The confusion is real! Store shelves are lined with dozens of pricey granola brands boasting grain-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and other marketing trigger words. That in itself is confusing enough, but what granola brands rarely advertise is ‘no added sugar’. Many are unnecessarily spiked with added sugar, which substantially increases calories and compromises nutritional value. (Added sugars in our food should be less than 10% of the total calories we consume daily, so it’s crucial to pay attention to added sugars when checking nutrition labels!)
My ongoing frustration with added sugars and ridiculous pricing in granola led me to a bit of testing in my own kitchen. After a few (eh, maybe several) trials, I achieved success! Honestly, this healthy granola with zero added sugar might just be the best I’ve tasted. EVER
‘NOT BUYING GRANOLA AGAIN’ GRANOLA
Makes approx. 4 cups
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min
2 C rolled oats
1/2 C slivered almonds
1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
2 TB flax seeds
1 TB chia seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
2 TB coconut oil
1/4 C pure maple syrup
2 TB unsweetened almond butter (yea, they sweeten that too)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C unsweetened, dried cranberries or blueberries
Preheat your oven to 300F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add the first seven ingredients to a large bowl and toss to blend.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, salt and vanilla, and give a quick stir to blend. Cover with a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until the coconut oil is melted and almond butter is warm and softened. Stir the mixture to completely blend, then pour over the dry ingredients.
Using clean hands or a spatula, toss the granola until it is thoroughly combined with the coconut oil mixture. Transfer granola to the baking sheet, and press it into a large oval that is about 1″ thick.
Slide baking sheet into the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes. Using a fork, gently break apart the granola into smaller pieces, and toss the more browned pieces on the edges into the center of the mixture. Bake another 7-8 minutes and repeat by breaking apart the center pieces and tossing browned edges into the center. Repeat this ‘baking and breaking’ process two more times or until the granola is consistently golden brown, about 30 total minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle dried fruit over the granola, and allow it to completely cool to room temperature. Toss the granola a few times while cooling to release any remaining moisture.
This uber delicious – and healthy granola can be safely stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks, or in your freezer for up to three months.