Wholesome cherry blossom granola recipe with pops of sweetened cherries and white chocolate is so easy to make that you will never buy granola at the store again!
Spring is in the air and the trees are full of pink and white blossoms. This is my favorite signal that the season has changed and winter is finally over. I made this granola recipe as my ode to the change of seasons. Made with sweetened dried cherries with white chocolate chips to honor spring.
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What is Granola?
In the simplest of terms, granola is old-fashioned oats baked until they form a cereal-like texture. To create sweetness, other ingredients are added, such as fruits, nuts, seeds, and even chocolate. Granola is that simple.
Next time you are at the store, read the package of granola. It is truly shocking to see how many additives, preservatives, and things you cannot pronounce are included. Granola is supposed to be healthy, even synonymous with being natural, yet most of the granola we eat is filled with chemicals.
Once I read about what was really in store-bought granola, I took to making my own. The one thing I was surprised by? It is so easy to make. Even better, I save a ton of money making my own!
In the mood for something else? Try these Baked Oatmeal Bars with Nutella and Banana instead.
One of the great things about granola is most of the ingredients you probably already have. Below is a list of ingredients and possible swaps. In most cases, if you do not have the exact swap, don't worry about it. I am sure you have something in your pantry that would taste great!
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: This is one ingredient you must have. Always use old-fashioned rolled oats. They are not processed and bake correctly.
Almonds: Any nut or seed will work in place of almonds. Other options include pistachios, cashews, or sunflower seeds. You can also do a combination of nuts and seeds.
Dried Cherries: For this recipe, I recommend using soft dried fruit. In place of cherries, you could use raisins, golden raisins or even cranrasins.
White Chocolate Chips: I selected these because of the season and feeling I wanted to create. However, any chocolate chip would work, or you could omit the chocolate for less sugar. I also use vegan white chocolate chips.
Maple Syrup: I recommend going with the best maple syrup you can afford or what you have on hand. I had inexpensive maple syrup in the pantry, which I used. The recipe still tasted great; it just was more processed than I would prefer.
Olive oil: Many granola's are made with coconut, grape seed, or canola oil. Any light, flavorless oil will work. However, if you use a solid oil like coconut, you will need to melt it before blending with the maple syrup.
Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract, and Salt: I love the flavor these ingredients add. They enhance the overall granola, and I recommend keeping it in the recipe.
Coating with Chocolate vs. Mixing with Chocolate
I made this granola two different ways. The first was coating the granola with white chocolate, and the other was mixing in the white chocolate. I find they both taste great; it just depends on your personal preference.
Coating the granola -- To coat the granola, simply allow the granola to cool for about ten minutes. Then toss the granola with the white chocolate. What I liked about this is the sweetness was more subtle and not overpowering. If you use this method, it is important to wait until the granola is almost completely cooled before tossing it in white chocolate. If you coat the granola when it is too hot, the white chocolate just melts right off.
Topping the granola -- Once the granola is fully cooled mix with white chocolate. The pro of this method is the white chocolate pops of flavor are much stronger.
Mix-Ins and Toppings
Once I make a bowl of granola, I love to top it with all kinds of things. I can't get enough of all the different flavors and textures. Below are some suggestions for various fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. (Shhhh, I also sneak in some chocolate. Ok, lots of chocolate.)
- Fresh Fruit
- Dried Fruit
- Nuts & Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
Store your granola in an airtight container. It will stay good for up to 2 -3 weeks. I typically store my granola in a mason jar or lockable storage containers which I keep on the counter.
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Wholesome Cherry Blossom Granola (EASY)
- Baking sheet
- Large bowl
- 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- ¾ cup almonds (whole, sliced or bits)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dried cherries
- ¾ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- In a large bowl combine 2 ½ cups of old-fashioned oats, ¾ cup almonds, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of salt.2 ½ cups old fashioned oats, ¾ cup almonds (whole, sliced or bits), ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 dash salt
- In a small bowl combine ½ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture is fully combined and syrup-like.½ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients until all the oats are fully coated.
- Evenly spread on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.
- Let the granola cool and toss the white chocoalte chips and dried cherries into the granola.¾ cup dried cherries, ¾ cup white chocolate chips