Does granola actually *need* sugar/maple syrup/whatever sweetener?

Does granola actually *need* sugar/maple syrup/whatever sweetener? Can I just leave it out & have a crunchy yummy granola where the ingredients shine, instead of sweet?

  • Posted by: Kt4
  • October 11, 2020


Carol B. October 18, 2020
I’ve been sugar free for more than 18 years because of a yeast intolerance ( longish story but yeast feeds on sugar in my system aka Candida albicans). It was painful to wean myself off sugar but the payback is an heightened ability to find sweetness in food without any form of sugar. There’s no need for additional sweetener in a dish that includes coconut and/or dried fruit. Dried fruit are sugar bombs unfortunately. Dates are likewise sugar intense but a whole food which changes how it’s processed. I don’t use any of the 237 types of sugars found in processed food and I am grateful beyond belief to be free of the habit!
/anne... October 18, 2020
Cocoa nibs.

Sarah Wilson has a recipe (which I've fiddled with), but it also has flaked almonds and flaked coconut. Yummy served with yoghurt and some sort of berry, depending on what's cheap. Blueberries are great, as are strawberries.
MNLisaB October 14, 2020
As one poster suggests, add more butter, and how about adding cinnamon? If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, that might do the trick without adding honey or agave syrup. Also, a little bit of molasses goes a long way, especially if you have lots of dried fruits.
Stephanie G. October 13, 2020
You could make muesli instead. You can toast the oats and nuts or seeds and add dried fruit for a similar dish
Kt4 October 13, 2020
Ooh yeah! I've had that one or twice in my life & forgot about it. I think the primary difference is sugar & oil. Yes?
Kt4 October 13, 2020
Thank you all! I'm definitely going to give it a go.

I've come across recipes with the creator saying "I've used as little as possible" but it's still quite a bit & I want to remove all added sweeteners from my diet (for example dates & raisins are fine, agave & monkfruit are not). I know sugar is needed in baked goods for a variety of scientific reasons, but I haven't been able to find why it might be needed in granola. I knew this would be The Best place to ask!
Kristen W. October 13, 2020
If I remember correctly (haven’t made granola in a while), adding some lightly beaten egg whites to granola makes it wonderfully clumpy/crunchy and adds no sweetness. Never tried it without another sweetening agent, though.
HalfPint October 12, 2020
You don't need a sweetener but you should have a bit of fat if you want "crunchy" granola. I would also recommend a very small amount of salt.
Miss_Karen October 11, 2020
A small amount of honey,sugar etc is sort of the 'glue' that helps keep it together.
Nancy October 11, 2020
But if the OP wants to omit added refined sugar products, it's possible.
Nancy October 11, 2020
No. Yes.
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