Granola perfect for fall

Nothing says welcome to fall like the crunchy, toasty flavor and spices of GRANOLA!  

My wife, Nancy, makes a delicious granola that we often give for gifts. She keeps a supply in the freezer as well. I have included her recipe among others for your experimenting.  

True, granola can be bought, but these offer some choices for you in creating the perfect granola customized to your taste. From the fall season all the way through to the holidays, granola is great to have on hand for that morning cereal, the baggy in the lunch box, as a topping on yogurt and ice cream, and certainly for that healthier nighttime snack.  

This issue of 501 LIFE has the theme of “Health and wellness.” I’m not saying the granolas are all healthy, but compared to some items, they offer grains, nuts and less sugar, and cure the craving from most of the unhealthy treats of which we often choose.  

Granola is perfect any time of the year, especially during the fall months. (Mike Kemp photo)

Granola may take a few minutes to prepare and some ingredients that are not always on hand, but the beauty of this mixture is the longevity of most granolas.  From weeks to months in the freezer, pre-portioned servings are a great “go-to” as cooler weather approaches! Aromas such as cinnamon, nutmeg and toasted coconut – all of these serve as comfort foods for fall! 


1 (18-ounce) container old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

1 1/2 cups pepitas

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups honey or maple syrup (or half of each)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350. Toss oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and brown sugar until well mixed. Heat the honey and oil just to warm; pour over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are coated with honey mixture. Spread mixture onto lightly greased sheet pans with edges. 

Bake, stirring frequently to brown evenly (about 17 to 25 minutes total). Keep a close eye on the granola, as toward the end of the browning, it turns very quickly. 

Remove from oven, add dried fruit and stir occasionally to break up clumps and cool. Store in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags. This granola will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to eight weeks or frozen for up to six months.  


4 cups rolled oats, extra thick

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix thoroughly: 4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons local honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour honey mixture over nut/oatmeal mixture and coat thoroughly. Bake at 300, stirring every 7-10 minutes, for 20-30 minutes. Add one cup total of dried fruit of your choosing (golden raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries). Store in airtight container. 


2 cups chopped almonds

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup wheat germ

5 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 cups chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350. Spread the oven racks to accommodate two large sheet pans, avoiding the very top and very bottom of the oven. Spray two large sheet pans with nonstick spray and set aside. Stir the first six ingredients (almonds through cinnamon) together in a very large bowl or a big stockpot.  Heat the honey, maple syrup, molasses and oil in a saucepan until warm. Pour the honey mixture over the almond mixture and stir well.  

Divide the mixture evenly between the two sheet pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes and rotating the pans between the two racks for even baking. Remove from oven when golden brown and stir in dried fruit. Stir occasionally while cooking to break up clumps. Store in airtight container for up to eight weeks, or freeze up to six months. 

Don Bingham
Latest posts by Don Bingham (see all)