This Crock-Pot granola recipe is easy! Just sprinkle spices over old-fashioned oats and combine them with maple syrup, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Let the slow cooker do all the work to create a tasty snack.
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The slow cooker is not just for savory meals. This handy device can also make some incredible snacks. If you’re a fan of meal-prepping breakfast or just crave a big batch of homemade granola, you’ll love this grab-n-go treat or topping for yogurt.
I use warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for flavor in this recipe. Each serving also contains oats, nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil, and superfoods for extra nutritional benefits. All you need to do is drop in the ingredients and stir occasionally.
How to make granola in a slow cooker
The moderate heat and prolonged cook time crystalize the sugar and create crispy oats flakes. I use a 6-quart Crock-Pot and add all the ingredients except the coconut flakes and cranberries. It’s important to stir every 30 minutes for evenly coating and cooking.
The lid is also kept slightly open to allow steam to escape and to prevent the grains from getting soggy. Once the cooking time is complete, about 2 hours on high setting, spread the mixture on a sheet pan and cool completely to solidify the sugars.
Oat selection is key
The types of oats you choose can affect the final texture of the product. In this case, old-fashioned rolled oats are my favorite choice. The grains are partially cooked, whole flat pieces with an oval shape.
Their sturdy structure ensures a crispness that won’t absorb moisture too quickly when combined with wet ingredients. Varieties like instant oats will get soggy and clumpy.
Boost the nutrition
Superfoods are nutrient-rich ingredients that are considered to be especially beneficial for well-being. I chose chia seeds, oats, dried cranberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and almonds for this recipe. Collectively they provide extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, plus healthy saturated fat from coconut oil, vitamins, and minerals.
Let the air escape from the crock-pot
Usually, I would never tell you to take the lid off when using a slow cooker, but not this time. You need to allow the hot steam generated inside the pot to escape, or you’ll end up with oatmeal instead of crunchy granola. Put the cover on, but leave it ajar about ¼ to 1/2-inch on one side throughout the entire cook time.
Stir and let it cool
About every 30 minutes, check and stir the granola mixture. This will ensure even cooking and minimize portions from getting burnt if stuck to the sides of the pot for too long.
Once the granola feels dry and crisp, scoop a single layer on a baking sheet until no longer warm. The cooling process enhances the crunch factor. Afterward, transfer to an air-tight container. If the granola is left out too long it can pick up moisture in the air.
Comparing cooking methods
Each has its unique advantages, but all yield a delicious product. It just depends on the equipment you have and the amount of time you want to dedicate.
- Baked Granola: Cooks the oat mixture at moderate heat, about 325ºF (163ºC), for just under an hour with little or no stirring for larger clusters. The only downside is that it requires the most energy to prepare.
- Stovetop Granola: By far the quickest method, just 10 minutes to cook. The only setback is you may be limited to the amount you can make at one time due to pan size. One to two cups of oats max.
- Slow Cooker Granola: (This Recipe) Made all in one pot, uses minimal energy, and can make an enormous amount, but it takes about double the time and more stirring.
Different ways to use granola
- Use it as a topping for yogurt parfaits or acai bowls.
- Add it to popsicles for more fiber and flavor in each serving.
- Sprinkle on top of fluffy pancakes for some crunch.
- Make desserts with cooked fruit (apples, peaches, pineapples) topped with granola.
Perfecting ingredient ratios
Use a ratio of about five parts of dry ingredients to one part of wet. For example, 4 cups oats, 1 cup nuts/seeds, plus ½ cup oil, and ½ cup maple syrup or honey. When scaling the recipe up or down, use around the same amount of dry (oats, nuts, seeds) to liquid (oil and sweetener).
Slow Cooker Granola
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts or a combination
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, or honey
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Grease the Pot – Coat the sides and bottom of a 6-quart or larger-sized slow cooker with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or coconut oil.
- Add the Dry Ingredients – Add oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and stir to combine.
- Add the Wet Ingredients – In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour it into the slow cooker and stir until evenly combined.
- Cover with Lid – Place the lid on the slow cooker with it slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, about a ¼-inch opening, for the entire duration of cooking. If you do not do this, the steam will not escape and make the granola soggy.
- Slow Cook the Granola – Cook on the high setting for 2 to 2 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes and leaving the lid ajar. The granola should feel dry when touched, and the nuts will be toasted and crunchy. At the end of cooking, add in coconut flakes and cranberries, and stir to combine.
- Let it Cool – Transfer the mixture to a sheet pan and allow it to cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container.
- Recipe Yield: 9 cups
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Storing: Store in an airtight container for two weeks, or freeze in resealable bags for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost before serving.
- Substitutions: Grapeseed or light olive oil can be substituted for coconut oil. Any dried fruit can be substituted for the cranberries like blueberries, apricot, mango, or chopped figs. If desired, you can use gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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