Better Granola

Granola is one of my favourite "breakfast desserts" that can be enjoyed any time of day at any time of year. Back when I was still able to count my age using just fingers and thumbs, granola was one of those rare treats that my parents would bring home from the supermarket when someone in the house needed a little help with the bathroom1. Unfortunately, in a house with six kids, a large box of granola will disappear in less time than a single breakfast requires. When I moved into my own home in the late 90s, I would always keep some granola in the house as a treat and happy in the knowledge that it would still be in the cupboard when I got home. Twenty years later, granola is still a regular cereal in the home. However, with the boy quickly growing up to the point where he will start to enjoy the wonder that is muesli, I'd really like to find a cheaper alternative to the store-bought bags that currently sell for 1円 per gram.

Fortunately, there are lots of great recipes for people to make their own granola at home.

Yummy Granola Up Close

For this recipe, we'll make some "loose" granola, as it's my favourite way to have it. There are dry ingredients and wet ingredients and, by the time everything is said and done, there will be a dry end product. So let's see what we need.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 360 g rolled oats (not steel cut or quick cooking)
  • 60g coconut flakes
  • 100g raw nuts (sliced almonds, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • 100g chopped, dried fruit (apricots, apple, pineapple, and raisins are a good mix)
  • a bit of your favourite spice (for me, it's cinnamon all the way. Some may prefer pumpkin spice or gingerbread mix.)
  • a pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 80ml maple syrup
  • 65g coconut oil
  • 7ml vanilla


  • Preheat your oven to 150˚C
  • Combine the dried ingredients — excluding the dried fruit — in a large bowl
  • Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and do a quick taste test to ensure it's just the right amount of sweet
  • Spread the combined granola mixture on a baking tray and bake for about 35, until it's a nice golden colour
  • Stir in the dried fruit and let it cool
  • Store in an airtight container when finished

I've used this recipe three times in the last few months, and it tastes better than anything from the big companies. More than this, a kilogram of granola costs about 200円 to make here in Japan, which is a fifth the price we pay at the supermarket. While I'm not averse to spending money on things I enjoy, wilfully choosing to pay huge markups to large organisations is something that most of us would like to avoid.

  1. why they didn't choose bran, I don't know