Making granola at home is so very simple and inexpensive, you wonder why it costs so much at the supermarket! Today we'll save future-you some money and help present-you make crunchy and healthy granola at home.
Apart from cost, most store-bought granola brands have another problem: excessive use of refined sugars. In our recipe, we have replaced all added sugar with a naturally-sweet date paste.
The result is a 33% reduction in sugar content. We compared 100g of our granola to one from our local supermarket and measured that ours has 8g of sugars, while the store-bought's has 12g. And our sugars come only from natural sources, so they are also healthier. Happy days!
Ok, so now we know how to make healthier granola. But what's the secret to making it fantastic? Apart from picking flavourful ingredients, we think the contrast between crunchiness and softness is the key. Here we mixed crunchy nuts, cocoa nibs and oats with chewy apricots. Yum!
The best thing about this recipe is that you can swap in your favourite fruit and nuts once you learn the basics. You'll have so much fun crafting your favourite granola! Need some inspiration? Check out our substitution suggestions.
Meanwhile, just follow our instructions below to get started. Enjoy!
NOTE: The default ingredients yield about 500g (1.1 lbs) of granola and one serving consists of 40g (1.4oz) of granola.
What is granola made of?
Granola consists of crunchy clusters of toasted oats, nuts, seeds, and sometimes dried fruit. The ingredients are usually held together by oil and a sweetener, like honey, syrups, or brown sugar.
The main ingredient of granola are oats, but you can combine them with other grains like buckwheat, as we did in your recipe, or even puffed rice.
We made our granola with a combo of hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Other tasty alternatives you can try include:
Walnuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews
Chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, or flaxseeds
Adding dried fruit pieces to your granola mix helps you make these crispy clusters sweeter without refined sugars. In our recipe, we used dried chopped apricots, but you can also opt for:
Dried prunes, figs, or mango
Dried berries like cranberries, goji berries, raisins, or blueberries
Banana chips and coconut flakes for a tropical twist
Finally, you can boost your homemade granola with:
Ground cinnamon and ginger
Bee pollen, matcha, açai, or baobab powder
How do you make granola without sugar?
The perk of preparing your own granola from scratch is that you have complete control over the ingredients. It's so easy to make crunchy granola clusters without using any added refined sugar, honey, or syrups.
In our recipe, we turned pitted dates into a dense paste by soaking them in hot water and then blending them in a food processor. Then, we used this paste as a binder for the granola ingredients, instead of using honey or other syrups.
This way, you'll have the same sticky clusters but with a fraction of the sugars and more nutrients. Weight by weight, dates have almost 40% fewer sugars and four times more fibres than white sugar.
As an alternative to dates, you can try:
Bananas: mash ripe bananas with a tablespoon of lemon juice
Applesauce: you can either make it from scratch following our recipe here or use store-bought applesauce (made without added sugars).
Pumpkin puree: roast, steam, or boil pumpkin and then blitz it into a creamy puree.
Sweet potato mash: roast, steam or boil sweet potatoes and then blend them into a velvety mash. See how we've done it in these sweet potato breakfast cookies.
How can I make granola nut-free?
If you suffer from nut allergy, you can still enjoy delicious homemade granola. Follow our recipe as above, but swap the hazelnuts with the same amount of seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, and flax seeds are all excellent alternatives to nuts.
- Pitted Dates
- Jumbo Rolled Oats
- Raw Buckwheat Groats (optional)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Unblanched Hazelnuts
- Cacao Nibs
- Dried Apricots
- Canola Oil
Make sure you're using raw, uncooked buckwheat groats, and not the roasted groats.
Rinse the groats and leave them to soak and soften in a bowl of cold water for 2-3 hours or overnight. Then, drain them well to remove excess moisture.
Alternatively, you can soak them in a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes for a faster recipe.
If you prefer not to use buckwheat, then replace 100 g of groats with 70 g of oat flakes.
Meanwhile, soak the dates in a bowl with boiling water for 10 minutes (1).
Then, drain them, add them to a food processor, and blitz them into a paste (2).
You might need to scrape the edges of the blender a few times in between pulses.
Now, combine oat flakes, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped hazelnuts, and cacao nibs in a bowl.
Instead of raw cacao nibs, you can use dark chocolate, but check our tips below where we explain how to add them to the granola.
Next, add the vegetable oil and the prepared date paste.
Mix all with a spoon and then use your hands to work the mixture into a sticky, coarse dough.
The date paste and oil should act as a binder for the dry ingredients. If you feel that the dough doesn't hold when pressed together, then add more vegetable oil or a splash of milk.
Transfer the granola onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then, spread it as thinly and flat as you can with the help of a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake the granola for 20 minutes at 160°C (320°F) for static ovens or at 140°C (285°F) for fan ovens.
Now, add chopped apricots to the tray, toss the granola to break down any large clusters, and return it to the oven.
Then, bake it for a further 8-10 minutes.
Finally, transfer the hot granola onto a wire rack lined with baking paper and leave it cool for at least 10 minutes.
The granola clusters will harden and crisp up as they cool down.
You can now enjoy your homemade granola or store it away for later.
If you don't have raw cacao nibs, you can use chocolate chunks. We recommend opting for dark chocolate with 70% to 90% cocoa solids to keep the sugars at a minimum. Unlike cacao nibs, chocolate will melt in the oven if you bake it along with the granola. So, follow our recipe as above without adding the chocolate to the mixture. Once the baked granola has completely cooled down, you can finally toss the chocolate chips with the clusters.
To keep this homemade granola crunchy, transfer it into an airtight glass jar and store it in a cupboard. By doing so, your granola will stay fresh for up to a week.