I called this granola “skinny” because “low fat” sounds like “tastes of tarpaper” and “no added fat granola” sounds like “tastes of papier-mâché spread with manure.”

But you get the gist. Most granola recipes call for lots of sugar and oil, and this one does not; which is lovely for this time of year when we’re looking back on all those Christmas cookies with feelings of burning shame. Plus, it has the added bonus of being delicious and not at all tar-papery.

The recipe is slightly adapted from this one via Taste of Home. The method used is one I had never heard of before – bringing sugar and water to a boil, pouring it over the oats, and then baking in the oven until crisp. I had my doubts, but it worked out well! The changes I made were pretty slight, reducing the sugar (and in my case, swapping in honey) and messing with various add-ins and such.

It’s fantastic eaten as a cold cereal with milk, or (my favorite) mixed with Greek yogurt.

Just so you’re aware, this granola is just barely sweetened – if you like yours sweeter, double the amount of honey/sugar in the recipe below.

Skinny Granola Cereal
Adapted from Taste of Home, original recipe linked above

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey or sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups dried fruit, nuts, and seeds*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the oats, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Pour onto a large baking sheet and flatten into an even layer. Set aside.

Place honey and water in a small saucepan, heat over medium heat until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the oats. This will look and feel like a mistake – drowning oats in honey water, but forge ahead.

Toss the oats around on the baking sheet, getting the honey mixture evenly distributed over the oats. Smooth the oats back out into a more-or-less even layer and place in oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until nicely browned, stirring twice.

Remove from oven and let cool, then add the dried fruits and nuts. Mix together and store in an airtight container or jar for several weeks.

Note: If you are adding nuts to the granola and would like them toasted, add them to the oat mixture and bake in the oven.

*I used 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates.

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