In the quest to make homemade granola, way too much sweetener and oil are usually added. I’ve experimented with both to arrive at the perfect combination that creates a crunchy vegan olive oil granola recipe that only has 5 grams of sugar per half-cup serving. The recipe uses the Mediterranean staple, olive oil, with lesser amounts of maple syrup and brown sugar.

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granola close up, scattered on a matte black surface

My mouthwatering granola above is healthier than most, so it doesn’t clump as much, but it has all the flavor and taste you’ll love.

How this granola is sweetened and made crunchy:

There’s a very simple trio of ingredients that is used to sweeten and make granola crunchy: liquid sweetener (usually honey or maple syrup), granulated sweetener (usually brown sugar or other sugars), and fat (oil or butter). When this heavenly combo coats all the grains of oats, and other add-ins, and is baked, a delicious cereal is created. So delicious and sweet that it could be considered a dessert more or less! Here we have created a crunchy olive oil granola recipe that does not overdo it with these ingredients but still delivers on flavor and crunch.

Sweeteners + Oil:

  1. Just 2 Tbsp. of Maple Syrup: with fewer carbs/sugar than honey, it also has a lower glycemic index.
  2. Just 2 Tblsp. of Brown Sugar: undeniably needed for the caramelization that creates the crunch.
  3. Just 3 Tblsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil can withstand the heat of baking and is a heart-healthy superfood!

How does this Low Sugar Olive Oil Granola stack up against other homemade granola recipes out there?

This recipe is my most tested recipe on Sofa Dinners. I’ve been dialing back the oil and sweetener continually (stay tuned for another iteration) to arrive at a great-tasting granola with a higher bar for nutrition. So far, here is how this homemade olive oil granola stacks up against dozens of other recipes I’ve researched, for nutrition:

  • Sugar – at only 5g per 1/2 cup (58g) serving, this recipe is lower than any other recipe I’ve found on the internet. Compared to what registered dietician Samantha Cassetty recommends for store-bought granola, my recipe offers lower sugar (she recommends under 8g), and yet it is not quite low sugar enough to be considered low sugar by Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. I’ll keep working on that!
  • Sodium – at only 102mg per serving this is a low-sodium recipe. The small amount of sodium adds flavor most like, but you can eliminate it and the sodium is only 5mg per serving
  • Protein – this recipe is higher in protein than many. Some recipes get in more protein by including more seeds and nuts, but I’ve kept this recipe simple with only 8 ingredients.
  • Fiber – I’ve noticed the 5g of fiber in this recipe is more than many other recipes out there, which is always a good thing.
  • Fat- at 16g of healthy fats, this recipe is nutrient-dense. Due to the limited amount of oil and limited number of nuts and seeds (and no nut butter), you will find this recipe lower in fat than many others.

Flexible Recipe:

crunchy olive oil granola in a bowl with chopped apples and yogurt
This time of year I add chopped apples that I cook briefly with water/cinnamon, a touch of butter, and br. sugar for an apple pie topping
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granola close up, scattered on a matte black surface

Olive Oil Granola Recipe

AuthorKathy Marshall
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings12 1/2c servings
Calories244
A crunchy olive oil granola recipe that only has 5 grams of sugar per half-cup serving. The recipe uses the Mediterranean staple, olive oil, with lesser amounts of maple syrup and brown sugar.
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 parchment baking sheets, makes clean up and storing easier

Ingredients
 

  • 2 3/4 cups rolled oats (NOT quick cooking)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes (large and unsweetened, not the bags of sweetened and shredded)
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Method:  

  • Preheat the oven to 300.
  • Toss the oats, coconut, seeds, and almonds together in a large bowl.
  • Heat the trio of maple syrup/brown sugar and olive oil in a small pot over medium-low heat, whisk until sugar is dissolved then remove from heat immediately.
  • Drizzle the melted trio over the mixture and use a silicone spatula to toss until evenly distributed.
  • Toss mixture onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet (with sides) and bake for approximately 30 min, or until the granola looks golden, but not too brown. (check and toss at about 20 minutes).
  • Once the granola is fully cooled, toss in the goji berries.
  • A good way to move the granola into a jar for storage is to lift the parchment paper in such a way that you can pour the granola right into the jar.

Notes

Berries: you could use dried blueberries or dried unsweetened cherries- both delicious and nutritious, yet naturally sweeter, often expensive, and cherries usually have seed oil added. Goji berries are an absolute powerhouse of fiber and other nutrients and are much higher in plant protein than other dried fruits.
Nuts/Seeds: be sure to use RAW seeds/nuts since they will toast in the oven.
 

Nutrition (an estimate)

Serving: 58g | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 76mg | Net Carbohydrates: 17g
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