Healthy granola: how to make it lower in sugar and better for you.

If only there was a way to make a healthy granola, I heard you ask.

Everyone likes granola for breakfast, right? It’s crunchy and sweet and delicious…However, you need a lot of sugar and fat to achieve that delicious crunchiness. See eating granola as eating a flapjack with a spoon. Hello sugar crash and hunger pang at 10am and hello vending machine!

Healthy granola

Vanilla yoghurt, apple compote and my delicious granola: a great combination!

This version is granola is lower in both fat and sugar. It still has some sugar and fat but to me that’s not a problem. Don’t confuse eating less fat and sugar with not having ANY. I’m a big fan of everything in moderation. Denying yourself something is just avoiding the problem and potentially making it an even bigger one.

Portions matter

This brings me to the other problem I have with granola: portion sizes. If you have a bowl full of any granola, your breakfast isn’t very balanced: not enough protein or fibre, too much fat and sugar. I use granola as a breakfast topping, a nice crunchy addition, rather than the main ingredient of my breakfast. I’d have it with some yoghurt and some fresh/stewed fruit, not on its own.

I haven’t added dried fruit to my granola precisely because I often have it with some fresh fruit. Nothing stops you from adding a few raisins or a date chopped in little bits to your breakfast. Just remember portion sizes: the more dried fruit, the more sugar.

What makes this granola different from all the others you have tried before:

I decided to whizz the oats into a flour because I really wanted all the ingredients to clump together. I like big chunks in my granola not just powder.

You may wonder what water and egg whites are doing on the ingredients list so here is why. The clumps in a granola come from sugar and since balance is key we don’t want too much. The water helps the dry ingredients bind together while reducing the overall fat and sugar ratio. See it as a way to reduce fat and sugar without using “low fat” products and artificial sweeteners. A “healthy” granola doesn’t have to contain no fat or sugar.

Now for the eggs, this came to me literally as I was baking the granola. We were half way through baking and it was good but not that good… I wanted clusters and crunch, and not just a few. It suddenly came to me that egg whites would be an excellent way to achieve the results I wanted. Plus that increases the protein content and everyone knows that a high protein breakfast sets you up for the day. Some of you might be horrified about the eggs and worried about salmonella or something but it’s cooked! How long does it last? I don’t know but I can’t see a problem, after all meringues are baked egg whites and they last forever (fact).

There you go, now go off and make your own and tell me what you think!

I’ve seen a lot of food bloggers having used my tip recently, which I definitely as a compliment! Please don’t be shy though and let me know if you try this recipe and that it works for you. I’d love to know your thoughts and see your creations.

Ingredients needed for your healthy granola

• 300g oats
• 200g ground almonds
• 100g dessicated coconut
• 200g pecans
• 100g sunflower seeds
• 110g coconut oil
• 110g honey
• 110g water
• 4 egg whites
• 1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
• 1 pinch of sea salt

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How to make your healthy granola

Whiz the oats into a powder in a food processor then mix them with the almonds in a large bowl. Pulse the pecans into small pieces (since you’ve got to clean the food processor anyway you may as well!. Add to the bowl along with the coconut and sunflower seeds.

Heat up the oil, water, honey, vanilla and salt together in a saucepan until completed melted. Next pour the mixture into the bowl and mix with a knife – that it’s the best way to get lots of clumps (this is how I make crumble).

Now place your mixture onto a couple of bake trays, spreading it evenly. Place in a preheated oven at 140 °C for about 30min.

After 30min, whisk a couple of egg whites in a bowl and pour on one of the trays. Make sure you quickly mix the granola around without breaking all the clumps. Repeat with the second tray and put back in the oven for another 30min. Turn the mixture after 15min to make sure you get an even bake.

"Crunch

 

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