Crunchy Sourdough Granola: A Healthy and Delicious Treat

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Sourdough granola is a unique twist on the classic breakfast staple, offering a super crunchy texture without the need for excessive sugar. This delightful granola combines the tangy depth of sourdough with the natural sweetness of maple syrup or honey, creating a healthy and satisfying treat.

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crunchy homemade granola

The Ingredients and Their Impact

Oats

Rolled oats form the base of our granola, providing a hearty and nutritious foundation. When baked, they become wonderfully crisp, adding to the overall crunchiness. A huge key player in this recipe is pre-baking the oats for just a few minutes. This makes the final product even crunchier!

Sourdough Starter

The sourdough starter is the star of this recipe, lending a subtle tanginess that enhances the flavor profile. It also contributes to the crunchy texture, allowing us to use less sugar while still achieving a satisfying crunch.

You can use active starter or discard for this recipe, it really makes no difference! I do recommend a 100% hydration starter to maintain the proper moisture levels.

One thing to keep in mind is this sourdough recipe is not fermented for any extended length of time. So the addition of the starter is primarily for flavor and texture. You will still get some of the vitamins and minerals that call your starter home, but a lot of the digestive benefits of sourdough will not be present due to that lack of fermentation.

Maple Syrup or Honey

Both maple syrup and honey offer natural sweetness, making the granola delicious without being overly sugary. Maple syrup adds a rich, caramel-like flavor, while honey brings a floral sweetness. Both also add to the crunchy granola texture, but can be responsible for burnt oats if your oven is up too high or you leave them in too long.

sourdough granola

Coconut Oil (or Avocado Oil)

Coconut oil helps bind the ingredients together and promotes even browning during baking. It also imparts a mild coconut flavor. Avocado oil is a great alternative, providing healthy fats and a neutral taste.

Brown Sugar

A small amount of brown sugar enhances the sweetness and helps in achieving the perfect crunch. Its molasses content adds depth to the flavor.

If you find the granola is not sweet enough for your taste, I don’t recommend increasing the sugar content. An increase could cause excessive burning of your oats. Instead, for more sweetness, consider adding more of the natural sweeteners or chocolate chips after cooling.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract adds a warm, aromatic sweetness that complements the other ingredients perfectly.

Ground Flax Seed

Ground flax seed boosts the nutritional value with added fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It also helps to bind the granola together.

Adding ground flax seed made a huge difference in the crunchiness of the granola when I was testing ingredients. Adding the flax helped me get those really big clusters loaded with crunch!

Salt

A pinch of salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon adds a warm, spicy note, making the granola comforting and aromatic. It can be omitted completely if cinnamon poses a problem in the allergy department.

Nuts

Nuts add extra crunch and richness. You can use any nuts you like, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts, for added texture and flavor. I recommend cooking the nuts with the oats for added flavor and crunch, but you may also add them raw after the granola has cooled.

homemade granola low sugar

Recipe Variations

While this crunchy sourdough granola recipe is delicious all by itself, you can step it up a notch by adding different flavors and additions! Experiment with what you like best, but here are some of our favorites!

Honey Oat

For a honey oat variation, simply replace the maple syrup with 1/2 cup of honey. This will make the granola even more naturally sweet and sticky.

Maple Pecan

Add more maple syrup (3/4 cup works wonderfully) and include chopped pecans in the mix. The pecans toast beautifully, adding a buttery crunch that pairs perfectly with the maple flavor.

Chocolate Coconut

Include coconut flakes and chocolate chips for a tropical twist. The coconut adds extra texture, while the chocolate chips melt slightly for a delightful indulgence. I love adding 75g of coconut flakes to the mix before baking, giving a toasted coconut flavor. I also add another handful or two to the cooled batch, along with the chocolate chips.

If you have a kiddo that is having a hard time cutting out the sugary cereal in the morning, this flavor could help! It is sweet, but not overpoweringly sweet.

Apple Cinnamon

Increase the cinnamon and add dried apple pieces. This combination creates a warm, spiced flavor reminiscent of apple pie. You can also add other warm spices such as clove or nutmeg.

Customize with Your Favorites

Feel free to add any nuts, seeds, or dried fruits you like. Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, or raisins are all excellent additions. Drop a comment with your favorite combinations so we can try it out!

low sugar granola

Storing Your Granola

To maintain the crunchiness of your granola, store it in an airtight container. A glass jar is ideal for preserving the texture and extending the shelf life. Alternatively, a ziplock bag or any airtight container will work. Keep the granola at room temperature, and it will stay fresh and crunchy for up to two weeks.

Crunchy Sourdough Granola Recipe

Crunchy Sourdough Granola Recipe

Discover the delight of homemade Crunchy Sourdough Granola, a nutritious and flavorful treat perfect for breakfast or snacking.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 225 g rolled oats
  • 75 g sourdough starter or discard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 75 g nuts your choice

Instructions

Preheat Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toast Oats

  • Spread the rolled oats onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes until they become fragrant and lightly toasted.225 g rolled oats

Mix Wet Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, combine the sourdough starter, maple syrup, coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir until mixed. 75 g sourdough starter,1/4 cup maple syrup,1/4 cup coconut oil,1/4 cup brown sugar,1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix Dry Ingredients

  • In a separate bowl, combine the ground flax seed, salt, and cinnamon.1 tablespoon ground flax seed,1/2 teaspoon salt,2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine All Ingredients

  • Add the toasted oats, wet mixture, dry mixture, and nuts to a large bowl. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.75 g nuts

Bake

  • Spread the mixture evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a another piece of parchment paper to press the mixture together on the sheet. You don't want any holes in the granola. Bake at 300°F (150°C) for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. If the edges start to brown too quickly, remove the outer parts and continue baking the center.

Cool

  • Allow the granola to cool completely on the baking sheet. Once cooled, break it into desired chunk sizes.

Add Extras

  • Add any dried fruits or chocolate chips if desired.
crunchy sourdough granola

Different Ways to Use Crunchy Sourdough Granola

Crunchy sourdough granola is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some delicious and creative ideas to incorporate this nutritious treat into your daily meals:

1. Classic Yogurt Parfait

Layer granola with your favorite yogurt and fresh fruits like berries, bananas, or peaches. This makes for a perfect breakfast or snack that’s both satisfying and nutritious.

2. Smoothie Bowl Topper

Add a handful of granola on top of your smoothie bowl for an extra crunch. The texture contrast between the creamy smoothie and the crunchy granola is delightful.

3. Oatmeal Add-In

Stir granola into your morning oatmeal for added crunch and flavor. It’s a great way to elevate a simple bowl of oats.

4. Ice Cream Topping

Sprinkle granola over a scoop of your favorite ice cream for a delightful mix of textures and flavors. It adds a healthy twist to your dessert.

5. Baked Goods Enhancer

Incorporate granola into your baking recipes. Mix it into muffin or bread batter for an added crunch or use it as a topping for cakes and cookies.

6. Salad Garnish

For a unique twist, use granola as a topping for salads. It pairs especially well with salads that include fruits, nuts, and a tangy dressing, adding a pleasant crunch.

7. Trail Mix Component

Combine granola with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a few chocolate chips to make a delicious and portable trail mix.

8. Cereal Alternative

Enjoy granola as a cereal alternative by adding milk or a plant-based milk of your choice. It’s a quick and easy breakfast option.

9. Baked Fruit Crisp

Use granola as a topping for baked fruit crisps. Simply sprinkle it over apples, pears, or berries before baking for a crunchy, golden topping.

10. Energy Balls

Combine granola with nut butter and honey, then roll into small balls. These make for a great on-the-go snack that’s both healthy and satisfying.

11. Pancake or Waffle Topping

Top your pancakes or waffles with a generous sprinkle of granola. It adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to your breakfast.

12. Acai Bowls

Enhance your acai bowls by adding a handful of granola on top. The crunchy texture pairs wonderfully with the smooth acai base.

Did you try this recipe?
Share your creation with us on Instagram @wildnfreefarm or tag us with #wildnfreefarms

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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