A lower in sugar granola made from oats, with olive oil and a touch of honey. A versatile base recipe – get creative with your extras!

Low sugar oat granola | Natural Kitchen Adventures

Does the world really need yet another granola recipe?  I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if every single recipe blog in the land had their own version, all equally delicious I’m sure.  So why add mine into the fold?

I’ve served up this granola to over 60 guests on Stretching the City yoga retreats (as well as at cooking classes and nutrition demos) this year, and at each retreat I am always asked for the recipe,  so at the risk of giving away all my trade secrets here it is.

All this talk of granola has led me to question what exactly is the perfect granola combination? (as well as the etymology of this odd word – any ideas?).   Always start with a base of oats, or choose to add whole grains like quinoa or buckwheat?  Then there’s the fat, sweetener and all the added extras to consider too.  Finally, after all these decisions have been made we need to make decisions on the cooking method.  The permutations and combinations are endless!

Low sugar granola | gluten free | Healthy | natural kitchen adventures

When devising my perfect recipe it was really important for me to keep the sugar content low.  Most of us are aware that even with a wealth of wholesome ingredients in granola, you add a tonne of sugar into the mix and you move swiftly from a whole grain dish to a very occasional treat; In fact I’ve tried many a granola that might as well have been labelled ‘flapjack’.   The majority of the liquid that coats the oats in this recipe is olive oil (you can also use coconut), and the added sugar honey is much less than you’d find in commercially bought granola.

Low sugar granola | gluten free | Healthy | natural kitchen adventures

When making granola I personally prefer to toast just the oats in the oven and then add seeds, dried fruit and coconut half way through cooking.  I just don’t like the way the nuts burn, or the dried fruit over caramelises in the full heat of a hot oven.  This recipe totally allows you complete creative freedom on the end dish; fill it up with what ever you like,  then serve it with fresh seasonal fruit, Greek, natural or coconut yoghurt, and perhaps an extra drizzle of milk.

My preference for granola is to use jumbo oats, rolled oats will of course work also, but the texture with jumbo oats is less ‘floury’.

Today’s granola contains dried cranberries and coconut flakes for a festive feel (along with mixed seeds), served with coconut yoghurt, clementines and pomegranate seeds.  The prize for the most over used ingredient on this blog in 2015 most definitely goes to pomegranate.  I figure there are worse ingredients to be addicted to.

photos updated September 2017, recipe updated March 2019, and yes I’m still serving this EVERY yoga retreat. 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Low Sugar Granola
Prep time
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An olive oil granola made from oats, with olive oil and a touch of honey. A versatile base recipe - get creative with your extras!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 10-12
  • 400g jumbo oats
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 75g olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 50g honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • + Chopped seeds, nuts, dried fruit, coconut - desiccated or chips, your choice.
  1. Pre heat the oven to 160ºC (fan)
  2. In a large bowl toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt
  3. Warm the olive oil and honey together in a saucepan until melted and well blended. Add the vanilla extract and pour over the oat mixture, coating well.
  4. Spread the oiled oats on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
  5. After 10 minutes, remove and sprinkle over your chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut. Stir so everything is evenly spread and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so until toasty and browned.
  6. Allow to cool fully before transferring to an airtight glass jar where it will keep for a few weeks.
  7. A serving of granola is approximately 40g.
I've used standard rolled oats in this recipe, but feel free to use whichever oats you like. Jumbo oats are particularly delicious as they retain their shape! You can also sub 50-100g of oats for buckwheat flakes.

Love granola, want some more inspiration?  Here are ten other healthy granola recipes from food bloggers.  Each and every single one is different; granola-diversity is at large on the internet!

  1. Spiced Apple Granola, from Recipes from a Pantry
  2. Ginger Nut Granola, from Emily’s Recipes and Reviews
  3. Cherry, Coconut and Almond Butter Granola from Baking Queen 74
  4. Coconut Almond Quinoa Granola from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen
  5. Fruit & Nut Granola from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
  6. Cacao, Cashew Granola from Rough Measures
  7. Pecan Maple Cinnamon Granola from Celery and Cupcakes
  8. Back to School Granola from The Little Plantation
  9. Cinnamon Ginger Granola from Nourish Everyday
  10. Granola and musings on Ingredients from Botanical Baker

What would you put in your perfect granola?

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