Crunchy, sweet and bursting with flavors, Cinnamon Orange Granola is perfect breakfast or a snack! This homemade granola recipe is incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Healthy, loaded with nutrients and made without refined sugars it’s a comforting, and delicious treat.
I love granola very much. I’ve always been a huge fan of this cereal. It’s stapled in my house. But what I find interesting is that I never found the granola brand for which I can say that is equally delicious and healthy. Store-bought granola is either too sweet or has some ingredients I just dislike or is packed with some weird stuff like additives that I can’t even pronounce. + So-called “healthy” granola you can find in the stores is a way to expensive, and cheaper ones are just plain junk.
So I just stopped buying granola years back and started making my own granola at home. And what a revelation and relief that was. Finally, I was able to mix flavors and ingredients I LOVE and LIKE. Finally, I was able to enjoy a bowl of granola without worrying what the hack I’m putting in my body.
Since I’m all into Summer flavors lately, I decided to whip up this beautiful Cinnamon Orange Granola for me and my family. This crunchy deliciousness is an absolute winner for breakfast. It’s flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and lovely oranges but also it’s packed with nutrients and superfoods. Such a yum! But before I jump into the recipe, let me start with explaining what granola actually is and how to make this crunchy goodness at home.
What is granola?
Granola is a type of cereal that is typically made from toasted rolled oats, some nuts and seeds and dried fruits. The mixture is bound together with some sweetener, and flavored with spices. Those are like base ingredients. The great thing about homemade granola is when you make it at home, which is like super easy, you can use finest healthiest ingredients and customize it by adding the stuff you like and flavors you desire.
As a good source of protein, healthy fats and especially fibers, granola is an excellent energy food that can be served as a nutritious breakfast or even enjoyed as a snack. Well that’s of course if you use wholesome ingredients and you don’t overdo with added sweetener.
Cinnamon Orange Granola ingredients
To make this delicious Cinnamon Orange Granola, I used:
- OATS: Oats are incredible grain. They are a very good source of fiber, especially beta-glucan that is known for its power to lower cholesterol and therefore keep your heart healthy (1). Also, oats are high in vitamins, essential minerals, and powerful antioxidants. Not to mention they are a good source of protein. I used rolled oats here.
- WALNUTS: Walnuts are a good source of the plant-based omega-3, an essential fatty acid, and an excellent source of antioxidants that fights inflammation. (2) Walnuts are very nutritious, great for gut health and weight loss. Walnuts gave this granola nutty flavor and crunchiness.
- SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Sunflower seeds maybe tiny but they pack a lot of nutrients and benefits. Sunflower seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E, vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium as well as powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation and prevents many chronic diseases, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (3) They are a great source of protein, dietary fibers and healthy fats.
- COCONUT OIL: Oil helps make granola crisp and irresistible. I like to use unrefined extra virgin coconut oil because it’s full of nutrients and adds a really nice light flavor to the granola. You can substitute coconut oil with avocado oil here if you like. Other oils wont work well.
- DATES: I also like to toss in some dried fruits in my granola. Here in I added a handful of chopped dried dates that are not only super sweet and delicious but loaded with fiber and powerful antioxidants. (4) Dates gave nice sweetness but since they have low glycemic index (GI) they don’t cause blood sugar spikes like other dried fruits. (5)
To add some flavor and spice things up, I used:
- CEYLON CINNAMON: Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true” cinnamon, is a highly delicious spice with many health benefits. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. (4, 5) Cinnamon gave this crunchy granola a wonderful flavor.
- ORANGE ZEST: I used fresh orange zest from organic non-waxed oranges. If that’s unavailable to you, you can use orange peel powder. Orange zest gave granola incredible scent.
To sweeten things up I used pure maple syrup. Sweetener is necessary in granola since it binds mixture together. But the beauty in homemade granola is that you control how much sugar you add. And of course which sweetener you use. As I said, I like to use pure maple syrup, but raw honey or date syrup is also a good option too.
How to make Cinnamon Orange Granola
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line big baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Zest two oranges with zester. Chop the walnuts and dried dates. Melt the coconut oil.
- Prepare and measure all other ingredients using measuring cups.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups oats, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup chopped dried dates. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon. Mix everything with spatula.
- In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add grated zest from 2 oranges. Mix together using the whisk.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until all of the dry ingredients are coated in the wet mixture.
- Spread granola onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten into one layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then stir granola to make sure everything bakes evenly. When stirring, don’t get too crazy because you don’t want to break up all of the clumps.
- Continue baking for another 10 minutes until everything is a nice golden color. Watch out not to over-bake and burn the granola.
- The granola will still be slightly sticky when you take it out and will crisp up after it cools.
- Cool down completely before serving and storing.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two months.
Cinnamon Orange Granola benefits
- It’s nutrient-dense breakfast option, made with all natural and HEALTHY ingredients!
- It’s crunchy and mildly sweet.
- It’s made WITHOUT REFINED SUGARS.
- It’s rich in nutrients – fibers, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats for energy.
- It’s loaded with antioxidants, and essential minerals – calcium and iron.
- It’s enriched with SUPERFOODS – sunflower seeds, walnuts and cinnamon.
- It’s great for digestion and weight loss.
- It’s vegan and gluten free.
- It’s very filling and will keep you full for a long time.
- Great as a snack too!
Is granola healthy?
There is no standard formula for granola, so whether it’s healthy really depends on the ingredients and how it’s made. Granola is usually made from whole oats, some nuts or seeds and dried fruits. Oats are filled with fibers. Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and dried fruits are loaded with vitamins and essential minerals. And while those ingredients alone make granola super healthy, the thing that bound them together, a sticky sweetener, is what brings granola healthiness in question.
Store-bought granola usually contains unhealthy high-fructose sweeteners, like corn syrup, in excess amounts. Not to mention many granola varieties list palm oil and hydrogenated oils on their ingredient list. That’s unhealthy granola.
On the other hand, when you make homemade granola you’re in control of the ingredients you use and the amount. So if you choose healthier natural sweeteners and healthier fats, and you add them in moderation, that’s when granola becomes a healthy food choice.
What is a serving size of granola?
A typical serving size of granola is up to 1/3 cup. Which means indulging a big bowl of granola for breakfast is way excessive. But again serving size depends on your energy needs. So the right portion of a granola would be the portion that leaves you satisfied, but not stuffed.
How to eat granola
- Eat granola with the milk.
- Eat granola with yogurt.
- Enjoy granola over ice cream.
- Serve granola with fruits and drizzle of nut butter.
- Eat granola straight out of the bag.
- Make a parfait.
- Make granola trail mix by adding some dried fruits and nuts.
- Add granola to a yummy fruit salad.
Cinnamon Orange Granola is delicious and super healthy breakfast option for the whole family. It’s loaded with dietary fibers good for our digestion, proteins and essential omega-3s. + It’s crunchy, mildly sweet and it bursts with wonderful flavors. I promise you, this granola cinnamon granola recipe will delight you.
Cinnamon Orange Granola
Crunchy, sweet and bursting with flavors, this Cinnamon Orange Granola tastes amazing and makes a great breakfast. It's healthy, nutritious and made without refined sugars.
Preheat the oven to 325Line big baking sheet with parchment paper.
Zest two oranges with zester. Chop the walnuts and dried dates. Melt the coconut oil.
Prepare and measure all other ingredients using measuring cups.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups oats, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup chopped dried dates. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon. Mix everything with spatula.
In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add grated zest from 2 oranges. Mix together using the whisk.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix with spatula until all of the dry ingredients are coated in the wet mixture.
Spread granola onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten into one layer.
Bake for 20 minutes and then stir granola to make sure everything bakes evenly. When stirring, don’t get too crazy because you don’t want to break up all of the clumps.
Continue baking for another 10 minutes until everything is a nice golden color. Watch out not to over-bake and burn the granola. The granola will still be slightly sticky when you take it out and will crisp up after it cools.
Cool down completely before serving and storing.
STORING: Store in an airtight container for up to two months.
For VEGAN: Use maple syrup or dates instead of honey.
For GLUTEN-FREE: Use certified gluten-free oats.
As a measure, I used US cup (240ml).
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but I have endeavored to be as accurate as possible.
More healthy breakfast recipes
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- Blueberry Oatmeal Porridge
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
If you’ve tried this Cinnamon Orange Granola recipe or any other recipe on Natalie’s Health, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you!