Granola is a delicious food with several health benefits — it’s full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Also important: It’s convenient. It’s easy to just throw some granola in a bowl for breakfast or a snack. However, store-bought granola is nowhere near as healthy as it claims to be, and that’s why I finally decided to make my own.
Granola is supposed to be healthy. It’s so associated with health foods that it’s used as a slang description for hippies (e.g., “Ruby doesn’t wear deodorant, she’s too granola.”). Unfortunately, the story isn’t quite that simple.
Store-bought granola is frequently packed with sugar. Don’t believe me? In 2016, the New York Times published an article called “Why Your Granola Is Really a Dessert.”
Per that article, granola has been around since 1863. Who knew? Its original inventor, Dr. James Caleb Jackson, called it “granula” back then, and it was not sweet.
Nowadays, even many homemade granola recipes are loaded with sweeteners. These include maple syrup, honey, or, in many cases, just straight-up sugar. The high sugar content places granola in the category of cakes or donuts — a “junk food in disguise.”
Now, if you want to eat junk food for breakfast, BY ALL MEANS. I myself am addicted to chocolate and will eat it at any time of the day! Unfortunately, I’m also really sensitive to sugar, so even if I wanted to go wild and eat a few fistfuls of sweet store-bought granola for breakfast, I can’t do so without feeling horrendous soon after.
And so I ended up on the internet, searching for sugar-free granola recipes. There are a ton of them, as it turns out. You may also see them under other names, like “paleo granola” or “keto granola.”
I had a few goals in mind. A great homemade granola should be much less sweet than its commercial counterparts, but it should still be sweet enough to eat (sorry, Dr. James Caleb Jackson). It should also be crunchy, and clumpy, and flavorful.
I Frankensteined several of the recipes I found online to create my own version, and I experimented with a couple different ways to get the crunch and the clumpiness without all the sweeteners.
The result? Well, I just had it for breakfast, and it was delicious.