Gwen’s Granola — with less sugar


I can’t stop fussing with my granola recipe, which I’ve dubbed “the world’s most expensive granola” and “the world’s best granola.” The former is probably true, the latter is a biased opinion.

My latest experiments involve reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe. It’s no secret my former iterations were super sweet. No wonder — think honey, maple syrup and brown sugar.

I still love that recipe, but we’ve cut back our sugar intake back dramatically in recent years, so I keep tweaking, and tweaking. This version is less sugar and more nuts.

I don’t have nutritional stats, but here is what I removed: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple syrup. That is a whole cup of sugar!

I’ve added salt and vanilla to boost the flavor since I was reducing sugar.

About the nuts: use any nuts you like. My original recipe, which was based on a recipe from a Montana ranch in my first cookbook, contained hazelnuts. I love them but I don’t love roasting and skinning them first. So long ago, I switched them out for heart-healthy walnuts.

Hope you like this recipe as much as we do. It makes 18 cups, which is plenty to share if you’re so inclined. You can even put them in little gift bags and tie with a ribbon. Or, you can just keep it all to yourself. I won’t judge.


Gwen’s Granola — with less sugar

My same great tasting granola with less sugar.

  • Author: Gwen Ashley Walters
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 18 cups 1x


  • 1 (18-ounce) container old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped raw pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped raw walnut halves
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed)
  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) dried fruit (I use blueberries and tart cherries)


  1. Place two oven racks in the oven, one in upper third, and one in the center. Heat oven to 325 degrees on convection (or 350 without convection).
  2. Toss dry ingredients (oats through allspice) in a large stockpot until well mixed.
  3. Heat oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat, just until warmed and mixture is thinned, about 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients and toss until all ingredients are coated. It will take a few minutes, just keep tossing and turning, making sure to get into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Line two rimmed baking sheets (like half-sheet pans) with silicone mats or parchment paper. Divide granola mixture evenly between the two pans and spread to edges.
  6. Place pans in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, stir contents, and rotate pans back into the oven (Put first top pan on bottom, bottom on top, and also reverse the front-to-back orientation).
  7. Bake another 5 minutes and repeat step above. Bake another 3 to 4 minutes, or more, if necessary. You’re looking for a deep golden brown color. It make take a total of 20 minutes or 25 to 28 minutes, depending upon your oven.
  8. Place 4 ounces each of dried fruit into two roasting pans. Scrape one sheet pan of browned granola into each of the pans with the dried fruit. Stir, mixing the fruit into the granola. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  9. Divide into four quart-size freezer bags, if you want, and freeze all but one.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating

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