From Alaska: Recipe for the best granola ever (and 21 ways to eat it)

granola in a wooden bowl

Our B&B guests say, “This is the best granola ever!” It’s eaten by the handful and packed into Ziploc bags for hikes, fishing trips, and inflight snacks. You might think of granola as a normal food today, but it does have a quirky history. Did you know that granola was invented in the 1890s? It was served at New York’s Jackson Sanitarium health spa. Then, in the 1960s, granola enjoyed a revival as an alternative cereal. Hippie food. Quaker Oats, Kellogg’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods… many companies jumped on the granola bandwagon.

There’s just one problem. Okay, two.

Storebought granola usually crumbles all over the floor.

And it’s too sweet.

As for mouthfeel, imagine sawdust. (If you added water, you could patch holes in concrete).

You could be a woman in Alabama who’s a conservative Christian, or you could be a total crunchy-granola woman in Seattle and 20 years old, and both of you would watch Oprah. — Shonda Rhimes

Your taste buds–and your body–deserve better

That’s why I’m sharing this recipe.

Your health matters. Without good health, your quality of life suffers. Plus, you deserve to enjoy what you eat.

Once you taste this granola, you’ll be making extra batches to take to work and give away at Christmas.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think. If you’ve never eaten much granola or you’re bored with commercially made stuff, look through this list:

Kodiak Island Granola

The granola that keeps on giving!


1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil (optional)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup nut butter (add more if not using oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups regular (not quick or instant) rolled oats
1 – 2 cups brown sugar
1 cup raw wheat germ
5-1/2 cups wide-stripped unsweetened coconut
2 cups shaved (slivered) almonds
2 cups cashews (pieces are fine and less expensive)
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (as in flaxseed meal), sesame seeds, or teff grain

Mix the five wet ingredients together in a saucepan and place on low to medium heat. Stir occasionally. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate large bowl.
When the liquid mixture begins to boil, pour it over the dry ingredients and toss with a spoon or rubber spatula until well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Spread onto two or three large cookie sheets or jelly roll pans and bake at 250 to 275 degrees until light brown and toasted; this could take a couple of hours. (I turn the oven off occasionally). Stir occasionally for even browning. It’s tempting to turn up the heat and hurry the drying-cooking process. But don’t do this, because you runt the risk of over-toasting the granola which makes it bitter. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing it in airtight containers.
GOOD NOTE: You can substitute peanut butter with cashew butter, tahini (sesame butter), almond butter — you name it.

21 ways to eat granola

  1. Eat it by the handful, of course!
  2. Sprinkle on pumpkin pie
  3. Enjoy it as your morning cereal, topped with yogurt or milk
  4. Add more crunch to fruit and yogurt
  5. Top your favorite ice cream (reduces the guilt factor)
  6. Sprinkle on salads
  7. Add texture to a bowl of pickled beets
  8. Add crunch to rhubarb sauce (you might like my pickled rhubarb recipe)
  9. Serve on honey-glazed carrots
  10. Sprinkle on pancakes and waffles
  11. Add to crepes before rolling
  12. Add to your favorite dosa recipe? What’s a dosa?
  13. Top muffins and quick bread batter before baking
  14. Spoon granola on to inside peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (add apple slices, too)
  15. Serve it with warm rice or tapioca pudding
  16. Fold it into brownie or muffin batter before baking
    rhubarb muffin made with granola

    Rhubarb muffins made with granola. Tip: Fold the granola into the batter before baking.


  17. Use as croutons on a tossed salad
  18. Create your own hiking snack by adding dried fruits and chocolate chips
  19. Make Granola Ice Cream Pie. (Recipe by Leigh Anne Wilkes)
  20. Dip apple slices in peanut butter and then in granola
  21. Sprinkle on to fruit and squash soups

Give this recipe a try. You’ll be shocked, stunned, and pleased at how good it is.

Thank you for stopping by. Drop me a note with your granola report.

Cheers and blessings,

P.S. I include this granola recipe in my annual custom calendar. Check out the link in the sidebar to the right.

Marion Owen is on a mission to help busy people survive day-to-day life by condensing topics such as photography, cooking, and organic gardening into bite-size pieces. Get Marion’s free 4-page “In Good Light: Photo Tips for Busy People” to feel confident and recharged when taking pictures.


  • Lorraine
    May 6, 2020 at 10:20 PM

    Turned out great! I used finely shredded coconut, and they cooked a bit too much since they are so small, next time I’ll use what your recipe calls for! The bigger strands!

  • Lorraine
    May 1, 2020 at 4:37 PM

    I’m making it right now! 1/2 since it’s my first time. Can’t wait to tell you how it turns out!

    • marionowen
      May 1, 2020 at 6:44 PM

      It keeps a long time, Lorraine. Except in households where it’s served on fruit, yogurt, pumpkin pie, snacking on bike rides…

  • artistrybyadele
    March 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    This sounds great, I’ll have to try it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • marionowen
      March 6, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      Let me know what you think… We give it away as gifts and take it on plane trips for a great nibble food.
      Cheers from Alaska, Marion

  • Nichol Wilson
    February 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    yummy, this looks fantastic!!! I will be making this, this weekend!!

    • marionowen
      February 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      Be sure to make a double batch so you can share with your friends!

  • trishgreg
    January 27, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Reblogged this on trishgreg and commented:
    I thought this post was worth reblogging on my site, as I am a big fan of home made granola – I used to make it years ago but haven’t in some time. This inspires me to return to forgotten traditions. Marion is a wonderful blogger from Kodiak, AK, and her photographs are awesome, too.

  • Patty
    January 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Hi Marion,
    So, I have become gluten intolerant…yikes…I have never been allergic to anything in my life….would I just eliminate the wheat germ and make sure to use organic steel cut oats???
    Also, do you have any gluten free recipes that you would share. I am still learning this new way of eating…and I feel much better for it.
    Best to you,
    Patty in Vermont

  • akhobbit
    January 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Hi Marion, I pretty much use the same recipe, but dial down the oil to 1/4 cup. It works great and decreases the calories.

    • marionowen
      January 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Yup, great idea about the oil. Though, I must admit, during the winters up here I tend to eat a little more oil and fat than in the summer. Maybe I’m part bear!


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