Homemade Granola - Recipe from Courtney's Kitchen - Chicago Food Photographer - Chicago, IL

It’s no secret that I love pretty photos, especially of food. My dream is to photograph a cookbook in the future. Or to work as a freelancer for a travel magazine. *Anyone want to hook a girl up with her dream job?* When I’m cooking or baking, though, it’s usually so I can photograph it! I’ll obviously eat it too, because I can’t turn down a delicious snack, drink or meal! But the end goal of my kitchen artistry is to document it. And now to share with you!

Full disclosure: I don’t always measure things when I’m creating something and I will often wing it!

Homemade Granola from Courtney’s Kitchen


2 cups old-fashioned oats

½ cup nuts, chopped (pecans, almonds, cashews, etc)

¼ cup raw seeds (pumpkin, flax or sunflower are my favorites)

2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large pinch fine sea salt

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1/2 cup coconut chips


Preheat the oven to 300º F.

Combine all ingredients except coconut chips in a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix well and toss to coat. If your coconut oil is solid, melt it in the microwave a few seconds or your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture.

Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, until very lightly toasted.

Stir the mixture while baking, and add the coconut chips. Continue to bake an extra 10-ish min.

Cool before serving or storing.

This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator. Get Creative! My granola is never the same and depends on what I’m in the mood for. I might add dried fruit, many types of nuts and different seeds. Experiment with different flavors and combinations!

This granola is awesome on its own, with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. Enjoy and be sure to comment below with your favorite renditions of this treat!

Much love!


Eat Chic Chicago

I'm so excited for you to meet Amari Thomsen of Eat Chic Chicago! We collaborated together this past December before the craziness of the holidays. Amari is a registered dietitian here in Chicago and is a wonderful resource and so full of knowledge. Also, she's so much fun and isn't she just adorable?! I had a blast photographing her delicious recipes while jamming out to Christmas music in her super-stylish apartment! 

Follow her blog for great tips and recipes! http://www.eatchicchicago.com/

Fulton Market District

I realized recently that I have not done any shooting for fun, for just me, in I don't know even know how many months. I'm in this awesome city and I NEVER have my camera with me unless it's for client sessions. I've been burning out on using just my phone for photos so when I had a session in the Fulton Market District this morning, I stayed put in the neighborhood and made myself walk around with my camera. It was a sweltering 95 degrees and 500% humidity so I didn't last long, but here are some of the scenes I saw.