Cooking with Dining: Granola


One of the more popular items on our fruit and yogurt bar is the granola. Granola is a versatile snack that is very easy to make.

When you learn how to make granola, you are able to adjust the ingredients to accent tastes, flavors and textures. Most granolas require baking in an oven, but this one in particular is written for microwave production, so you can make it right in your dorm room (just remember to adjust your microwave setting to medium!).


  • tbsp pure maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp oil (e.g. olive oil, melted coconut oil, butter if not vegan)
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
  • ⅓ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 tbsp chopped nuts or seeds
  • Optional: 1 tbsp chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, cranberries)


  1. In the large mug or bowl (14 to 16 oz), mix the maple syrup, water, oil, salt, oats and nuts until blended.
  2. Microwave on Medium (50%) power for 2 minutes. Stir, making sure to stir up any syrup on the bottom of the mug.
  3. Again, Microwave on Medium (50%) power for an additional 1-1/2 to 2 minutes longer until oats are golden brown.
  4. Mix in the dried fruit, if using. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to cool before eating.


Sugar in place of syrup: An equal amount of sugar (any variety) can be used in place of the syrup; add 2 tsp more water along with the sugar.

Spices: Add between ¼ tsp and ¾ tsp (1 to 3 mL) of any sweet spice (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, allspice) along with the salt in step 1.

Extracts & Zest

Consider adding a few drops of vanilla or almond extract to the syrup mixture, or ½ tsp finely grated citrus zest (e.g., lemon, orange or lime).

You can tweak this basic recipe with whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dried coconut, extracts, citrus zest that suit your fancy. I often add a little bit of everything! The base recipe is pretty forgiving, so adjust the sweetener and salt—a bit more, a touch less—or add a pinch of a favorite spice.

Eat the granola straight up as an energizing snack, or add a splash of your favorite milk for a complete meal. With the energy you’ve gained (oat power!).

Get yourself some sealable containers because granola will last for a long time, make a lot of different varieties and enjoy. This happens to be one of my favorite snacks, so if you do make it, please bring me some!


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