Low Calorie GranolaThis post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
This homemade low calorie granola recipe is a great alternative to store bought granola. It’s easy to make and it keeps for several weeks, which means that you have a healthy breakfast ready to go on those busy mornings!
I love the idea of granola.
Sweet, crispy oats paired with nuts, seeds, and fruit – it feels like a treat for breakfast every day.
My only issue with granola is that it always ends up having a high sugar content and is also high in calories, because most store bought granolas are made with way too much sugar, unhealthy fats, and dried fruit that also has added sugar to it!
Which is why, I decided to remake this classic breakfast food into a low calorie granola that tastes just as good as the traditional version, but is much better for you!
This low cal granola recipe is made with whole grain oats and quinoa as the base, is tossed with delicious dried fruits, nuts and spices, and uses just a touch of maple syrup for sweetness.
It’s vegan friendly, gluten free, and totally delicious! One huge serving of our healthy homemade granola has:
- 104 calories
- 12 g carbs
- 6 g fat
- 2 g fiber
- 2 g protein
- 4 g sugar
And if you replace the maple syrup with monk fruit, one serving will have only 90 calories, 8 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar! Typical granola can run you 200 calories for a tiny serving and over 10g sugar (as much as a fun sized Milky Way bar!) This healthy granola recipe is a much more guilt-free way to enjoy granola!
Once you try this recipe you’ll never go back to store bought again! It’s also more budget friendly to make your own granola at home. This skinny granola also stores really well and is great for meal prep – you can make a huge batch and keep it in an airtight container for up to two weeks!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Easy way to meal prep
- Tasty breakfast or healthy snack
- Gluten free
- Low sugar & easy to make sugar free
- Low fat
- Best low calorie granola ever!
Latest Recipe Video!
This low fat low sugar granola recipe requires simple ingredients that you can find at any grocery store! For the full recipe and nutrition information, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: Oats are the base of this healthy low fat granola! Buy dedicated gluten free oats to make this recipe gluten free. I don’t recommend using quick oats, as they won’t hold up well in the baking process.
- Quinoa: Quinoa and oats are both heart-healthy whole grains, and toasted quinoa provides added texture, crunch, and protein! You can also use toasted brown rice or crisp rice instead (or replace with oats if you don’t want a different grain)
- Ground Flax Seed: For healthy fats. You can also use chia seeds.
- Nuts & Seeds: I used pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pecans, but you can use any nuts and seeds you like! Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and chopped brazil nuts would also be great.
- Maple Syrup: For a touch of sweetness, but you can use any liquid sweetener you like! Agave or honey would also work (but keep in mind that if you use honey, this recipe won’t be vegan anymore).
- Coconut Oil: To help bind this low calorie homemade granola and for some healthy fats. If you don’t have coconut oil you can use extra virgin olive oil.
- Dried Fruit: For natural sweetness! Be sure to find dried fruit that has no sugar added. If you want to make this with freeze-dried fruit, just toss in the freeze dried fruit at the end, after the granola has baked in the oven.
- Sea Salt, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Nutmeg: For added flavor! All of these ingredients also help to bring out the sweetness of this low calorie vegan granola.
- Best Granola Mix-Ins: Try to change things up by adding in different mix ins and toppings! Some of my favorites include: coconut shavings, dark chocolate chips, banana chips, dried apple chips, mixed nuts, pumpkin pie spice, dates, orange zest, peanut butter, macadamia nuts, and dried pineapple!
- Sugar Free Granola: Replace the maple syrup with monk fruit or stevia, and omit the dried fruit.
- Making Granola For Kids: Kids love the texture and sweetness of this low calorie gluten free granola! You can get them involved in the granola making process by helping to choose the mix-ins, spreading it on the baking sheet, etc.
- Low Calorie Muesli: Substitute quick oats for rolled oats, and omit the quinoa, coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix all of the ingredients together, store in an airtight container and serve with milk!
🔪 How To Make Low Calorie Granola
Preheat Oven, Toast Oats: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread old-fashioned oats and quinoa on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring once.
Add Mix-Ins: Remove oats/quinoa from the oven, pour into a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients.
Bake Granola Mixture: Spread back onto a baking sheet, pressing it down into a uniform layer, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until it’s just starting to turn golden brown.
Cool And Serve: Remove this lower calorie granola from the oven, let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature
🍽 How To Serve
Granola can be a great snack on its own, but my favorite way to serve this homemade low fat granola is with greek yogurt and fresh fruit to make a healthy and well rounded breakfast or snack. The proportions I recommend are:
- 1-1.5 cups of low-glycemic fruit (chopped apples, pears, and/or berries).
- 1/4 cup of granola
- 6-8oz of low fat plain Greek Yogurt.
Other Ways To Use Granola Include
- As a topping for plain or Greek yogurt
- As a snack on its own
- Mixed with your favorite cereal, roasted chickpeas, and nuts as a “trail mix”
- Plain, with milk (the way you would eat cereal)
- As a crunchy topping for quick breads
- As a topping for salad
- As a topping for smoothies or smoothie bowls (or throw it into your smoothie and blend it up for added thickness and texture)
- As a topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt!
The answer is – it depends! Most store-bought granola is not healthy because it’s loaded with extra fat and sugar, so eating it for breakfast every day is not the healthiest option and would not be good for weight loss.
But if you make your own granola at home you can control the ingredients and use less fat and less sugar – creating a healthy granola that can be good for weight loss. This healthy low calorie granola recipe is both low in sugar and fat, making it a great option for breakfast in the morning! The key to eating granola is to keep your serving size to 1/4 – 1/2 cup, and enjoying it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Granola is high in calories because it’s packed with very nutrient and calorie dense ingredients. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oats and the binder you use (coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc) are all very calorie dense.
“Calorie dense” means that the amount of calories a food contains is very high in relation to its weight. For example, there are 219 calories in 1/4 cup of mixed nuts, whereas vegetables which are not a calorie dense food, will run you 200 calories for 7-10 cups of certain veggies (broccoli, celery, etc).
There are two low calorie alternatives to granola:
1) Make your own low calorie granola at home
2) Use museli instead of granola – which isn’t baked – so it doesn’t need the added fat and maple syrup used to bind granola.
It depends! If your granola is made with plant based fats and maple syrup instead of honey, then it is very likely vegan friendly. To keep it 100% plant based, you can serve it with an unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as coconut or almond, or your favorite unsweetened vegan yogurt.
Granola will last for up to 2 weeks when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. To store this clean granola, let it cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place.
💭 Expert Tips
- To save time, get a bag of mixed nuts and chop them up (that way you don’t have to add each type of nut individually!)
- For more protein, serve with unsweetened Greek yogurt.
- Don’t overcook it! Granola will continue to cook after you pull it out of the oven – it will crisp up as it cools so make sure to pull it out of the oven when it’s just lightly golden brown.
- A single layer of granola is important when baking: When you add the pre-cooked granola to the baking sheet, press it down with a spatula to create a uniform layer. This helps keep this light granola from burning and also helps to create those little granola clumps that are so fun to eat!
🥣 More Healthy Breakfast Recipes!
- Banana Breakfast Cookies
- High Protein Granola
- Vegan Protein Waffles
- Quinoa Oatmeal
- Oat Flour Pancakes
- Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie
LOVE THIS RECIPE? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Low Calorie Granola
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa optional, replace with ¼ cup rolled oats if you don't want the added crunch of toasted quinoa in your granola
- 1½ cups Rolled Oats
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- ¼ cup Pumpkin Seeds or any other seed you like
- ¼ cup Sliced Almonds / Cashews / Pistachios or any nuts you like
- ¼ cup Chopped Pecans
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup replace with monk fruit or stevia for a sugar free option
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Dried Fruit Raisins, Cherries, Cranberries – just make sure there is no sugar added
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread oats and quinoa on a parchment lined baking sheet, toast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove oats/quinoa from the oven, pour into a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients.
- Spread back onto a baking sheet, pressing it down into a uniform layer, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until it's just starting to get golden brown. Let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- Use your favorite dried fruits in this recipe.
- To save time, get a bag of mixed nuts and chop them up (that way you don’t have to add each type of nut individually!)
- Serve with unsweetened Greek yogurt for more of a protein hit
- If you don’t have coconut oil you can use olive oil
- When you add the pre-cooked granola to the baking sheet, press it down with a spatula to create a uniform layer. This helps keep the granola from burning and also helps to create those little granola clumps that are so fun to eat!
This is such a tasty granola and I’ll be making batches of it for gifts this year too.
Awesome!! So happy to hear that Amanda!
You can’t beat homemade granola. This looks delicious and even better when it’s low calories.
I agree! And yes, making it home means you can control the ingredients and make it totally guilt free!
Homemade granola is so much nicer than store bought! Love all the nuts and seeds in this one.
I know right? Thanks Beth! So glad you liked this recipe!
This granola is amazing! I love that it’s healthier than store-bought granola and the crunch from the quinoa is fantastic!
Yes!! So glad you liked it Chenée!
This is one of our favourite granola recipes! We love the added crunch of quinoa and the subtle taste of coconut! Really very nice!
Thanks so much Ieva!
My husband and I eat a serving of this low calorie granola everyday. We absolutely love it! We had to make a couple changes because we are both diabetic. We used sugar free maple syrup and left out the dried fruit. It is fabulous! Thanks for the recipe.
Aw yay!! I’m so happy to hear that Donna – love your substitutions too! 🙂
I know the recipe makes 16 servings but do you happen to know the serving size of one portion? Thanks 😊
Hi Anja! One serving is about 1/4 of a cup!
If I want to leave out the oil, can I use applesauce instead? How much?
Hi Stuti! Unfortunately the applesauce won’t crisp up the oats the way the oil will – it will likely make them a little soggy. You could try using olive oil cooking spray which will cut the oil way down in this recipe and should still achieve that nice crispiness of the granola!
This looks so good, your pictures always make me want to try out your recipes
Yay! I’m so happy to hear that Natalia!
I can’t wait to serve my granola like this… Love it!
You will love it Courtney!
This tastes great! Thank you for sharing it!
So happy you liked it!
Thanks for the healthy, low-calorie granola recipe. I’ve made it several times and it sure is good! On the second line of your instructions, you instruct us to add all the remaining ingredients to the oats and quinoa. I wonder if you intended for us to add the dried fruit at this time. Perhaps it should be added after everything else has baked. What do you think? Thanks again.
Hi James! I’m so glad you liked this recipe!! To your question – you can actually add the dried fruit at the second line of the instructions or at the end of the recipe! It’s really just personal preference (the dried fruit added to the granola before baking will have a chewier texture vs. adding it at the end). Hope that helps!
Thanks! I have made your granola in the two ways you described. Either way, the taste is terrific!!
That’s awesome!! I’m so happy to hear that!
I always make my own granola because i find the shop-bought ones too sugary. Your recipe looks lovely, especially with the quinoa addition…will definitely try it.
Thank you so much! I know you will love this recipe! 🙂
This looks great. The perfect morning breakfast with some yogurt.
Totally! It’s one of my favorites!
This looks so delicious! I love granola too, but I have the same concerns as you… the store-bought stuff is always super sugary and super fatty! Can’t wait to try your version out!
Yay! Thanks so much Valentina – I’m sure you will love this recipe!
I can’t wait to make this! I wonder how it would be with Kefir?
Hi Amy! I think this would taste great with Kefir! Hope you love this recipe!