The combination of fresh orange zest, honey, cinnamon, toasted almonds, vanilla and golden raisins is undeniably divine. It reminds me of the flavors I encountered in my celebratory post-cookbook trip to Morocco this spring.
On the solo leg of my trip, I remember spreading homemade orange jelly across pastries in the gorgeous riad where I was staying, feeling both spoiled and lonely. The sights and scents were too beautiful to keep to myself.
This granola would be a fun and simple weekend project to make with your loved ones. It would also make a delicious gift for your friends, family or new neighbors. Enjoy it plain as a snack, or add milk or yogurt for a wholesome breakfast.
While we’re talking about granola, I have a tip for you. Don’t over-bake your granola! Properly baked granola will still be a bit soft to the touch right out of the oven, but it will continue crisping up as it cools. If you wait until the granola is dark and crispy before pulling it out, your granola will be dry and taste more toasty than anything else. You’ll lose the nuanced flavors of the spices, nuts and honey or maple syrup.
Most of my other granolas are entirely naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. This one includes the usual natural sweetener, plus two tablespoons of regular sugar. Think of the sugar as sandpaper, if you will—you’ll rub the orange zest into the sugar to extract maximum orange flavor. Then you’ll stir the orange zest and sugar combination into the other ingredients for incredible orange-flavored granola.
If you were just mixing orange zest into the other ingredients without first mixing it with sugar, you would need a lot more orange zest and you would end up with a lot more bald oranges! Give this trick a try with your other citrusy baked goods and you’ll get more flavor out of them.
Orange & Almond Granola
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
This homemade granola is infused with amazing orange and honey flavors. It also features toasted almonds, cinnamon, vanilla and old-fashioned oats! This granola recipe makes a great breakfast or snack. Recipe yields about 8 cups.
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (from about 1 ½ oranges, preferably organic)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (if you’re using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup raisins, preferably golden
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until it’s bright orange and very fragrant. This step will ensure that your granola is infused with orange flavor.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon and orange sugar. Stir to combine. Pour in the olive oil, honey and vanilla, and mix well.
- Pour the granola onto your prepared baking sheet. Spread the granola into an even layer. Bake for 19 to 23 minutes, stirring halfway, until the granola is turning lightly golden in color. The granola will crisp up as it cools.
- Let the granola cool before stirring in the raisins and breaking up the granola into chunks as necessary. Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life.
Make it gluten free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
Make it vegan: Substitute maple syrup for the honey.
Make it nut free: Substitute pepitas for the almonds.
Change it up: You can use other dried fruit (chopped if large) for the raisins. Dried apricots or cherries would be really nice here. You can also change up the nuts; pecans are great.