Homemade Granola (no refined sugars)

Homemade Granola

I love quick and easy foods. I’d MUCH rather just head to the store and buy something… instead of making it. I’m just not into cooking. Since I’ve had my kiddo I’ve been looking at the ingredients on all those foods I thought were healthy for me, when they’re really not. I cannot pronounce half of the ingredients on most packaged foods out there. PLUS, the majority have corn syrup or sugar added. I prefer to save my sugar intake for when I’m eating pie, chocolate, or cookies.

This brings me to snack time for the kiddo. She’s started preschool this year and can’t bring peanut butter to class (she pretty much LIVES on pb at home). We tried store bought almond butter, she doesn’t like it (I’ll have to make my own, maybe add a touch of honey). I wanted to send her with some sort of snack that had protein and no refined sugars. I googled, I experimented, and finally came up with a granola recipe she loves and I’m comfortable and happy to give to my daughter.

Homemade Granola (with no refined sugars)

– 7 cups old fashioned oats

– 1 1/2 cups of slivered almonds (optional: food processor them for less crunch)

– 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (optional: food processor them for less crunch)

– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

– 3 Tablespoons of cinnamon

– 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

– 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

– 3 tablespoons pure vanilla (check the ingredients, most vanilla has corn syrup added…)

– 1 1/2 cups of no sugar added applesauce

– 1/4 cup honey


– Set your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend. You wont the granola just barely moist. Add a bit of applesauce if it seems too dry (blend really well, get the wet ingredients mixed in well).

Place the granola in a 1/2 inch thick layer on 2 cookie pans (make sure the pans have sides, so the granola doesn’t slide off). Bake the granola in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes. Mixing up the granola blend every ten minutes. This will help the granola to cook evenly, and hopefully not burn. The outer pieces of granola will probably cook faster. This recipe made enough to fill two 24 ounce jars and one 12 ounce jar.

When you’re done, let the granola cool and then store in your favorite jar! OR, give these away as gifts for your buddies. You can also add raisins or other dried fruits to the mix, after it’s done cooking. My kid likes raisins and banana chips in the granola.

Homemade Granola

SO, my kiddo doesn’t like the big giant pieces of almonds and sunflower seeds (she’d eat around them). That’s why I like to process the nuts into small tiny pieces (just a bit smaller than the oats). She doesn’t even know she’s eating them…. bwa ha ha ha <——–evil laugh.

I’ve been eating this pretty much every morning with breakfast. I mix half plain yogurt and half applesauce…. and put a TON of granola in there. So yum.

UPDATE 12.2013: if you like your granola a little sweeter/crunchy… follow the recipe above then add 1 – 3 tablespoons of honey (blend really well). Bake on cookie sheets at 200 for 15 – 25 minutes (mixing granola every 10 minutes). Let cool. Done!


– Chelsey


  • sammisamantha on said:

    This is so natural I'm gonna try it! 🙂
    Just wondering, how fine would I have to blend the granola? I don't want it to become too crushed.
    Thanks 🙂

  • Colleen on said:

    Your photography and blog design are GREAT. I love it all so far. Making granola tonight!

  • Pingback: Back to school success « Yummy Meal Plans

  • Nancy on said:

    Yum! Made this just this morning and love it. I found pure madagascar vanilla POWDER at a spice store – so great because you don't have to worry about any added sugars and you use it just like the liquid.

  • Pingback: Homemade Granola | Rachel Robin's Nest

  • Diane on said:

    This recipe is great, It turned out crunchy and delicious, just sweet enough. I love the fact that is has no sugar or oil. I used raw honey with the applesauce. I love the freedom of adding extra nuts, and coconut, I added pumpkin, and flax seeds. I would like to try this recipe with raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots or dates for some extra chewiness. Thanks for sharing, Love it! It made a lot more than I thought it would, probably because of the extra nuts, seeds and coconut.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yay! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this recipe! We LOVE it. I need to add pumpkin seeds. Cranberries would be yummy!

  • julia on said:

    How many serves does this make?

  • raediantphoenix on said:

    Awesome recipe, thank you for sharing! I'll be linking back to you from rachelrobinsnest.com

  • Victorine on said:

    How long is the shelf life of this recipe?

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      We never have ours around longer than 2 weeks. We eat it all in about 1.5 weeks. So… it's lasted that long for us. In a tightly sealed jar.

  • Life with Food Allergies on said:

    A trick to get your daughter to transition to sunflower butter is to mix it with peanut butter (at home), increasing the ratio of sunflower seed butter to peanut butter each time. You might start off 3/4 peanut butter and 1/4 sunflower butter, for example. Slowly increase until she's 100% sunflower butter.
    Good luck.
    And thanks for this recipe!

  • chaotica2012 on said:

    Hello, can you tell me how many calories are in about a half cup of your granola?

  • Susannah on said:

    Thanks so much for this! I've been wanting to make my own granola for a while and this recipe seems perfect!

  • Kati on said:

    This looks awesome! So far my daughter isn't a granola fan but maybe eventually she'll come around 🙂 For a gluten free option, you could even use gluten free oats.

  • Natalie on said:

    One word: YUM!

  • Morgan (The818) on said:

    Um, yum. I might be just borderline crunchy enough to try this.

  • mindy on said:

    sounds yummy! my son is super picky & lives on peanut butter as well, but his preschool allows for him to bring it in his lunch. i can't wait to try this recipe!

  • Julie on said:

    Applesauce?! I've never made granola with it…what a great idea! I'll have to try that out. Have you guys tried sunbutter? We LOVE it and I find that it's much, much closer in flavor to peanut butter than almond butter. ALSO- make your granola with olive oil and maple syrup…and then die a very happy death.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      We haven't tried sunbutter yet… Will probably have to, since she wont eat the almond butter. Little stinker. 😉

  • Chloe Moon on said:

    With those spices how could this not taste amazing!! I never realized vanilla would have corn syrup in it?!?!?! I have to try this out!!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I was shocked with the vanilla… I had 2 different Pure Vanilla brands… both with corn syrup. Lame.

    • Hannah on said:

      Has anyone found vanilla extract with out sugar or corn syrup in it?

      • The Paper Mama on said:

        I have. It's a Simple Truth Organic brand… I think that may be a Kroger brand? Not sure. BUT: no sugar or corn syrup. 🙂

  • Heather. on said:

    Love the new look of the blog!

  • Kacie on said:

    Is this the same one you gave G? She loved it. Will be making some soon.


Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.