Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl

Jump to Recipe

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl can be breakfast, a snack, or a dessert. Granola is such a versatile treat and such a blank canvas for personalization and creation in the kitchen. In this recipe, the sweet spiced granola is balanced out with some tummy-friendly kefir to keep your gut healthy and happy!

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl Picture on Counter with spoon and figs kefir in a glass jar

This breakfast, snack, or dessert uses your favorite brand of Vanilla kefir, mine is Lifeway, combined with this recipe for Cinnamon Pepita Granola.

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Is a Year Round Favorite Flavor!

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl is not just for fall! This amazing granola recipe will quickly become your favorite year-round go-to recipe for granola. This granola stores well and will keep you going back to the pantry for another handful!

Granola is great to eat by itself. It is also great to top your favorite kefir or yogurt.  Also, you can add this Cinnamon Pepita Granola to ice cream. Or add it to a quick stove top macerated fruit (fruit cooked with sugar) to make a quick faux cobbler.  

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl with Kilner flip top jar and jug of kefir on a baking tray with figs

Why Use Kefir?

In this recipe, I used Lifeway Kefir because kefir has more probiotics than yogurt.  This means more gut health benefits per serving than using yogurt.  However, you can use yogurt and kefir interchangeably in this recipe.  You can always make your own kefir instead of using store-bought kefir if you prefer.

Here is a link to the benefits of kefir. This will help you to know why I use kefir instead of yogurt when possible.

I always have a few flavors of kefir in my refrigerator.  Peach because it is my favorite Lifeway Kefir flavor.  Vanilla because it is a versatile flavor, I can add it to granola bowls and smoothies and plain kefir. Plain because I often add it to mayonnaise-based salad dressings in place of milk to thin a salad dressing out.  I also always have plain kefir on hand to make my own custom-flavored kefir with whatever fruit is currently ripe on my property.  (Which would be mandarin in January to persimmon in November and December with many different fruit varieties in the months between January and December.) 

three flavors of Lifeway Kefir plain vanilla peach on a baking sheet

I like to eat as many gut-healthy foods in a day as I can. I have a few easy ways to add stomach-helpful foods to my day. This is one recipe that makes it simple and delicious! 

Other Granola Recipes to Try:

You can swap this Cinnamon Pepita Granola recipe with another granola recipe. Try one of my other granola recipes: Coconut Flake and Cocoa Nib Granola, Dried Cherry and Chocolate Granola or Kid Friendly Granola.

Ingredients:

Kefir: Lifeway Vanilla Kefir, Lifeway Kefir is cultured milk almost like a thin tangy yogurt.

Granola: Real grade A maple syrup, coconut sugar, unsalted butter, cinnamon, salt, rolled oats (old fashioned oats), and pepitas.

  • Maple Syrup is used in this recipe is because it is a natural ingredient. Maple sugar also adds depth of flavor to this granola recipe. Using white sugar alone will not give the same depth of flavor.
  • Coconut sugar is my go-to because it is slightly lower on the glycemic index and has a warmth to it.  Coconut sugar has an almost caramel like taste that I like in this recipe. Link to an article that compares coconut sugar to white sugar.
  • Rolled Oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, are a healthy breakfast option.  The oats hold up well in this recipe. If granola is mixed thoroughly multiple times during the baking process you will get a light granola that is easily pourable out of the storage container. I recommend using organic oats and if you need gluten-free granola be sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats.
  • Unsalted butter gives you control of the salt level in this recipe.  I have used salted butter in this recipe in a pinch and adjust the salt to a small pinch.  However, I do prefer to just use an unsalted butter when making granola.  
  • Cinnamon is a must in this recipe.  The cinnamon adds complexity and comfort to this granola. Cinnamon is delicious, and multiple evidence-based health benefits have been attributed to cinnamon. Link to the evidence-based health benefits of cinnamon.
ingredients to make cinnamon Pepita Granola on a baking sheet

Ingredient add ins for this recipe:

  • Pepitas are a type of pumpkin seeds that does not have an outer shell. They have no hull.

Substitutions:

Maple syrup can be substituted by honey, agave, golden syrup, or light treacle.

Coconut sugar can be substituted for your sweetener of choice, for example, white or brown sugar, allulose, or monk fruit.  (I used coconut sugar in this recipe because coconut sugar is slightly lower on the glycemic index than traditional white sugar.)

Unsalted Butter, if you use salted butter do not use the full amount of salt recommended in this recipe. Only add a pinch of salt if you use salted butter. 

You could use coconut oil if you are dairy free but I do not recommend using any other oil substitutes.  

In the fall you could do 2/3 cinnamon and 1/3 pumpkin spice. This would be 2tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of pumpkin spice as there is 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon.  I would not substitute pumpkin spice one to one for the cinnamon. The other spices in the pumpkin spice would be too over whelming to the granola.

How to add in (nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips, etc) to granola?

Pepitas:

dd them in the last 10 minutes of baking. Take the sheet pan out of the oven. Add in desired nuts, mix throughout the oat mixture then place the sheet pan back in the oven and continue to bake.  This is to ensure the nuts don’t burn, nuts require less cook time than the oat mixture.

Nuts:

If you choose to add different or additional nuts, add them in the last 10 minutes of baking. Take the sheet pan out of the oven. Add in desired nuts, mix throughout the oat mixture then place the sheet pan back in the oven and continue to bake.  This is to ensure the nuts don’t burn, nuts require less cook time than the oat mixture.

Dried Fruit and Chocolate Chips:

If you choose to add dried fruit and chocolate chips to this recipe, they get added at the end once everything has cooled completely. This ensures you will not cause the dried fruit to get sticky and the chocolate chips don’t melt.

How to store granola?

Store this granola in a Kilner Round Swing Top Glass Jar 1.5L to maximize the freshness of the granola.  This Cinnamon Pepita Granola recipe also makes a fabulous gift. When giving granola as a gift, I put the granola into 16-ounces mason jars or 8-ounce mason jars (depending on how much you want to give) and then vacuum seal the lids.

cinnamon pepita granola finished in jar and on sheet pan

How to make the Cinnamon Pepita Granola:

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Pepita Granola:
  • ½ cup maple syrup grade A
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  •  ½ cup pepitas
For the Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl:
  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle of Vanilla Kefir
  • Fruit of choice (I used figs, however bananas, berries, and apples are wonderful! Or you can use no fruit–the fruit is optional.)

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. In a large mixing bowl add oats.  Set aside until wet mixture is ready.
please note:

*Pepitas will be added in the last 10 minutes of baking! (This is to not burn the pepitas but slightly toast the them.)*

women in brown shirt and white apron stirring granola wet ingredients until boiling

3. In a heavy-bottom saucepan add maple syrup, coconut sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Heat the saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir the mixture as complete with a wooden spoon or a high heat-resistant spatula until the mixture boils.

4. Then, add the boiled wet mixture to the dry bowl of oats. Fold wet and dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are fully coated with the thick sticky wet mixture.

woman pouring boiling wet ingredients on dry granola ingredients
women in white apron stirring granola ingredients together

5. Next, spread the combined mixture onto a clean unlined half sheet pan (17.9″x12.9″x1″). Spread the mixture to an even layer. (If your sheet pan is stained or has a build-up on it, put a piece of parchment paper on the sheet pan. Then add the mixture on top of the parchment paper.)   

woman in a white apron standing behind cinnamon pepita granola and spreading it on sheet pan covered in parchment
woman in brown shirt and white apron holding cinnamon pepita granola that is going into the oven

6. Bake granola for 25 minutes-every 5 to 10 minutes take the granola out of the oven and stir the granola completely. Then re-spread the granola to an even layer.  In the last 10 minutes of baking, add in pepitas and mix throughout the granola evenly. Re-spread granola and finish baking. *Bake times are a recommendation and basic guidelines as ALL ovens may vary in temperature or bake a bit differently.  Some ovens may need less time and some ovens may need more time.*

cinnamon pepita granola adding the pepitas to the granola on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper held by paper clips on a kitchenaid cooktop by a women in a white apron
cinnamon pepita granola mixing pepitas iby a woman in a white apron using a stainless steel spatula
cinnamon pepita granola being spread out evenly by a woman in white apron

7. After the total bake time is complete, take the granola out of the oven. If you want granola to have individual pieces and to be easy to pour, stir the granola immediately when it comes out of the oven and stir again in 10 minutes.  If you want large clusters of granola, don’t stir the granola when taking it out of the oven for the last time. Instead, leave the granola to cool and then break it apart into clusters once cool. Again, if you want individual granola pieces you must stir the granola as soon as it comes out of the oven.

8. Once the granola is cool, add it to an airtight storage container.  I prefer to use a glass jar with a lid

cinnamon pepita granola finished in a jar and on a sheet pan

To Assemble the Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl:

  • Pick your desired bowl.  I used a 12 oz bowl.
  • Add 4 ounces up to 8 ounces of Vanilla Kefir to a bowl. (Depending on how hungry you are.)
  • Then, top the kefir with 2 ounces up to 4 ounces of Cinnamon Pepita Granola. (4oz of kefir to 2oz of granola, 6oz of kefir to 3oz of granola, 8oz of kefir to 4oz of granola, etc.)
  • Optional: Add fruit of Choice.

I ate this with a spoon and loved every bite!

How long can I store the Cinnamon Pepita Granola?

You can store Cinnamon Pepita Granola in an airtight container for up to a month (if it lasts that long). I store this granola in a Kilner Round Swing Top Glass Jar 1.5L to maximize the freshness of the granola.  This also makes a fabulous gift. I put the granola into 16-ounces mason jars or 8-ounce mason jars (depending on how much you want to give) and then vacuum seal the lids.

Items I used in this Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl recipe:

maple syrup grade A coconut sugar rolled oats cinnamon salt pepitas heavy bottom saucepan half sheet baking pan heat-resistant spatula wooden spoon mixing bowl small metal spatula Kilner Round Swing Top Glass Jar 1.5L

white-bowl-with-kefir-granola-and-figs-on-a-blue-counter

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl

Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Cooling Time:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour

Ingredients

Cinnamon Pepita Granola:

  • ½ cup maple syrup grade A
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

For the Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl:

  • 1 bottle of Vanilla Kefir (32 ounces)
  • Fruit of choice (I used figs, however bananas, berries, and apples are wonderful! Or you can use no fruit–the fruit is optional.)

Instructions

How to make the Cinnamon Pepita Granola:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • In a large mixing bowl add oats.  Set aside until wet mixture is ready.
  • *Pepitas will be added in the last 10 minutes of baking! (This is to not burn the pepitas but slightly toast the them.)*
  • In a heavy-bottom saucepan add maple syrup, coconut sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Heat the saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir the mixture as needed with a wooden spoon or a high heat-resistant spatula until the mixture boils.
  • Then, add the boiled wet mixture to the dry bowl of oats. Fold wet and dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are fully coated with the thick sticky wet mixture.
  • Next, spread the combined mixture onto a clean unlined half sheet pan (17.9"x12.9"x1"). Spread the mixture to an even layer. (If your sheet pan is stained or has a build-up on it, put a piece of parchment paper on the sheet pan. Then add the mixture on top of the parchment paper.)
  • Bake granola for 25 minutes-every 5 to 10 minutes take the granola out of the oven and stir the granola completely. Then re-spread the granola to an even layer.  In the last 10 minutes of baking, add in pepitas and mix throughout granola evenly. Re-spread granola and finish baking. *Bake times are a recommendation and basic guidelines as ALL ovens may vary in temperature or bake a bit differently.  Some ovens may need less time and some ovens may need more time.*
  • After the total bake time is complete, take the granola out of the oven. If you want granola to have individual pieces and to be easy to pour, stir the granola immediately when it comes out of the oven and stir again in 10 minutes.  If you want large clusters of granola, don't stir the granola when taking it out of the oven for the last time. Instead, leave granola to cool and then break it apart into clusters once cool. Again, if you want individual granola pieces you must stir the granola as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  • Once the granola is cool, add it to an airtight storage container.  I prefer to use a glass jar with lid.

To Assemble the Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl:

  • Pick your desired bowl. I used a 12 oz bowl.
  • Add 4 ounces up to 8 ounces of Vanilla Kefir to a bowl. (Depending on how hungry you are.)
  • Next, top the kefir with 2 ounces up to 4 ounces of Cinnamon Pepita Granola. (4oz of kefir to 2oz of granola, 6oz of kefir to 3oz of granola, 8oz of kefir to 4oz of granola, etc.)
  • Optional: Add fruit of Choice. (I used figs.)
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: breakfast, granola, kefir
Servings: 4

Items I used in this Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl recipe:

maple syrup grade A coconut sugar rolled oats cinnamon salt pepitas heavy bottom saucepan half sheet baking pan heat-resistant spatula wooden spoon mixing bowl small metal spatula Kilner Round Swing Top Glass Jar 1.5L

A Life Full of Living participates in affiliate advertising with Amazon and can receive a commission when you purchase through these Amazon links. Purchases made on Amazon through these links support content development on this site. Thank you!

Vanilla Kefir and Cinnamon Pepita Granola Bowl with Kilner flip top jar and jug of kefir on a baking tray with figs #granola #brunch #breakfast #kefir #figs #pepita #homemade

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating