurean Mom — May 7, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    Granola is such a healthy and easy treat!! My girls love snacking on it! I cant wait to give this recipe a try!

    • Cassie replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 11:19 am

      Hope you enjoy it, thanks Katie!

  50. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — May 10, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    I have this in the oven right now! It smells sooooo good! Question–I wasn’t sure if the cranberries, raisins, etc. get baked or stirred in after it bakes. Or maybe it doesn’t matter? I didn’t mix them in before baking this time.

    • Cassie replied: — June 20th, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

      Jill, I am so sorry, I don’t know how I missed this comment! I mix them in after they bake. Going to update the recipe now. Again, I’m so sorry!


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