It is virtually impossible to find a tasty granola that is genuinely sugar free. Most brands you’ll find on supermarket shelves contain the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving, which is a lot. Even a lot of seemingly ‘healthy’ granola recipes contain lots of sugar in the form of dried fruit, honey or sugar substitutes. The protein, fibre and essential fats in this granola will stave off sugar cravings and supercharge your energy levels at any time of the day. It works really well paired with natural yoghurt and fresh berries for breakfast or as a comforting snack to help ward off an afternoon slump.
Makes approx. 12 servings
– ¼ cup coconut oil
– 1 cup oats
– 1 cup sunflower seeds
– 1 cup pumpkin seeds
– 1 cup chopped almonds (you can chop them in a food processor or use a knife)
– ½ cup ground flaxseed
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (I use both)
– pinch of sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper or grease lightly with coconut oil.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside.
3. Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Make a well in the middle and add the melted coconut oil. Mix thoroughly until everything is lightly coated with the oil.
4. Divide the granola evenly between the two trays and spread out in a thin layer. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly toasted and golden. Stir halfway through to avoid burning.
5. Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
6. Serve with milk or natural yoghurt. It’s also delicious served with fresh berries, grated apple or sliced pear.
Tip: Take care not to overcook as these ingredients burn easily and will taste bitter if cooked too long. I find that the baking tray that’s placed on the lower shelf of the oven cooks a little quicker than the one on the upper shelf, so I take it out a couple of minutes earlier. You might need to do the same.
Elsa Jones is a nutritional therapist specialising in weight management. Most of her clients say they feel addicted to sugar, powerless over their cravings for it, viewing sugar addiction as their biggest obstacle to losing weight and keeping it off. But it’s not just our waistlines that are affected. The not-so-sweet health effects to consuming too much sugar include dull skin and accelerated aging, a heightened risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, inflammation in the body, suppressed immunity as well as decreased energy and vitality.
In her new book, Goodbye Sugar: Hello Weight Loss, Great Skin, More Energy and Improved Mood, she combines a sugar-free nutritional plan and the psychological tools to beat sugar addiction – the missing ingredient lacking in other diet plans. The book contains CBT exercises and techniques, which will retrain your brain to break bad habits, beat cravings and maintain motivation, while a 10 day kick-start eating plan and 30 sugar-free recipes will reset your taste buds, balance out your blood sugar and curb your sweet cravings.
Goodbye Sugar is published by Gill & Macmillan, priced at €16.99, and available in bookshops nationwide and on amazon.