Sugar-free Granola

How can I say this without sounding snobby... I can't eat store-bought granola, except Kashi (it's goooood).

Why? Some granolas have more sugar than the popular cereals like Capn' Crunch and Lucky Charms.

I started making my own granola and found out that it is amazing, like flat out knock-your-socks-off amazing. 
When I made granola my roommates would snack on it until I hid it away in the cupboards. I actually didn't mind because I have an agenda, and that agenda is to convert all non-believers to homemade foods :)

Anyway, although my original recipe has less sugar than the store brands, it still had sugar. And since I'm refusing to eat any sugar right now, I had to adapt my recipe to fit my needs. 

I have to say this new sugar-free version is pretty dang good. I put a nice, big handful on a bowl of plain yogurt in the mornings and I'm good to go! Because it doesn't have sugar, the taste and texture is a lot like Muesli. Aaron isn't a big fan of Muesli because, in his opinion, it doesn't have a lot of flavor, but the thing I like most about this granola/muesli is that it had a subtle sweetness that doesn't overpower the oat and nut flavors.

Coconut Almond Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds*
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Mix together oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds in bowl. In separate bowl, mix coconut oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour coconut oil mixture over dry ingredients and mix until well-distributed. 
Pour granola onto rimmed baking sheet and cook in oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off oven and let granola sit until oven cools (about 90 -120 minutes).

*You can add any combination of nuts, seeds, or grains. Just keep the wet-to-dry ingredient ratio the same.


  1. Just curious, but wouldn't a 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup be healthier than 1/4 cup of oil? Even if it is coconut oil? Admittedly I don't know a lot about coconut oil though.

    1. Very good question, Brittany! So we've been told over, and over, and over again that fats are BAD and we should avoid them like the plague. Well, more recent research has found that the way your body metabolizes fructose (found in table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc.) is a lot worse than the way it metabolizes HEALTHY fats. Healthy fats are polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and yes, some saturated fatty acids. Olive oil is 14% saturated fat, and coconut oil is almost completely saturated fats. But, saturated fats are not created equally. Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides and lauric acid which is amazing stuff. Anyway, my point is that coconut oil has more calories, but those calories are more readily metabolized by the body than fructose(30% of fructose is immediately turned to fat by the liver). If you want to know more about how the body metabolizes sugar, check out my post on sugar.
      By the way, I'm not against maple syrup or honey. I used it all the time in my original granola recipe. Also, most granola recipes have fat in them. It's almost impossible to avoid. Personally, based on what I've learned, I would rather have healthy coconut oil in my granola than sugar. But that's just my opinion.
      My source for coconut oil is The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Johnny Bowden Ph.D., C.N.S.