Sugar-free Granola

It drives me crazy when a recipe is labeled “sugar free” but calls for exorbitant amounts of honey/maple syrup/brown rice syrup/coconut sugar/etc. It might be free of refined sugar, but anything that calls for a cup of honey should not be touted as sugar free. Such foods should be treated as treats and eaten sparingly. So when I say something is sugar free, I actually mean it.

Last weekend my sister made this crock pot granola and raved about how good and easy it was. I love granola and decided to try it myself.

As I looked at the recipe, I wondered if there wasn’t a way to reduce, or even eliminate, the honey. I didn’t want to simply eliminate it for fear the end product would be too dry. I probably could’ve subbed in more oil or butter, but that kind of defeats the point of trying to make it healthier. Going through my fridge gave me the answer: unsweetened applesauce.

I used ½ C coconut oil and a full cup of applesauce (so I still had 1.5 cups of liquid total), but otherwise followed the directions exactly. The final product is delicious! Well, I think it’s delicious. It’s not sweet at all, but I prefer that. If you want something sweeter, try it with a ½ C of applesauce and a ½ C of honey or maple syrup. Or simply add more dried fruit. I only used a cup of raisins, but two would give it more sweetness.

A few thoughts. Unless you are feeding Goliath, cut the recipe in half. It makes a TON!

 

That is a serving bowl and a serving spoon.

If you use ground flax, be sure to store the granola in the fridge or freezer as flax oil can go rancid very quickly.

Also, if you are going to make the whole recipe, make sure your crock pot is big enough. We’re talking almost 10 cups of ingredients. Everything fit in mine (which is maybe 4 or 5 quarts?), but it was close. It took forever for it to cook, almost 5 hours. And to be perfectly honest, cooking it in the crock pot isn’t any more convenient than cooking it in the oven since you still have to stir it every 30 minutes or so. Next time I think I’ll just spread it out on a cookie sheet and throw it in the oven for a bit.

Still, it was worth it. Thus far I’ve enjoyed it on my oatmeal,as a smoothie topping, with Greek yogurt and mixed with cottage cheese. All delicious!

Easy, healthy, tasty, and truly sugar free. What more could you ask for?

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2 September 2012. Tags: , , , , . Real Food, Recipes/Reviews.

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