Heart-Healthy Nutty Cinnamon Granola

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Store-bought granola often contains unhealthy ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and hydrogenated oils which may increase your appetite, cause weight gain, and elevate your risk of heart disease. In addition to providing excess calories from these ingredients, it is rather costly.
The following granola recipe, a combination of whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried unsweetened fruits, and cinnamon, is very easy to prepare, economical, delicious, high in fiber, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and allows you to be creative. Mix the dry ingredients in any proportions you desire, with oats making up most of the mix. Serve it for breakfast with low-fat or non-fat milk, by itself as a healthy snack, or as a delightful dessert topping over fresh fruit, nonfat yogurt, cottage cheese, or ice cream.



  • 5 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted nuts (chopped, slivered, or whole almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts)
  • 1 cup seeds such as ground flaxseed, hulled pumpkin, sesame, and/or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup, or more, dried fruit, preferably unsweetened, such as chopped apricots, dates, golden and/or dark raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet, combine dry ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, cinnamon).
  3. Add oil and maple syrup to dry ingredients. Stir well and spread the blended mixture evenly in pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Continue baking for 10-15 minutes more until crispy and golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
  6. Stir dried fruit into cooled granola.
  7. Store in an air-tight container for 2 weeks or in freezer for 1 month.

Nutrition per 1/2 cup serving: 270 calories, 7 grams protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 3 mg sodium.

 Fruit and Yogurt Parfait 088

Fresh fruit, granola, and yogurt parfait

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