Low-carb granola is an easy, straight-forward and delicious cereal that satisfies without spiking blood sugar. A bowlful will give you plenty of good fats and protein, as well as valuable vitamins and minerals. It’s perfect for breakfast with yogurt and fresh fruit. And of course low-carb granola also makes a healthy, filling snack for the whole family. Try it with the suggested cinnamon and nutmeg, or use your own ideas for warm, uplifting fragrance and taste.
So, I bet you thought granola would be off-limits for a low-carb or keto lifestyle. Those yummy clusters of grains, nuts and honey would seem to be a bowl too far. Well, yes and no.
Although whole grains like oats are a nutritious and “real food” ingredient, for some of us they are just too high in carbohydrates to eat in quantity. For me, eating as much as I would like of grains (and legumes) causes my joints and gut to hurt. But, with a few tweaks, the look and (nearly the) taste of granola can be yours. And it is super-easy, too.
Here’s how we do it.
What’s in this Low-Carb Granola?
Lots of nuts and seeds, a little low-carb syrup (or you can certainly use maple syrup), some warm spices, vanilla and a little ghee, coconut oil or mild olive oil. You can add dried, no-sugar added fruits too, if you aren’t too bothered about the extra, naturally sweet, carbohydrates. It is suitable for a ketogenic diet as written, but will not be if dried fruit is added.
Almonds – whole and skin-on
Golden flax meal (ground flax)
Gold Fibre syrup or similar low-carb syrup (see below for other options)
Brown sugar erythritol (a safe sugar substitute) – or brown sugar
Ghee, coconut oil or mild olive oil – just a tiny amount (always get best-quality fat products)
Salt – the tiniest pinch does make a difference!
Making the granola is so easy!
All you do is chop the nuts by hand or pulse in a food processor, then gently heat the fat, liquid sweetener, brown sugar sweetener, spices and salt in a medium saucepan until a loose liquid. Stir in the chopped nuts and seeds, turning everything over with a large spoon or spatula until well-coated. Scrape the granola mixture onto two parchment-paper lined trays, pat it down (this helps to make enticing clusters!) and bake until golden, turning the nuts once to ensure even baking. That’s it!
Low-Carb Granola is so nutritious and filling!
Eating low-carb granola for breakfast or a snack is a great way to get in more heart-healthy nuts and seeds on a regular basis. In addition to good fats and a decent amount of protein, nuts and seeds of all kinds give us magnesium, potassium, calcium, (non-heme) iron and zinc. A high-quality study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that a daily serving of nuts was associated with longer, healthier lives compared to those who didn’t eat nuts. And the effect was “dose-related”, meaning that the more (natural) nuts the study participants ate, the greater the benefit. If that isn’t a reason to try this low-carb granola, which is quite literally 90 per cent nuts, then I don’t know what is!
And nuts are really filling. The equivalent weight of oat-based granola (okay, “normal” granola) would likely feel less satisfying one hour after eating compared to a nut and seed one. I’m speculating, of course. But I invite you to conduct your own experiment. Why not make a batch of this low-carb granola and eat a 1/2-cup’s worth one day, and the same amount of your regular grain-based granola the next and see what you think.
Notes on the low-carb sweeteners
I use Fibre Syrup Gold made by Sukrin, but there are other suitable low-carb syrup subs out there. The Fibre Syrup Gold is made from plant fibres called isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO syrup), with added malt extract and stevia. It’s pretty good and so useful in baking recipes to replace honey and maple syrup. Check online retailers for suitable low-carb liquid sweeteners in your own country.
As for the brown sugar substitute, you will have seen a couple in my Cardamom Bun Cake recipe and my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. I recommend using a brand that contains erythritol and just a touch of stevia. The former helps with getting those nice clusters (it crystallises a little), while the stevia adds to the sweetness, but gently so. If you wish to recommend a brand – especially if you are from a non-US or non-UK country, please leave a comment. I’d really appreciate it! See the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie post for more information on sugar substitutes. For low-carb ingredients used in this recipe, see below for the Amazon (UK) affiliate links. You can also get larger, more economical, bags of nuts and seeds on Amazon, too.
Products used to make low-carb granola
These are Amazon (UK) affiliate links. Buying on these links helps offset the cost of running Food To Glow, and you aren’t charged anything extra. Thank you for supporting Food To Glow! xx
Amazon (UK) affiliate links: Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, 60 ml; Erythritol Gold 500g by NKD Living – Natural Brown Sugar Alternative with Stevia, Sukrin Syrup Gold 450g; Happy Butter Organic Artisan Ghee, 300g
Let me know if you make this Low-Carb Granola by leaving a comment, and consider rating it in the recipe card below (underneath the thumbnail image). And if you have recommendations or questions about low-carb sweeteners or baking, just let me know in the comment section below. Thanks!
And just to let you know I have quite a few whole grain-based granola recipes on here. Most are easily adapted to using low-carb sweeteners.
Low Carb Granola
An easy, straight-forward and delicious low-carb granola that satisfies without spiking your blood sugar. Full of good fats, protein and gently sweet and fragrant. Perfect for breakfast with fresh fruit, but also as a healthy, filling snack for the whole family.
- 75 g walnuts
- 75 g whole almonds skin-on if possible
- 50 g flaked almonds
- 75 g pecans
- 50 g pumpkin seeds
- 50 g sunflower seeds
- 30 g sesame seeds
- 30 g ground golden flax seeds
- 10 g ghee OR avocado oil, coconut oil or mild olive oil
- 30 ml Gold Fibre syrup* or other no-carb syrup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar erythritol sugar substitute or brown sugar if not sugar-free
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly grated; otherwise add more
- unsweetened dried sour cherries
- unsweetened dried mulberries
- unsweetened dried raspberries or blueberries
- quinoa puffs not low carb, but in small amounts it is great and adds different nutrients and interest
Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/325°F. Line two baking trays with non-stick parchment paper.
Either pop the whole nuts into a food processor and pulse a few times until the nuts are broken down; or chop by hand to ensure evenly sized pieces. No need to add seeds or flaked almonds.
Add the fat to a medium saucepan that will hold the nuts. Heat gently until melted then add brown sugar erythritol, liquid sweetener, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir well or whisk, then add the chopped nuts and all of the seeds. Use a large spoon or a spatula to really mix it up. You want the liquid ingredients to fully coat the nuts and seeds.
Divide the granola mixture between the two lined trays and pat down with a spatula or spoon. If you want a looser, non-clustered style of granola, don't pat it down. Place the the oven and bake for 40 minutes, swapping the trays around and turning around the trays (back to front) at the 20 minutes mark.
Pull the granola from the oven and let cool completely before breaking up into clusters and storing in an airtight container.
Notes on sweetener: I use Fibre Syrup Gold from Sukrin. It is made from a plant fibre named isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO syrup), then mixed with a tiny amount of malt extract. It's really nice! But use maple syrup or honey if not needing the granola to be sugar-free. Or another low-carb sweetener, preferably one of the more naturally-derived ones.
About the dried fruit: a little unsweetened dried fruit can fit into a low-carb lifestyle in smaller amounts. I don't add any to my granola, preferring to add fresh fruit when I eat. But, some of you may want a "all-in" kind of cereal. Don't use freeze-dried though as they will get quite soft. Use air-dried.
Other seeds and nuts: chia seeds, hemp seeds, macadamia and Brazil nuts are all good ones to use. Just keep the overall weights as written, regardless of the nuts and seeds used.
This recipe is both low-carb and ketogenic. Adding milk, dairy yogurt and fruit or dried fruit will increase the carbohydrate count.
10 thoughts on “How To Make Low-Carb Granola – yes really!”
Mmmmmm. The nutty cinnamon flavour through this is delicious
This looks so yum! I’ve been making this for ages but, time to ring the changes!! http://www.peasoupeats.com/2017/02/26/popped-quinoa-granola/
I am severely allergic to pecans and walnuts. Oddly enough all other nuts (almonds, pine, cashews, peanuts, etc) are fine. What would you recommend to replace the pecans and walnuts? Thank you!
Hi Gillian. I would use Brazil nuts and macadamia or pistachio. How does that sound?
This recipe is just perfect as I have been looking for a low carb option.Thanks for a great share!
Sounds great and I love the look of it with the various sizes of nuts and seeds. Looks so tempting. Great idea!
Granola is for anytime, not just breakfast and this mix sounds great
So delicious! My only problem is trying to resist eating all 8 servings in one sitting…
Very nice recipe. We have to try. So easy, flavorful and delicious.Thank you so much for sharing with us.
You just keep on our-doing yourself. Just when I thought your granola recipes couldn’t get any better!