Oil-free granola – two ways

Oil-free granola – two ways

oil-free granola bowl

Good weekend, y’all? We’ve had a really good, relaxing weekend spent outside in the glorious weather enjoying the company of good friends, good food and insane amounts of iced coffee. We even managed to put up my hammock in the garden yesterday, which took a while as we both seemed to have forgotten our knots and the first attempt to sink into it ended up with me on the floor…

Now that we have finally got married, we decided it’s time to get serious about finding our first home, as we are a bit sick of renting and feel the need to have a space we can call and make ours at last. We’ve been looking for months now (although not very intensely) and it wasn’t until yesterday that we spotted a house that seemed to tick all our boxes and did not require any major, structural work, which we don’t feel like taking on right now. Unfortunately, I have just found that the house is under offer, which I am gutted about as it had an amazing open plan kitchen with a huge entertaining area and I could so imagine myself bringing creative havoc to it 😉 . Oh well, we have another hopeful viewing tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Today’s recipe is a simple and delicious (yet considerably healthier) take on granola. I don’t tend to have granola for breakfast, but I often use it (alongside coconut yogurt) to top delicious summer berries with. It makes for a healthier summer dessert and leaves me satisfied, yet without any regrets about overindulgence.

Having said that, I find these crunchy, nutty clusters so addictive that I don’t even need anything to put my granola on. I simply eat it straight from the jar by the handful, so that’s possibly why I felt the need to make it a bit healthier, ha ha. Busted!!

Typically granola relies on fat (usually oil) and sugar (maple syrup or honey are often used) to give the cereals, nuts and seeds a delicate coating of sweetness and a satisfying crunch. Old-fashioned recipes often include egg whites instead of oil, which is what gave me the idea to use aquafaba in the first place.

First off, I used a combination of maple syrup and aquafaba (chickpea brine), the chemical properties of the aquafaba resembling egg whites. This simple combo renders the granola golden and crunchy and way healthier than standard alternatives.

Then, I made another version where I replaced half of the aquafaba with almond butter (peanut butter or tahini would work beautifully too) for a slightly more indulgent take on this good guy. I personally like that version the most as it has a beautifully nutty taste and uses nutrient rich nut butter instead of nutritionally void oil. I hope you decide to try them and if you do, I am curious to know which version was your favourite?

oil-free granola tray

oil-free granola jar

oil-free granola breakfast

2 cups
10 min
30 min
2 cups
10 min
30 min

  • 90 g / 1 cup rolled jumbo oats (gluten-free certified if required)
  • 40 g / ¼ cup raw buckwheat groats (gluten-free certified if required)
  • 30 g / ¼ cup raw pumpkin kernels
  • 40 g / ½ cup flaked or silvered almonds
  • 30 g / ¼ cup dried unsweetened cranberries, chopped roughly
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • a good pinch of fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 160° C / 320° F and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients apart from the cranberries.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the maple syrup and nut butter (if using) until smooth.
  4. Whisk in aquafaba (if using).
  5. Mix all the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
  6. Spread the granola mixture on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 30-35 minutes (stirring it every 15 minutes) until it gets crispy and golden brown. Fold in the chopped cranberries 25 minutes into the baking time.
  7. Allow the granola to cool down (it will crisp up) and store in an airtight container. Use within a few weeks.

This recipe is an adaptation of my previous recipe for aquafaba based granola.

14 g
15 g
2 g
11 g
44 g
*per serving
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4 reviews, 16 comments
Eric L:
Wonderful recipe - thank you!
I increased the aquafaba a little and used erythritol instead of maple syrup.
Everyone loves it. Truly healthy granola - at last!
    Aw, thanks Eric, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thank you for taking the time to let me know. x Ania
I've been making this granola (and swapping around the nuts, seeds and dried fruit for whatever is in the house at the time) every two weeks for almost a year and realised I'd never got around to leaving a review!
When I say that this granola saved me, I mean it. I couldn't bring myself to eat breakfast after a long illness, I was really struggling with energy levels and it was causing my fibromyalgia to flare up a lot.
As a big fan of the blog for years, I thought "surely Ania can help me".
And you did :)
A few scoops of this granola, a little soy yoghurt, some chopped apple - I'm happy to start my day with it and it's doing me the world of good, so thanks again for another perfect recipe.
    Thank you so much for your beautiful review, Méabh! I am so sorry to hear about your prolonged illness - I know from personal experience how mentally, and physically of course, tough it is to endure. I am delighted to hear that this recipe has made a difference to your energy levels and made your mornings start off better. It really warms my heart so thank you for letting me know and I hope your health keeps on improving, little by little. x Ania
Wonderful granola!!! I've only used aquafabe but I'm sold, don't even want to try the one with butter!
    Thanks so much, I am so happy that you enjoyed it so much and thanks so much for taking the time to review. x Ania
Also, and sorry if I'm being annoying, do you think that I could fit sweet potato somewhere in this recipe? I was thinking maybe adding less maple syrup and nut butter and replacing with pureed sweet potato, but I'm not sure...
    Hi Rita,
    Yes, of course, you could try that, but as I haven't tried it myself I cannot help you here. It will certainly add moisture to the recipe and therefore make granola less crispy. Hope that helps! Ania
Could I replace the cranberries with dates or dried figs? Those are the only dried fruits I enjoy 😅😅
Hey Ania,
I was wondering if I could replace the cranberries and pumpkin seeds with anything else, since I don't like them a lot. Love your recipes by the way! xx
    Hi Rita,
    Sure you can! Swap cranberries out for raisins, chopped appricots or maybe dried apple cubes and pumpkin seeds for any other seeds or nuts that you do like. Aw, thanks - that's lovely to hear. x Ania
Do you have a suggestion for a maple syrup replacement? How about dates? Would that work?
    Hi Emma,
    You could use a different liquid sweetener (agave syrup, date syrup etc.), date puree might work but I am pretty sure it will give you less crispy texture. It's certainly worth a try! Ania
Hi! Do you need to beat the aquafaba till there's soft peaks?
    There is no need to beat it at all, just add as is. Ania
Could you make an offer as well on the house? Preferably a bit higher ☺️Good luck
    Thanks, Sally. No, we cannot the bidding is closed, plus we could not strech our budget any more. Wasn't meant to be, I think! Ania
Jennifer Laing:
Is there a way to make this without aquafaba?
    Hi Jennifer,
    I have only just tried those two versions I included in the recipe, but I am very confident that using 4 tbsp of nut butter mixed in with 4 tbsp of maple syrup will also work well. You could also try using flax or chia egg instead of aquafaba. Hope that helps! Ania
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