Easy Soft Baked Granola
A healthy recipe for soft baked granola, it's nutty, crunchy, lightly sweetened oat snack, perfect with yogurt parfaits, or by itself like cereal!
Some might balk at the very first ingredient, it’s ½ cup of melted butter, you can use a good oil, I like Avocado in its place, or if you like coconut, replace it with same measurements of melted coconut oil.
This makes a large batch, so don’t let a half a cup of any fat scare you away. Plus I use grass fed butter, well the butter wasn’t grass fed, but the cows that gave the milk were…ha!
Lightly spray your crock pot with some non-stick spray, then pour in melted butter* and toss in 5-6 cups of rolled (not quick) oats and give it a quick stir. You can also wait and pour the butter at the very end.
*You can melt the butter in the crock pot, but it’ll take a bit. I usually melt my butter on the stovetop and transfer to crock.
Add a generous tablespoon (or two) of ground flax meal (or whole flax seeds if you prefer the seeds), my boys don’t notice the meal which is why I use that instead.
Additionally toss in a couple tablespoons of light brown sugar, this is optional, but I am making a Maple Pecan Granola, and brown sugar and maple go hand in hand. Pour in a couple of teaspoons of vanilla.
Likewise, add some Chia seeds (optional), but the more good stuff the better, no?! Every time I see a chia seed I am reminded of the Cha-Cha-Chia Pet commercials of old. Do they still have those? Recently I’ve discovered hemp hearts as well, they are delicious; raw, tossed in yogurt or in your granola.
Finally, add your sea salt, yes salt, it brings out the ultimate “oaty-ness” of the oats…yum. Add additional desired mix-ins (see list of suggestions below).
Give it all a good stir with a wooden spoon, it will start out rather clumpy as things stick to the honey and syrup, but don’t worry as it melts and cooks it will mix into the granola.
Set crockpot on high and place the wooden spoon between the lid so that you prop the lid open slightly, this allows some heat and steam to escape while it’s baking.
Once cooled you might enjoy a yogurt parfait with this chewy granola.
Choose a couple of pretty glasses for the yogurt parfaits; any glass will do (a mason jar, wine glass, martini class or pretty glasses or bowls). Alternate layers, starting with granola, then yogurt and berries, topped with more granola and finally a dollop of yogurt on top with a few additional berries.
Suddenly plain ol' granola all dressed up and is looking a lot like dessert!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe even make a big batch and give to a friend, neighbor or teacher!
Easy Soft Baked Granola
BASIC SOFT GRANOLA RECIPE
- 5-6 cups rolled oats, not quick oats
- ½ cup butter, melted (or ¼ cup melted butter + ¼ cup oil or replace butter with ½ cup oil of choice, try coconut oil)
- 2 Tablespoons Flax Seeds or Flax Meal (Optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup Organic Hemp Hearts (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup honey
- I change up my ingredients all the time; the beauty of this recipe is that it is totally customizable, so feel free to make your own or follow one of mine. You'll need a larger crockpot for this recipe, if you have a small cooker, then reduce the amounts. This can also easily be doubled in a large crockpot. Spray crock with non-stick spray. Add all dry ingredients to crockpot, give it a stir.
- Add melted butter (or oil) and honey (or maple syrup) and stir well. Turn crockpot on high, venting the lid with a wooden spoon. Stir well every 15 minutes, cooking for 1 - ½ hours. Watching close at the end as it can burn.
- Turn onto wax or parchment paper or onto a cookie sheet to cool. Add any after cooling mix-ins (such as chocolate chips/chunks). Package in quart size freezer baggies and freeze any unused portions.
Yogurt Parfaits or Bowls
- Place a small portion of granola on the bottom of the bowl/glass. Next layer the majority of your yogurt, reserving a generous dollop for the top. Add seasonal berries on top of the yogurt (reserving 2-3 berries for top). Add the rest of your granola, finish with final dollop of yogurt and reserved berries or pomegranate arils. Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to serve, but not much longer than a couple hours, unless you don't mind the granola really soft.
- Flavor Suggestions and Combinations MAPLE PECAN GRANOLA Basic Granola Recipe 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg ¼ teaspoon cloves ⅓ teaspoon ginger (optional) above spices may be replaced with 2 rounded teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice 1 cup chopped pecans 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar Reduce honey to ¼ cup and add ¼ cup pure maple syrup COCONUT PECAN GRANOLA Basic Granola Recipe 1/2-1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flakes 1 cup toasted pecan pieces (toast in 350 oven for 5-6 minutes) 1 handful whole pecans (optional) 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (optional) After it's cooled slightly, sprinkle on some additional sea salt, toss to combine, add a little Flaky Sea Salt if desired. HAWAIIAN GRANOLA Basic Granola Recipe + the following ½ - 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked ½ - 1 cup roasted (salted ok) macadamia nuts, rough chopped Replace butter with ½ cup melted coconut oil (or just ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup butter) DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA (my husbands favorite) Basic Granola Recipe + the following ⅓ cup cocoa powder ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries (optional) 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks *mixed in after granola has cooled) TRAIL MIX GRANOLA Basic Granola Recipe + the following ½ cup cashews (raw or roasted/salted) rough chopped if desired ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds ½ cup walnuts, rough chopped ½ cup pecans, rough chopped ½ cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried mango, etc) Additional ¼ cup honey or maple syrup ½ cup chocolate chips, added after granola has cooled (optional) YOGURT PARFAITS 1 cup vanilla yogurt (or your favorite, I love Noosa Vanilla Bean yogurt or try making your own yogurt) ¼ cup prepared granola ¼ cup berries of choice (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries (sliced), pomegranate arils, etc) Layer in desired amounts and layers.