Aug 03, 2013

Oil-free, Sugar-free Cinnamon Bun Granola

I love granola. What I don’t love is all the oil and sugar that is usually used to make it. Even in the health food stores’ bulk bins and packaged granolas, the first ingredients (other than oats, of course) are inevitably sugar and oil. And this is supposed to be a healthy breakfast? I say, no thanks!

Have you ever made your own granola? It’s a blast! You get to flavor it however you want, add whatever dried fruits and nuts you like and—the real plus for me—omit the oil and unhealthy sugars. Oh, and don’t forget the savings! It’s so much cheaper to make your own. For this batch I used dates to sweeten and almond butter in place of oil. It works!


~ for the granola

  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 10 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 3 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 TBS flax seeds

~ for the mixin’s

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup goji berries

Like I said, use whatever dried fruits and nuts you prefer. I found these additions to be quite delicious and the goji berries add a nice pop of color.


  1. Place the almond butter, dates, soy milk and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and mix in the rest of the granola ingredients. Stir it well to ensure that the oats are totally covered with the almond butter mixture.
  3. Spread the uncooked granola out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure it’s spread out as evenly as possible.
  4. Place in the oven on WARM setting (it should be at about 150° F).
  5. Let it go for at least 6 hours, overnight is best… don’t worry, nothing can burn at 150°.  NOTE: Every so often (not in the middle of the night!) stir the granola around to ensure that all of the surfaces are getting air. Break apart any big, globby parts—the more air surface the crispier your cereal will be. I usually start my granola right after dinner so I have some hours to stir and tinker before I leave it overnight. When it’s dried and crunchy, it’s done.
  6. Add the raisins, goji berries and nuts after the granola has baked. 
  7. Store in an airtight container. Lasts a long time (trust me, you will eat it LONG before its shelf life is expired). 
  8. Serve with fresh fruit of your choice.
Makes 8 cups. Enjoy!

P.S. One word of warning… your whole house will smell like cinnamon buns while the granola is baking!

8 responses to “Oil-free, Sugar-free Cinnamon Bun Granola”

  1. Wow Helen, finally! A healthy granola. Looks delish.

  2. jackie says:

    Hi Helyn! I have this recipe on my to-try list. Granola used to be one of my specialties and I've been trying to replace the oil without much success to date, so I'm quite excited to try your version. I'm going to try baking it at 300 since my oven dial doesn't go lower than that number.

  3. Helyn says:

    Hi Jackie! Oh, okay… do be careful and stir frequently! That's pretty high heat for this recipe… let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

  4. Yummm! Any variations that you have come up with that are just as good?

  5. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Laura! Yes, I will be posting more granola recipes… I have a good one that uses cashew butter as a base with macadamia nuts and coconut. Watch for it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Helen
    do you know what I could replace almond and cashew butter with?
    The granola looks great.
    I love granola but its expensive and my mum say its unhealthy.

  7. Helyn says:

    You could try using applesauce, but I can't guarantee the same result. The nut butter is what replaces the oil used in most granola recipes. If you're not adverse to using oil you could try subbing with coconut oil. Hope this helps!

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