Easy Homemade Granola (Sugar-Free, So Good!)

Easy Homemade Granola (Sugar-Free, So Good!)


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Updated: / First Posted: 21 Comments

Learn how to make granola with this super easy Homemade Granola recipe that relies on a lower baking temperature to avoid the risk of burning—and increases the chances of a completely fool-proof and delicious batch! (Plus, it’s easy to make added sugar free.)

homemade granola in jar

Homemade Granola

I love to have homemade granola on hand, but I have a habit of getting involved with the kids and not hearing the timer go off when it’s time to stir it…which can lead to it burning. This easy recipe avoids that all together! It’s a simple combination of oats, nuts or seeds, applesauce, oil, and spices.

No hard to find ingredients—just pantry staples that taste so good when baked together and served over yogurt or with milk.

This granola recipe is actually sweetened with applesauce, so it has a much lower amount of added sugar than most commercial granolas. And, since it isn’t as crunchy as some store-bought granolas, it’s a great option for toddlers.

(You can also make it added sugar-free if you prefer.)

This easy granola uses a very simple method of simply stirring the wet ingredients into the dry and spreading it on a lined baking sheet. Then you can simply put the pan into the oven, set the timer, and come back 45 minutes later to perfectly baked homemade granola.

And if you miss the timer? It won’t instantly burn since its baked on a low temperature.

TIP: I use a lower temperature than most other granola recipes to prevent burning. It does require a longer cook time, but it’s all hands off so you can do other things.

ingredients in homemade granola

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned” oats.
  • Nuts or seeds: I like to use hemp seeds or sesame seeds, or chopped cashews or walnuts
  • Applesauce: Either homemade or purchased works well here.
  • Neutral oil: You can use canola or avocado oil, or melted coconut oil.
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Honey or maple syrup: This is optional for added sweetness and crunch. (I do usually add it as I think it tastes better with it, but it’s up to you!)

TIP: To make this gluten-free, use certified gluten-free rolled oats.

homemade granola in yellow bowl

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s what you need to do to make this granola recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Grind or chop any nuts to make them small enough that they’re safe for little eaters.
  2. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Spread onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges. No need to stir it!

TIP: I like to use unsweetened smooth applesauce in my granola as it adds nice flavor and sweetness.

homemade granola on pan

How do I make crunchy granola?

You can add a lot of oil and honey and sugar to a homemade granola recipe to make it crispy—or you can bake it low and slow in the oven to give the ingredients a chance to crisp up.

This healthy granola recipe uses the latter technique, and it results in a crunchy granola that’s not too crunchy for toddlers.

TIP: This granola recipe doesn’t have giant chunks (which could be a choking hazard for toddlers), but instead has an overall crunchiness that’s really pleasant to eat.

granola on yogurt in kids bowl

How to Make Granola Easy to Chew for Toddlers

I chop any nuts I add to my granola (though sunflower seeds could go in whole). If you need to soften the finished granola slightly before serving, stir it into yogurt or milk and let it sit for a few minutes first.

Or, try  grinding up the cooled granola in the food processor to make granola “sprinkles.” Those will be easier to chew.

How to Store

Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month at room temperature, up to 2 months in the fridge, or store in freezer containers or zip top freezer bags for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Best Tips for Success

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

This post was first published September 2018.

homemade granola in jar

Homemade Applesauce Granola (Added Sugar Free)

Amy Palanjian

This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges. Plus, find an option to make it without added sugar id desired.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 50 mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Servings 24 (Makes about 6 cups)

Calories 117 kcal



  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup hemp seeds, chopped cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil (like canola or coconut; if using coconut, melt it first)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • If using cashews or walnuts, chop in a blender or food processor.

  • Stir all ingredients together well in a medium bowl. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (You can stir halfway through if you’re around but it’s optional!)

  • Remove from oven and let cool fully on the pan.


  • Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month or store in freezer containers or zip top freezer bags for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Use unsweetened, smooth applesauce.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking and for easy clean up.
  • Use sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts to avoid choking hazards for kids.
  • Grind the cooled granola in a food processor to make granola “sprinkle” for little kids.
  • Serve over yogurt or cottage cheese, or anyway you like it.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Nut-free: Use sunflower seeds.


Calories: 117kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg

Keyword healthy granola recipe, homemade granola



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