Can I lower the sugar content (currently 1 cup brown sugar : 450g oats) of the Lip Lady's Secret Granola without losing clumps? Inspired by this post to give the Lip Lady's granola a try with 1/2 quick oats and 1/2 ground oats. But in spite of the warnings in the recipe, I want to mess with the sugar and make something a little lower on the glycemic scale. First instinct was to try 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/4 brown rice syrup and 30ml water. Could I go even lower? Could I eliminate the brown sugar entirely and do all brown rice syrup or a mix of brown rice and maple?



LeBec F. December 8, 2015
a.james' advice to start by halving the recipe- is an excellent one.
I can refer you to my recipe here and you can compare the dry ingreds/syrup ratio w/ your granola idea. this ratio in mine does stick together well. It's 1 cup syrup for 6 cups dry(plus almond butter). I applaud any efforts to lower the sugar and up the nutrition.This world of ours just has to get off this sugar thing; it's everywhere, and once one starts reading food labels, it is just overwhelming. end of rant!
LeBec F. December 8, 2015
p.s. i don't think the brown sugar is necessary if you have the other sweeteners.
AntoniaJames December 7, 2015
I haven't used brown rice syrup much as a stand-alone sweetener, so I don't have experience with the flavor properties and sweetening powers. My guess is that brown sugar, rice syrup and water combination you suggest should be fine. I might even go 1/2 cup brown rice syrup + 1/8 cup maple syrup or 1/8 cup molasses (not blackstrap). With the vanilla and spices in the recipe, either would be quite delicious. Also, I've found that when you reduce the sugar or sweeteners in any granola recipe, you can taste the nuts and seeds so much better, so you don't miss it.
Have you considered using olive oil in place of some of the butter? That would give it a lovely flavor, too.
Finally, if I were playing with this recipe, I'd cut it in half and experiment on a smaller scale until I figured out what worked.

I hope this helps. ;o) P.S. Let us know what you do!
faitchis December 14, 2015
Thank you so much AJ and LBF! I ended up going with the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1 tbs maple for one batch; 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple, 1 tbs brown rice, and 1 tbs almond butter (thanks to LeBecFin) for the second. I kept the brown sugar because I was convinced by the original recipe's writer that granola made only with syrup tends to be tougher and less crunchy. I got good clumping and crunch with both batches, but I much preferred the taste of the second, with less brown rice syrup. I found that while the batch with brown rice syrup was less sweet, which I liked, brown rice syrup has a very distinct bitterness that that I don't love, and which I was surprised to detect given how little I had added. The second batch, with 1/4 maple and 1 tbs brown rice was quite a bit sweeter, so I can't imagine what it would be like with a whole packed cup of brown sugar! Next time I'll probably reduce the sweetener to 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup, and increase the almond butter to ensure clumping. For both batches I added 1/2 extra cup of whole regular rolled oats, and in the last 15 minutes of baking I added 1 cup of shredded coconut. From the get-go I had already decided to sub coconut oil for the butter, and I added quite a bit more spice: ginger, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, cloves, nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon. The end result was addictive gingerbread-chai-flavored heaven.
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