Homemade granola (refined sugar free)

“If there’s one thing I love about a plant-based diet it’s that now I always check out the ingredients of food!”

I never considered making my own granola until recently, because it’s usually super simple to just pick it up off the supermarket shelves in a box and buy, but when I started to look a little closer at what goes into most brands of it – I decided to have an attempt at making my own.

I always need a catalyst to motivate me to make something, and in this case it was my Mum. Apparently she’d stopped eating breakfast – which to me seemed absurd. So in an attempt to make sure she was eating it, and eating well, I felt it best to encourage her to make time for breakfast by preparing it for her and making it as simple as possible.

The best thing, is that she now follows this recipe and makes her own.

Want to skip to the recipe?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure that this statement is true because I guess it depends what area you’re approaching it from. For some people one large meal a day works, for other six small meals (which could include 2 breakfasts or maybe even 3).

I know for me that the earlier I eat breakfast the hungrier I am throughout the day (it seems to kickstart my metabolism) but if I don’t eat breakfast and skip straight to lunch I get incredibly bloated, irrespective of what I eat for lunch. Therefore I’ve found my balance by listening to my body and making sure that I eat breakfast around 10am . Once again I’m lucky enough to be able to do this at my desk, while working.

Sometimes I’ll eat fruit, a smoothie, a smoothie bowl (recipes to come), prepare overnight oats or if it’s the weekend opt for a tofu dish  because I often have a little more time to prep (watch this space for more recipes.)

I never really consider eating granola unless I’m passing it in the supermarket or spot it in the cupboard at work – but when chatting with my mum, she told me this was one of the breakfast options that she enjoyed most – perfect!

It’s actually super super simple to make, and once you have made it you’ll have enough to last you the next week or two – depending on just how much you enjoy it.

If you’re anything like me and my mum, it won’t last long – she later told me she was having it for lunch too.

What I add, and what I don’t

You’ll often find various oils in shop bought granolas as well as sugar – needless to say I don’t add either because they’re really not needed. It’s obvious I don’t avoid sugar altogether as you can tell from my various other sweet recipes but if it’s a cake you expect added sugar – if it’s not – why add it!

…and that explains the dates in this recipe and the optional maple syrup which create a subtle sweet and sticky taste.

While the peanut or almond butter I add, are processed I always buy nut butters with extremely high nut content – often 100% – I avoid palm oil where I can. Of course you can always make your own.

Flaxseed I add for their micro nutrients especially omegas, protein and magnesium, of which ground flaxseed has all of. I generally add it to any breakfasts that I have because of just how many health benefits it does have. Chia seeds I add for a very similar reason; protein, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre!

How to serve…

Because this granola recipe has nuts and dried fruits, I’d suggest serving with your favourite plant-based milk and fruit of choice. Or if you like smoothies, thicken your usual recipe and pour over for the best of both!

I opt for coconut milk a lot of the time with some chopped up banana but that’s not to everyone’s taste.

I’d be keen to hear how you serve yours, let me know…

The Recipe

PREP TIME: 5 MINS

COOKING TIME: 30 – 60 MINS

COST: < £5

Serves: 4-6 

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams of old fashioned porridge oats
  • 50 grams of pumpkin seeds
  • 50 grams of dried goji berries
  • 70 grams of roughly chopped almonds
  • 50 grams of ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cacao powder
  • 150 grams if dried medjool dates (soaked in hot water)
  • 120 ml of date water (from soaked dates)
  • 50 grams of dessicated coconut
  • 50 grams of almond or peanut butter
  • 50 grams of sultanas
  • 30 ml of maple syrup
  • A tablespoon of chia seeds

Method:

  • Place the dates in a jug or bowl and pour over hot water until fully immersed. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes to an hour
  • While they’re soaking preheat your oven to 170°C and line a large thin baking tray with greaseproof/baking paper
  • In a mixing bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients including the spices and combine well – use a wooden or plastic spoon
  • Strain the water from the dates but keep the water
  • Place the dates into a blender, add your chosen nut butter and 1/2 a cup of the dat water and blend well – until the mixture resembles a paste
  • Pour the date and nut butter over the dry ingredients and mix well
  • Pour the mixture into a baking tray and flatted
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes
  • The oats and the granola mixture should be golden – be sure that dried fruits such as the sultanas and goji berries aren’t turning black
  • Remove from the oven, leave to fully cool and store in an airtight container until ready to use – The mixture should keep for up to a month if stored well.

Tried this recipe? Let me know how it turned out.