Big batch nutty crunchy granola is extremely easy to make. A lot of people don't realize this. It is highly customizable and can range from four ingredients to ten or more. You can eat it with milk, yogurt or just snack on it right out of the jar. If you store it in glass jars it will stay fresh for weeks.
The Origin of my Big Batch Nutty Crunchy Granola
When we used to have our large Christmas gatherings, it was tough to figure out a small something to give my relatives I don't see too often. Then I started experimenting with granola making. It was perfect! Make a large batch, fill wide-mouth pint mason jars and distribute to the family. I got a lot of great reviews on that granola! It comes in handy too if you're doing a gift swap at your job or you want to give a little something to your neighbors. And if the granola didn't feel like enough, I would add a box of locally made chocolates too. Or some other little tasty treat.
Big Batch Granola: the Nuts & Jars of it All
My version is a nutty granola. I love nuts. And I love nuts in my granola. In this recipe, I use cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and pecans. Confession: I also bought sliced almonds which was supposed to go in this recipe and then I forgot to add them. This kind of granola can get a bit pricey. If you want to simplify, skip the expensive nuts like cashews and pecans. A granola with only sliced almonds is divine. Sunflower and sesame seeds are also a good, less expensive option.
For the mason jars, don't even bother trying to order on Amazon - they are sooo expensive for some reason. You can usually find these at your local supermarket, hardware store, Walmart or Target. If you are planning to make this around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, get your jars sooner rather than later. They will be hard to find the closer we get to Christmas. I typically use the wide-mouth, pint-sized jars for this. But I also use ½ pint jars when other treats are going in my goodie bags for my neighbors and family at Christmas. If you are not giving the granola away, just use whatever large jars you have on hand. Use what works for you!
Need More Breakfasty Ideas? I Gotcha Covered:
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Big Batch Nutty Crunchy Granola
- Prep Time: 12
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 37 minutes
- Yield: 6 quarts 1x
Easy granola you can customize to your preferences. Crunchy, nutty and delicious!
- 1 42 ounce container of old fashioned oats
- 1 24 ounce bottle of honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews (can use roasted unsalted too)
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 2 cups sunflower seeds
- 2 cups pepitas
NOTE: You will need a very large bowl to mix this - like HUGE. See notes below.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Start making your goop first. Add honey, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt to a pot, give it a stir and heat on low until the mixture thins out – about 7-10 minutes. You should stir it a couple of times while it’s cooking.
- If you’re using whole pecans take a moment to pound them out to break into smaller pieces. If you have pecans that have already been chopped you can skip this step.
- You need a very large bowl for this recipe. Start by putting the oats in the bowl.
- Add your cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and pecans and mix everything together.
- When your heated goop is ready, pour the goop into the bowl with the oats and nuts. Use a bench scraper or large spatula and mix the granola and goop very well. All the oats should be covered in the goop.
- You’ll need two large sheet pans for this. If you only have smaller sheet pans that’s fine, but it may take you longer to cook the granola since you’ll have to cook multiple batches. Spread the granola out onto the sheet pans evenly. The layer of granola must be evenly distributed so it cooks evenly. This is a big batch and I did cook a third sheet pan after the first two came out. My sheet pan size is: 21 x 15 x 2 inches.
- Cook the granola at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. You’ll put the sheet pans in the oven on two racks. For me and my oven, at the 15 minute mark, I swapped the trays and let it cook about 10 more minutes. You’ll know it’s done by the golden brown color.
- Wait for the granola to cool and using a bench scraper or metal spatula, scrape the granola from the pan. Scrape gently or granola will go flying everywhere. Metal spatula is necessary here. Will be a challenge with a plastic spatula.
- Once you’ve scraped the granola you can move it back into your large bowl (wash it first).
- Now it’s time to put this delicious granola into containers. You’ll see in the video I used ½ pint mason jars because I was giving this away to friends and family. Normally I use full one-pint jars but I couldn’t find them anywhere. If you’re not jarring to give away, just use larger glass jars/containers for granola storage.
- To cut back on costs skip the expensive cashews and pecans. Sliced almonds work very well in this granola. In fact, I bought them for this recipe then forgot to add them! You could use only almonds. Or almonds and sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds are a much cheaper nut. If you like a fruity chewy thing in your granola you could add dried cranberries or cran-raisins or dried chopped dates. Just be careful when selecting your dried fruit and check the added sugars. Some brands have a lot of added sugar.
- I bought my huge bowl years ago at the Christmas Tree Shop and it doesn’t have the size on the bottom. But I did measure it across the top and it’s 18 inches across – it’s massive.
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