The Gift of Slow Cooker Granola

I love the versatility of granola. You can eat it straight as a snack, pour milk on it as cereal, or sprinkle it on yogurt. It’s healthy, filling, fun to eat, and can last a long time in the fridge.

Granola is fairly easy to make yourself, as I’ve been doing for the past few years. Traditionally, it’s baked in an oven and requires regular monitoring. Because granola needs to be stirred every 10 minutes while it’s baking, it can be a pain (literally) to open the oven and bend over the tray while being blasted in the face by extreme heat.

When I discovered I could make granola in my slow cooker, that was a good day. Goodbye, back pain and seared face. The granola still needs to be stirred every 15-20 minutes or so, but since the slow cooker is on your counter and there’s not as much heat billowing into your face, it’s a far more pleasant experience. You’re less likely to burn the granola (a common occurrence) and the end result is just as yummy.   

Each granola recipe uses a different combination of ingredients. The recipe I use has lots of lovely nuts, seeds, and coconut. I make it not only for myself, but for friends and family, too. Homemade anything makes a good gift because the recipient knows you slaved in your kitchen just for them. Granola is no exception.

Do you spread holiday cheer with homemade goodies? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comments below.

Slow Cooker Granola
Ingredients
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/3 cup pumpkin seed kernels
1/3 cup almond slivers or slices
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. coconut oil

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Mix well to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed and the coconut doesn’t clump up.

Cover the slow cooker but make sure the lid only partially covers your granola to allow air flow. This is important because slow cookers are designed to keep moisture in, but granola needs air flow to get nice and crunchy. The lid should remain askew throughout the cooking process.

Turn on your slow cooker to high. Stir the granola every 30 minutes. As the cooker gets hotter, stir the granola every 15 minutes or so. You can still burn granola in a slow cooker, so you have to be vigilant. Depending on your slow cooker, the granola should be done in 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Perfectly cooked granola should have a nice brown color and doesn’t stick together.

When your granola is done cooking, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool faster. If you want to add dried fruit like cranberries or raisins to your granola, mix them in at this point.

After the granola has cooled, you can store it in containers or bags. It’s not necessary to store granola in the fridge, but I do it because I sometimes take a long time to eat it all. Enjoy!