Healthy Granola

I just spent ages typing up this blog post (whilst simultaneously trying not to fall asleep) and turns out er...none of it was saved. Not pleased at all.

I realise we're in the middle of winter at the moment. Unless you're currently in the southern hemisphere and basking in the glorious sun and heat. You lucky, lucky thing. It still absolutely baffles me when I scroll through  my instagram feed and come across images of Christmas in summer. That just seems almost wrong- Christmas is all about cold weather, cosy fires and eating your weight in chocolate. Although in the future I may consider spending Christmas in like, Australia in a bid to eat healthier and be discouraged to eat my entire weight in said chocolate. Anyway I digress.

So we're in the middle of winter and the past few days we've even had snow. I'm a big kid at heart and get super excited when it snows, especially when it settles and then hope for a blizzard so we get a complete whiteout. Cold weather you'd naturally (for me anyway) want to eat warm breakfasts like porridge or pancakes drizzled in honey and topped with fruit. But occasionally I crave for simple breakfasts such as yoghurt topped with fruit and crunchy granola or muesli. I tend to eat more muesli than I do granola simply because most store bought granola is so unhealthy; they usually contain waaay too much oil and sugar. That's why they're so delicious and shove-handfuls-into-your-mouth addictive.

So I've decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own granola. Lower in sugar and fat than most conventional granola recipes, lightly sweetened with honey with hints of cinnamon and vanilla this granola is crunchy, and gloriously clumpy. I've included chopped nuts (fats help you feel fuller for longer) and a little dried fruit for that extra bursts of sweetness but the good thing with most granola recipes is that they're so customisable. Don't fancy nuts? Replace with seeds or more dried fruit, or cacao nibs for that chocolatey taste. You could add a little dark chocolate chips for a more indulgent weekend treat granola. The choices are endless!

So let's have a look at the health benefits of the main ingredients of this healthier granola:

Coconut oil
Despite coconut oil being nearly all saturated fat, it is considered to be healthy. Usually you'd associate saturated fat to heart disease and other nasty life threatening health problems but coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, which are metabolised different to normal saturated fats. Our body metabolises this in the liver, converting it to energy rather than it being stored as fat.

Rolled oats (not the quick cooking type) are widely known to help lower cholesterol levels as well as being a good source of fibre, helping you feel fuller for longer. The quick cooking type are usually processed to allow for a quicker cooking time but unfortunately this results in quicker digestion, therefore your blood sugar levels are more likely to spike, leaving you craving for other sugary treats.

A fragrant, natural sweetener with antioxidant properties. I've used honey in place of refined sugar to add that bit of sweetness to the granola. Honey has a low-medium GI and takes longer to digest than sugar therefore provides more sustained energy.

High energy and rich in dietry fibre and mono-unsaturated acids such as oleic and linoleic acids which help lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol and raise 'good' HDL cholesterol. The other bonus is toasted hazelnuts are so fragrant- it reminds me of Nutella!

Cashews have a good level of protein and useful source of minerals such as iron and zinc. Also rich in magnesium, which is thought to improve age related memory loss.

Walnuts have superior antioxidant levels and contain heart friendly fats. High in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote optimum health and is thought to help prevent depression, cancer and Alzheimers disease.

Almonds are lower in saturated in fat compared to other nuts and contain a high level of vitamin E, which helps improve the condition and appearance of your skin.

Even though nuts have so much health benefits it's important not to go overboard because at the end of the day the healthy fats are still fat and eating too much is not good for your body. Again, everything in moderation, right?

But enough waffling! This granola is perfect sprinkled on top of natural yoghurt and topped with berries and toasted coconut flakes.

Yields approx. 10 servings
Adapted from Tutti Dolci

4 cups/ 360gg rolled oats
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 cup/ 110g honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1 cup mixed nuts/ other add ins* (approx 150g- I used almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts)

  1. Preheat the oven to 145C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients (apart from fruit/chocolate chips, if using). Add the honey, coconut oil and vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. Add to oats mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Spread the mixture into the pan. If you're wanting clumpy granola- press the mixture down slightly. Bake for 20 minutes. Using a large spatula flip sections of granola, rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. When granola is golden and dry to touch, turn off the oven and leave granola inside for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan of granola from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. The granola will crisp up as it cools. Once fully cool you may add things such as dried fruit/ chocolate chips/ toasted coconut flakes.
  7. Granola will store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.

  • You can vary the add ins according to your own tastes.
  • *If you plan to add chocolate chips or dried fruit, stir them in after the granola has cooled otherwise you'll get one sticky, melted mess!


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.