Coconut and Olive Oil No-Sugar Granola

I love this olive oil granola recipe, but was doing “no added sugar November” and got curious if granola could possibly be tasty without sugar. I followed the suggestion in this recipe to use egg whites for the crunch that cooked sugar usually creates. I didn’t have high expectations and was honestly rather boggled that it turned out delicious (and several friends agreed, so it wasn’t just my sugar-deprived brain!). The coconut oil seems key, it gives it a rich, toasted-coconut flavor. And because it’s homemade, it’s not dry like the store-bought kind.

As you’ll know if you’ve ever made granola, it’s a very flexible recipe! Substitute your favorite nuts/seeds/fruit/spices.


Coconut and Olive Oil No-Sugar-Added Granola

Makes ~11 cups, ingredients below cost ~$12 total (for the organic version even!)

  • 3 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups sliced almonds (or your favorite nut)
  • cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup flax seeds (ground or crushed – apparently you can’t digest these as well whole!)
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil (the kind that actually smells like coconut)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsweetened raisins, dried cherries, dried apricots, or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toast sliced almonds on a baking sheet in oven for 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted (watch them carefully! They will go from beautifully golden to burnt very fast). Pour into a large mixing bowl immediately after taking them out of the oven.

Mix all ingredients except the eggs and raisins in the bowl with the almonds. Whip egg whites in a small bowl until fluffy. Mix egg whites into granola. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for about an hour or until golden brown and crunchy, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl and toss with raisins.

Serving suggestion: serve with yogurt or milk and fruit of your choice (bananas, strawberries, sliced apples, grapes, blueberries, peaches, pomegranate seeds…)

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