Crunch time: The Best Sugar-free Granolas
Granola is usually thought of as a healthy, wholesome breakfast choice. But check the ingredients of some of the big brand offerings, and you'll likely find their crunchy clusters are crammed
with processed sugars and other unhealthy additives.
Fortunately, you don't need lashings of refined sugar, glucose syrup or artificial extras for great-tasting granola. The ones featured here are naturally sweetened with fruit, honey and plant ingredients, free of artificial additives and packed with good stuff that tastes delicious.
Whether you're looking for a gluten-free, nut-free, raw or organic recipe—or all of the above—we've got something to suit you.
Scottish Oats, Gluten Free, Organic Granola, £4.69 (400 g)
www.healthysupplies.co.uk; tel: 0800 0272 616
This tasty gluten-free granola has just the right amount of sweetness and crunch, thanks to a mix of oats, seeds, honey, sultanas, almonds and apricots. And, as with all of Alara's cereals, there's nothing artificial added whatsoever. The oats are the star of the show: they're organically grown in Scotland and kiln-dried to preserve their beneficial vitamins and enzymes.
Buck the trend
The Living Food Kitchen
Raw Cacao & Vanilla Buckwheat Granola, £5.49 (180 g)
www.thelivingfoodkitchen.com; tel: 020 8453 9466
Raw-food company The Living Food Kitchen never heats its ingredients above 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) to ensure its products are easily digested and as nutrient-packed as possible. This moreish granola contains sprouted buckwheat, a grain-like seed rich in antioxidants and amino acids, as well as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and golden linseeds. Naturally flavoured with date paste, and cacao and vanilla powders, the crunchy chunks have a sweet chocolatey taste.
Organic Orange & Cashew Granola, £6.95 (400 g)
www.primroseskitchen.com; tel: 01300 345 226
Another sprouted buckwheat-based granola. The ingredients are all organic, gluten-free and nut-free, and have been slowly dehydrated at low temperatures to preserve nutrients and enzymes.
From the farm
Organic Yacon Granola, £4.39 (350 g)
www.goodnessdirect.co.uk; tel: 0871 871 6611
Part of Pertwood's new range of cereals made with yacon syrup—a low-GI (glycaemic index) natural sweetener from Peru that's also a prebiotic—this organic wheat-free granola is a blend of oats, seeds, dates, barley flakes, buckwheat and coconut chips. Pertwood likes to keep things pure and simple, so they don't add anything unnatural to their cereals, and all their oats can be traced back to Lower Pertwood Farm in Wiltshire.
Against the grain
The Paleo Foods Co.
Berry & Almond Grain-Free Granola, £6.99 (340 g)
www.planetorganic.com; tel: 020 7221 1345
This is ideal if you're following a Paleo- or Stone-Age-style diet, as this grain-free granola is said to be 60 per cent lower in carbs than regular granola. Made with a protein-rich mix of nuts and seeds, and naturally sweetened with honey, dried cherries and blackcurrants, it's great with milk or on its own as an energy-boosting snack.