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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

A Granola That’s Not Too Sweet

By Jennifer Tyler Lee & Anisha I. Patel    

Packaged granolas, which seem like a healthy choice, can have more than 2 teaspoons of added sugar per 1/3 cup serving. This remastered recipe has just a fraction of that amount. Dried fruit, nuts, spices, and just a touch of maple syrup add loads of flavor without the need for a lot of sugar. To get those yummy chunks of granola that you’re used to, firmly press the mixture into the pan before baking. It’s best to make a big batch on a day when you have time to cook, then store it for those days when you need a quick breakfast or snack.

Fruit and Nut Granola

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup whole raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 1/2 ounces dried apricots (about 1 cup), chopped
Makes 7 cups

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.

2. Whisk together the maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the oats, almonds, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and coconut and stir until evenly coated.

3. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula or the bottom of a glass, firmly press down on the granola to form an even, compact layer about an inch thick. The granola may not cover the entire surface of the baking sheet.

4. Bake the granola for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking until golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let the granola cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour.

5. Gently break the granola into large clumps. Stir in the dried apricots. The granola will continue to break apart into smaller pieces as you stir. Transfer the granola to an airtight container.

Variation: Substitute 2 ounces unsweetened dried cherries (about 1/3 cup), chopped, for 2 ounces of the dried apricots.

What Kids Can Do
Kids can measure and mix the ingredients. They’ll also enjoy breaking up the granola into chunks.

Excerpted from Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. Photographs by Erin Scott. Workman Publishing ©2019.

Jennifer Tyler Lee is an award-winning author and healthy food advocate who earned her Nutrition and Healthy Living certificate from Cornell University. She shares recipes each week at

Anisha I. Patel, MD, MSPH, is an associate professor in the Division of General Pediatrics at Stanford University and an affiliate faculty member at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Healthy Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.