This Is the Best Way to Revive Stale Granola

published Feb 4, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Granola has been my go-to make-ahead breakfast for years. I love it in part because I’m a sucker for anything crunchy. But it’s also so easy to make — and make a lot of. Oats are easy to keep on hand and I can pull together a batch with whatever nuts, seeds, and sweetener I happen to have in the pantry. Plus it stays fresh for weeks.

But “weeks” is not forever. If you’ve ever made a lot, you’ve probably noticed that even when it’s stored in an airtight container, as the weeks move along, granola looses that wonderful crunch little by little, until the once-crisp oats give way to something that’s soft, chewy, and dull.

But that’s no reason to toss it!

Sure, there are ways to use stale granola. You could put it in cookies or muffins, mix it into a fruit crisp topping, or use it as a topping for yogurt bark. But the granola will still be soft and slightly stale. You still wouldn’t want it in your morning bowl. But there is a way, I discovered, to revive stale granola so that it regains that crisp bite. Cool, right? Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Melissa Ryan

A Hot Oven Is the Secret to Reviving Stale Granola

Not only can you transform that soggy, chewy granola back to being blissfully crunchy, but it’s easier than you might think. All it takes is spreading the granola in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and heating it in a 400 degree oven for five minutes — essentially re-baking it. You’ll want to be sure to avoid piling up the granola, so if you’ve got a lot, it’s best to grab a second baking sheet. Once the granola cools completely, it’ll have that crispy crunch again.

The Best Way to Store Granola

Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, properly storing granola will help extend the shelf life and maintain crunchiness. Store granola in an airtight container or tightly sealed zip-top bag in a dry, dark place away from heat. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet makes a good choice. Most store-bought options come with a resealable top, but if not, it’s helpful to transfer it to an airtight jar or container.

Try Our Favorite Granola Recipes

Your turn: Do you have a smart tip for either storing granola, or helping it to last longer? Tell us in the comments below!