bowl of apple cinnamon granola

You may usually enjoy a bowl of granola with milk for breakfast or even some Greek yogurt with granola and a drizzle of honey for a healthy snack. But do you know how this delicious breakfast and snack staple came to be? According to Food & Wine, we have Dr. Caleb Jackson and Dr. John Kellogg to thank for it. Jackson created this easy-to-enjoy breakfast item back in 1863, and Kellogg came up with something much like Jackson’s granola. Kellogg is actually recognized as granola’s developer. And if you’ve ever taken a walk through a breakfast aisle at the grocery store, you know that Kellogs’ creations have become massively popular, with boxes upon boxes of different twists on granola — a modern go-to snack and morning meal.

For fans of apple cinnamon that prefer a homemade take to the popular Kellogs brand, Kristen Carli, a private practice registered dietitian, recipe developer, and owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, has a simple spin on this popular recipe that takes just several minutes to put together. After 45 minutes in the oven, your granola will be crispy and ready to enjoy. Let’s take a look at what you need to get started!

Gather the ingredients to prepare this homemade apple cinnamon granola

apple cinnamon granola ingredients

The list of ingredients you will need for this recipe is fairly short, and you might already have some of them in your cupboard. The base of this dish calls for some oats and hemp seeds. (The latter is likely in the organic or health food section of your local grocery store.) You’ll also need some brown sugar, ground cinnamon, honey, olive oil, vanilla extract, and freeze dried apples (crushed).

As always, if you feel like experimenting, you can grab some additional ingredients to give your granola a more personal touch. "For a twist, you could also include dried fruit like raisins and dried cherries," Carli says. So have fun with the recipe, and make this delicious snack your own.

Mix your ingredients together

granola ingredients mixed

Start by preheating your oven to 325 F so that it will be ready for the next step. Now, add your oats, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and brown sugar into a large bowl. If you purchased any additional dried fruits, now is the time to throw them into the mix.

From here, heat the honey, olive oil, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture as it heats until the combination has melted. Now, pour the resulting liquid over your oats mixture. Gently stir the mixture until everything is properly combined. After all, you’ll want to get a taste of everything in each scrumptious bite.

Bake the granola

granola on baking tray

When all of your ingredients (except the apples) are mixed together, it’s time to bake them to get that crispy bite that granola is so known for. Start by spraying a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Now, pour the coated oat mixture onto the baking sheet. Make sure combination is evenly spread across the sheet so that there aren’t any uneven portions clumped together (see above for an example).

Once your granola is layered across the sheet, bake it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Be sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes to ensure an even bake throughout the mixture. "Make sure the granola is starting to create clusters," Carli says. After the granola is baked, remove the sheet from the oven, and set it aside to cool.

Serve your homemade apple cinnamon granola

serving of apple cinnamon granola

When your granola is completely cooled, add the freeze dried apples on top, as well as any other additional ingredients you’d like. "At the end, you could toss in chocolate chips," Carli says for those with a strong sweet tooth. Just don’t go too crazy, or you can push your granola into unhealthy territory.

From here, you have a ton of options: You can dig right in and eat your granola, or use it as the base for other recipes, including our delicious recipe for easy granola bars. This is such a great, healthy snack to have on hand. The bars are easy to individually wrap and take on a picnic or hike, and will be enjoyed by all if put a tray of them out on your counter. If you have any leftovers, you can store them in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 10 days.