Healthy granola (no sugar or oil)

Healthy granola (no sugar or oil)

healthy granola breakfast

It’s so beautiful out, the sun is out, the birds are chirping away like crazy, there is a gentle breeze in the air, my cat is frolicking in the grass, so all I really wanna do is to slump somewhere in the garden with a book in hand and a homemade ginger-mint lime-onade but work is calling so I thought I should make an appearance.

I know you are probably not in the mood for cooking either, so today I bring you my latest summer breakfast recipe that is delicious and healthy and serves as a perfect vehicle for all the seasonal fruit to be delivered straight to your mouth. It’s a healthier take on granola. This recipe uses no oil or any added sugar whatsoever (well, apart from my stem ginger cubes which you can replace with any dry fruit) and that’s how it’s been designed, so I’m accepting no complaints about it not being sweet enough 😉 .

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a more indulgent granola at all. In fact, I love it so much that whenever I make a batch, I won’t rest until I hoover it all up on the day I made it (!) so it’s a bit of a lethal substance in my house. However, I really don’t think your body needs any sugar first thing in the morning and I’ve found this sugar-free granola served alongside a few dollops of my favourite vegan yoghurt and a handful of strawberries makes my tastebuds totally happy and doesn’t make me reach for the maple syrup. I’m hoping you’ll agree.

This is a perfect warm weather breakfast and tastes even better after you’ve done some exercise first thing. Since we have been having some proper hot weather here in Bristol, I’ve decided that the only way I can ever go back to regular running – after I ditched it for a month due to post-vaccine fatigue first and then being away – is to wake up early and go first thing. I bet for many people that’s not a big deal at all, but for me – a night owl – it’s akin to torture. After talking about it for days, I finally managed to drag myself outside before it got too hot to trot (I mean literally) and did a 5K. It wasn’t pretty, my body isn’t used to it, but I am working on changing that. Today I’m resting my aching muscles a little and tomorrow is my second run, wish me luck! Coming back home to a few glasses of cold water and a cooling granola breakfast in the garden feels like such a treat!

healthy granola ingredients

healthy granola making

healthy granola mixing

healthy granola spreading

healthy granola tray baked

healthy granola jar top down

healthy granola jar

makes
1 L / 4 cups
PREP
15 min
COOKING
40 min
makes
1 L / 4 cups
PREPARATION
15 min
COOKING
40 min
INGREDIENTS

  • 120 g / ½ cup mashed ripe banana*
  • 15 g / 2 tbsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds
  • 25 g / 2 tbsp runny almond butter (or other nut / seed butter)
  • 170 g / 2 cups rolled jumbo oats (gluten-free certified if required)
  • 50 g / ½ cup chopped almonds or other nuts / seeds
  • 50 g / ½ cup chopped pecans or other nuts / seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 50 g / 1¾ oz stem ginger (3 balls), diced finely or dried apricots
METHOD
  1. Preheat the oven to 130° C / 265° F fan function (or 150° C / 300° F without the fan) and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mashed up banana, ground flax and almond butter. Stir well until well combined and set aside for 10 minutes for flax to activate.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Spread the granola mixture on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes. Rotate the tray and flip the granola pieces after about 20 minutes – use a spatula and be gentle if you don’t want break big clusters up.
  5. Allow the granola to cool down (it will crisp up) before using. Store in an airtight container. Use within a week.

NOTES
*This granola has no added sugar in any form so it isn’t very sweet. If you’d rather make it sweeter, sub ¼ cup of mashed banana with maple syrup, agave or other liquid sweetener. Alternatively, sprinkle with coconut (or other) sugar.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
437
22%
sugars
5 g
6%
fats
23 g
33%
saturates
2 g
12%
proteins
12 g
24%
carbs
51 g
19%
*per cup
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5.0
3 reviews, 13 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Giulia:
This recipe is delicious, It has now become my go-to! I usually add a couple of tablespoons of vanilla protein powder to amp up the nutrition and make it just a tad sweeter. Thanks Ania!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Guilia! I'm really happy to hear that and protein powder sounds like a good ad-on, definitely! x Ania
Karina:
Dear Ania, thank you very much for the recipe. You perfected it to your usual high standard. I made granola for our trip to the Amazon and it turned out to be perfect. I added three dates chopped to bring a bit more sweetness as my bananas were not really ripe. And instead of ginger stems (that are hard to find in Brazil) I used a little bit of ginger powder to give it a little kick.
And I also wanted to tell you how much I respect your work. All recipes that I have tried so far are of very high quality. I do realize how much work it is to perfect it to this level. Thank you for your work of bringing tasty healthy and environmentally friendly food to people.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Karina, that's so nice to hear that you appreciate my recipes and see the work I put into them - it's lovely knowing that you make a difference to people's food choices. And so jealous of your Amazon trip, that must be - especially when you live in such an overpopulated country with very few green spaces like me - out of this world amazing! x Ania
Kay:
Hi, Is there a substitute for vanilla bean paste, it's too expensive?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Kay,
    You can safely skip it or use vanilla extract / essence if that's what you have. Hope this helps! Ania
Zeshan:
Great!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks! x
Helen:
This is delicious thank you! I avoid granola as I can't stop eating it straight from the jar- zero self control. Same issue with this recipe but not such a problem as there's no added sugar/oil ... Much better! It works so much better than I thought it might given they all are coated in sugar and oil. Thank you for sharing!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Helen! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. I so understand what you mean, I am a granola addict myself ;) Love the crunch and so I developed this recipe to help myself as well as others in a similar predicament. x Ania
Dora:
Oh this recipe seems great, I would love to try it as soon as I am back home. Quick question, if I understood it right, stem ginger is like candied ginger, right? The main difference is that one is dry, the other one is in a syrup?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Dora,
    Stem ginger is candied and preserved in syrup, candied ginger is just coated in sugar as far as I know. You don't have to use ginger though, chopped dried fruit like mango, apricots, raisins will be just as good. Hope you'll enjoy this granola! x Ania
Mindy Richmond:
What is stem ginger? Just chopped fresh ginger or the preserved ginger? I’ve never heard that term.
Linda Baron:
This looks great. I don’t eat granola with oil and sugar because I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it either. What’s the function of the baking soda. And can vanilla extract be used place of vanilla paste? Many thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Linda,
    Thank you, I hope you'll enjoy this sugar-free version. Baking soda makes it a little less dense, but you can skip it if you wish. And yes, vanilla extract is totally fine to use. Ania
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