There's nothing like the crunch of granola in the morning, and we're generally led to believe that granola is a healthy option. But supermarket brands generally contain a huge amount of sugar with up to a third of the recommended daily amount per portion. This low sugar granola recipe cuts down substantially on the added sugar, but you'll still have a satisfying crunch and delicious tasting cereal to start your day.
A low sugar granola recipe, packed with health benefits
This healthy granola recipe is sweetened with some applesauce and a spoonful of honey. Overall, this granola contains a fraction of the sugar content of a supermarket brand. And of course it is full of oats which have numerous health benefits. Good for your heart, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood sugar levels and high in fibre. If you want to read more about the health benefits of oats, click here.
Low sugar granola is also incredibly easy to make. You just need one bowl, a baking sheet, and a handful of everyday pantry ingredients.
Oats. For this recipe, you'll need whole rolled or porridge oats. Instant oats are too powdery, and steel cut or pin head oats will be too chewy. If you want to make gluten free granola, make sure that you buy certified gluten free oats. Oats are naturally gluten free, but they can become contaminated during processing. Certified oats are processed separately to ensure that they are uncontaminated.
Applesauce. Applesauce is the magic ingredient that allows this granola recipe to be lower in sugar and fat, yet still taste delicious. It helps to stick the granola together, as well as adding natural sweetness. Make sure that you use unsweetened applesauce as otherwise you'll add a lot more sugar than you need. We have a lot of windfalls in our garden, so I tend to batch cook applesauce in the slow cooker and freeze it.
Honey. This low sugar granola has just one tablespoon of honey in the whole batch, but it does help to add an additional touch of sweetness. If you prefer, you could use maple syrup or molasses instead of the honey.
Olive oil. This recipe is fairly low in fat, but adding some olive oil helps the granola to brown and crisp up as it bakes. You could use a different oil if you prefer, such as coconut oil. Bought granola tends to use cheaper, less healthy oils, so this granola will be much better for you.
Ground cinnamon. The cinnamon in this recipe is optional, but it does help to sweeten the granola further. Cinnamon also has health benefits and can help to keep blood sugar levels steady. You could use other spices if you prefer, such as mixed ground spice.
Optional ingredients - nuts, seeds and dried fruit
I like to add nuts and dried fruit to taste after I have baked the granola. I prefer the flavour of the nuts uncooked, and find that the dried fruit can go hard when baked. But do whichever you prefer. Any of the following would make a delicious addition to your healthy granola, and of course nuts and seeds are also very nutritious. Around ⅔ of a cup of nuts/fruit would be good for this quantity of granola, or you could just add a small handful to each serving.
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Almonds, either chopped or flaked
- Sultanas or raisins
- Dried apricots
If you like coconut, you could also add shavings of dried coconut. Just be aware that some dried fruits such as mango and cranberries do contain added sugars, so use them in moderation.
It takes minutes to make the granola mixture, as you simply have to stir all the ingredients together.
Add the applesauce, oil, honey and cinnamon to a large bowl and stir to combine.
Then tip in all of the oats and mix together well. You can control how big the clusters are by how much you squish it together.
Spread the granola out on a baking tray. This quantity of granola should fit onto one large baking sheet. If you are making double the quantity, spread it out over 2 trays.
Bake. You'll need to keep the oven temperature low and keep an eye on the granola as the oats can get too dark which will result in a bitter taste. If you don't need the oven immediately afterwards for another recipe, turn the heat off and leave the granola to cool in the oven. Once thoroughly cool, it will store well in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
At home, we often use this low sugar granola as a crunchy topping - for example with yogurt and fruit, and on these healthy oat pancakes. It adds a lovely flavour and texture, and the healthy wholegrain carbs will keep you fuller for longer. Of course if you add milk to it, it will soften, so eat your healthy granola immediately if you enjoy it crunchy.
If you are in a hurry, or would just prefer to use the hob rather than the oven, you might prefer this quick stovetop granola recipe which takes just 10 minutes to make. It's also healthy, and low in added sugar.
Frequently asked questions
This healthy granola is full of fibre, and makes a filling, satisfying breakfast. You'll be less likely to snack throughout the morning. Try adding fresh fruit and some natural yogurt to make it even more filling, and help keep you on track for the rest of the day.
It depends! A homemade low sugar granola is packed with nutrients, and makes a healthy start to the day. But some store bought granolas are high in sugar, and made with unhealthy fats. Make sure you read the labels carefully, and if you can, make your own.
If you don't want yogurt (or milk) with your granola, try serving it with a smoothie bowl. It'll make a delicious crunchy topping, and the wholegrain oats will help to keep you fuller for longer. You could also add it as a topping to fruit such as baked apples. And this healthy low sugar granola also makes a great snack pack.
Other healthy breakfast recipes you might like
And if you are looking for other ways to cut down on sugar, you might enjoy this post:
Low Sugar Granola
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2.5 cups whole rolled oats
- Mix the applesauce, honey and oil to combine. Add the cinnamon and oats and stir thoroughly to ensure all the oats are evenly coated. If you like large clusters in the granola, press with a metal spoon.
- Spread out evenly on a large baking tray and bake at 150 degrees for 30 mins. Turn part way through if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and leave to cool in the oven if possible. Store in an airtight container.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only