This sweet potato granola is healthy and cooked in the oven until golden brown and crispy. You will only need a handful of ingredients to make it and the sweet potato purée with the spices make this homemade granola a perfect fall breakfast. And making your own granola is easier than you might think!
Granola is such a popular breakfast. The crispy and caramelized little bits are just so hard to resist. It's also a great food to keep around if you want to eat healthier: you can simply sprinkle them on top of yogurt or fruit to get an extra dose of good-for-you fiber.
If you walk into the granola aisle, you will find many different options to choose from. How great! But, if you flip the package to read the back, you might be shocked at what you see! So much added sugar and fat, most packaged granola fits more into the eat-once-in-a-while dessert category than the breakfast one.
Well, you are safe with this recipe. This granola is a perfect healthy combination of wholesome ingredients while being still sweet enough and nicely crispy to make your breakfast super delicious. And you won't even realize that this granola is healthier!
What is to love about this sweet potato granola?
Have I mentioned how healthy this granola is? When starting to work on this recipe, I thought it would be challenging to get that crispy texture similar to the packaged granola. These are packed with processed oil and sugar that help the oats become super crunchy while cooking. But there is a way to bypass all these additives and still get a nice toasty granola!
The secret to get that crispy texture is also in the way you cook the granola. When cooking it at lower heat for a little longer, the ingredients will have time to roast without burning. This will help crisp the oats and nuts, since they will dry up a little, even if less added fat and sugar was used.
Also, what makes this granola so delicious is the mixture of spices. Simple cinnamon and nutmeg combine so well with the sweet potato and make this granola feels like a treat. A little like this pumpkin overnight oatmeal, this granola is perfect during the fall season!
How to make this homemade sweet potato granola
You will need puréed sweet potato to make it! Yes, yes, sweet potato!
The best way to make sweet potato purée is to simply cook the whole vegetable, with the peel on, in the oven at 375° for about 60 minutes (time depends on how big the potato is). Poke the potato with a knife to check for readiness: the potato is cooked when the knife goes into the flesh easily. The peel should be very easy to remove after cooked. Then, mash the potato very well to a smooth texture with a fork on a plate.
To the sweet potato purée, add coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. This is the wet part.
Mix together raw oats (old fashioned rolled oats, NOT quick cooking oats), nuts, chia seeds and the spices. This is the dry part.
Then, combine the wet and dry parts together and spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet.
The granola will cook for about 50 minutes in the oven. Flip it half way through to make sure it cooks evenly.
Once the granola is cooked, it will still feel a little soft at first. Let it rest on the baking sheet, untouched, and it will crisp as it cools down!
Why using coconut oil
It is difficult to make granola without using any oil at all. But, you will only need ¼ cup of coconut oil for the whole granola recipe. This small amount plays an important role in reaching a great crispy texture after it has cooled down.
I prefer using coconut oil compared to any other oil when making granola. I choose unrefined coconut oil, which gives it a little coconut taste that's very subtle, but the refined version without any coconut taste would work fine.
Tips to get a super crispy granola
I have played around with this recipe quite a lot and here are my pro-tips to get an extra crunchy granola that is not too chewy.
- When preparing the sweet potato, make sure you mash it very well or until you reach a very smooth purée. Then, and only after you puréed the potato, measure the ½ cup you need for the recipe.
I realized that too much or too little sweet potato changed the texture of the granola dramatically. And measuring the potato when it is very smooth will help you get the perfect amount for this recipe (if not smooth, you might end up with empty space in the measuring cup).
- When mixing the wet + dry parts of the granola in the bowl, use a spatula to be sure to cover every tiny pieces of oats and nuts with the puréed mixture. You might need a minute or two of mixing to reach a uniform mixture and using a spatula with help you reaching that by pressing on the oats in the bowl.
- When spreading the granola on the baking sheet, make sure the granola is spread out to the extremity of the pan. Use a spoon or a spatula and gently press on the granola so it disperse nicely. This will help have the granola roast evenly and helps getting crunchy.
- After cooked, do not touch the granola! Leave it alone until completely cooled down, right on the baking sheet. Once totally cold, then you can transfer the granola to a storing container.
Modifications possible to this sweet potato granola recipe
You can play around with some of the ingredients of this recipe.
- Chose your favorite nuts! In this case, I used half walnuts and half pecans. I love the sweet and buttery flavor from the pecans and the walnuts bring lots of healthy omega-3. But you can use the nuts of your choice: hazelnut, almond or cashews would also be delicious.
- If you want to accelerate the recipe, you can skip cooking a sweet potato and use a can of sweet potato instead. I found that my granola would get crispier if using a fresh sweet potato, but the result with the can was great too.
- You can add about ½ cup of shredded coconut. If you do so, then add them when flipping the granola half way through the cooking so they don't burn.
- Dried fruits would be delicious in this granola. If you want to add them, do not bake them! Simply add them to the granola after it is cooked and has cooled down. Try raisins, dried cranberries or chopped apricots!
Make this granola nut-free: swap the nuts for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Make this granola gluten-free: choose certified gluten-free oats.
- Serve over non dairy yogurt with fresh fruits to make it a delicious complete breakfast.
- Try it with homemade cashew chocolate milk, so good!
- Pour a thick fruit smoothie in a bowl and top it with this granola. It's so fun to eat smoothies with a spoon!
Other oat breakfast recipes you might like:
- Pumpkin overnight oats with orange
- How to make overnight oats with a Strawberry cream and apple crisp recipes
- Strawberry and chocolate baked oatmeal
- Coconut pineapple chia parfait with a quick granola layer made on the stove!
- Barley and oat breakfast bowl
Other sweet potato recipes you might like
I hope you will love this homemade sweet potato granola as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it was.
Sweet potato granola with maple syrup
- 3 cups old fashioned raw oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup nuts (I use a combination of pecans and walnuts) - roughly chopped
- 3 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup sweet potato purée - very smooth. See note.
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil - melted, 30 seconds in the microwave if necessary.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (oats, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt).
- In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients together (sweet potato purée, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract).
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl and combine together. Mix very well, using a spatula if necessary, so all the little pieces of oats are uniformly covered with the sweet potato mixture.
- Transfer the mixture on the baking sheet and spread evenly. Press gently with a spatula to make sure it is distibute all over the pan (the granola won't be thick, this will help the oats to roast nicely and evenly).
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Then, using a spoon or a spatula, gently stir the granola and distribute it evenly once more before putting it back in the oven for about 20 more minutes. Watch the granola carefully after flipping: you want it to brown, but not burn (depending on your oven, it could be more or less 20 minutes).
- Once cooked, take the baking sheet out of the oven and do not touch the granola! Let it cool down for at least an hour before eating or storing. The granola will feel very soft when just taken out of the oven and will crisp as it cools down.
- Store in a air-thight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- To make your own sweet potato purée, simply cook a whole sweet potato, peel on, at 375° for about an hour (just like you do for a baked Russet white potato). Use a knife and poke it to check for readiness: the potato is ready when the flesh is very soft. Once the potato is cooked, the peel should be very easy to remove. Transfer the flesh to a plate and using a fork, mash it until you reach an even and very smooth texture. Then, measure the ½ cup you need to make the recipe (measure the potato AFTER it is mashed).
- You can also use canned sweet potato to speed up the recipe. I tested this recipe with the Farmer's Market brand.
- I did prefer the result when using a fresh sweet potato, the granola was slightly more crispy and I preferred its taste overall. But the canned version is a quicker option and is great too.