Crunchy Sweet Granola

Photo: Thinkstock/Elenathewise

I made the first version of this recipe while attending community college. We were presenting a few healthy snacks to a high school group, and the original version of this recipe called for one cup of sugar and one cup of butter. I wanted to present a more healthful version, so I substituted agave nectar for the sugar and swapped out the butter for canola oil.

The result is an awesome addition to yogurt or a smoothie for added crunch. Crunchy Sweet Granola - Or just throw in a baggy and munch on it for an afternoon snack. As for the nutritional benefits, it delivers heart-healthy fats from canola oil, walnuts and chia seeds and fiber from oats, walnuts, chia seeds and dried fruit.

This recipe is so easy — you can combine it in the baking pan and there’s no need for cooking spray as it doesn’t stick much. Simple and so, so yummy. Enjoy!

Crunchy Sweet Granola

Makes 8 to 12 servings


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients using clean hands or a wooden spoon.
  3. Press mixture into a 9×9-inch baking dish and bake in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until oats are a light, golden color.
  4. Cool, crumble and enjoy!

NOTE: You can switch out the dates and dried cranberries for other dried fruits that you like – raisins, blueberries, apricots or cherries all would be good! Also, you can replace the walnuts with another nut such as almonds and cashews.

Megan Rose on Facebook
Megan Rose
Megan Rose, RDN, is a former supermarket dietitian and now clinical and community dietitian in northern Michigan. Among her many passions in the dietetics world, she loves taking the science of nutrition and turning it into practical knowledge and application for the public. Her favorite population to work with is young athletes. Connect with her on her blog,, and Facebook.