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Lightened Up – Low Fat Pumpkin Spice Granola

Don’t get me wrong, I love granola.  I love that it’s mostly whole grains and that the flavor possibilities are endless.  My favorite brands so far have been Nuts About Granola (Warrior Crunch) and Love Grown (Sweet Cranberry Pecan), but neither one is sold locally.

I liked my last pumpkin granola, but I wanted something with more crunch and a more savory, spiced flavor. 

And being me, I wanted it to be lower calorie.  Many commercially prepared granolas have a ton of added sugar and fat.  Oats are very calorically dense – so I made the base of my granola from an equal combination of oats, puffed millet, and puffed brown rice.


The sweetener I used was brown rice syrup (my first time experimenting with it), which also acted as a binder with the sunflower seed butter (a natural fat source).


Low Fat Pumpkin Spice Granola

1 cup puffed millet (or another unsweetened cereal of your choice)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup puffed brown rice (Rice Krispies would do just fine)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup slivered raw almonds

1.5 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (more or less according to your preference – I used a mixture of 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves )

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/4 cup sunflower seed butter, warmed in microwave

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients until well mixed.

2) Mix syrup, sunflower seed butter, and vanilla.

3) Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients, stirring to distribute evenly.

4) Spread mixture on to baking sheet in an even layer (I sprayed my palms with Pam to keep it from sticking to my hands as I pressed it down).

5) Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes (I used the convection setting and mine was a little over cooked after 25 minutes).  Granola is done when nuts begin to look toasted.

6) Cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes, then break in to desired size chunks and cool completely.

This is a very crunchy granola – not chewy.  Exactly what I was hoping for.  Most granolas are between 120-150 calories per quarter cup serving, but this one has 100 calories.  For a food to legally be called “low fat”, it must have 3 grams or less per serving – this granola makes the cut!

Approximate nutrition: (per 1/4 cup) 100 calories, 3g fat, 17g carbs, 2.5 g protein


Of course you can change the add-ins – next time I want to try it with some protein powder to increase the protein content.


What’s your favorite granola flavor?  Do you make your own granola or buy it at the grocery store?

25 responses to “Lightened Up – Low Fat Pumpkin Spice Granola

  1. sprint2thetable December 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I tend to make my own too – the sugar content in the store bought stuff bothers me. My favorite has been my Biscoff Granola, but I’m definitely going to play around with pumpkin spices now! It fits perfectly into my obsession with pumpkin. 🙂

  2. Shanna, like Banana December 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Those are fantastic stats! I love granola, but think the calories are ridiculous. I like the way you were able to keep it so low, but with tons of flavor. YUM!

    There is this granola that you can buy in the Midwest that I have a soft spot for — it’s so unique, but luckily I only get it when my Dad sends me a box.

  3. Lisa @ Healthy Diaries December 1, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I have yet to make my own granola! I don’t know why I won’t make my own! Your recipe looks great tho!

  4. Hayley (Oat Couture) December 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Just found your blog! 🙂 Thats such a good idea to add the puffed cereal in to lighten it up a bit! I much prefer making my own and will definitely try this method out in the future! 🙂

  5. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I never buy granola because I eat it like cereal! I just can’t stop!

  6. Melissa December 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I love coconut granola, but I don’t usually buy it because of the high calorie count–I can’t control myself! Maybe I’ll have to make a coconut version of this!

  7. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy December 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I really need to make my own granola and frankly am disappointed in myself that I haven’t done so yet. Plus I never buy it since it disappears in… oh 1 day.

  8. Alexa @ Simple Eats December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Yum, this looks awesome! I love making my own bc I can control what goes into it. I love adding all kinds of spices, chia seeds and nuts!

  9. earthygurl December 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    your absolutely right! A lot of the store made granola has so many added calories that are kind of pointless. I’m a granola fiend and it’s nice to find one not so calorie dense, like yours:)

  10. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate December 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Yes please! I would totally eat this 🙂

  11. The Candid RD December 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This sounds fabulous. I actually just made granola TODAY at work! The granola I typically make is actually raw (no baking required) but the one I made today was baked and delicious. I have never used brown rice syrup before, but I know I can eat that on my IBS diet so maybe I’ll try that sometime. I typically use molasses because honey is something I can’t eat.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Yum and I bet your house smelled fabulous while it was baking!

  13. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish December 2, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Yum! This sounds delicious, Claire! I grew up on my mother’s homemade granola, which holds a special place in my heart. However, it’s packed with nuts, oil and honey, making it *very* energy dense, and therefore not an every-day cereal. I typically buy Udi’s Original Granola (just plain oats and honey), but you’ve inspired me to do a little experimenting in my own kitchen!

  14. Kris December 2, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Oooo I’ve done this with puffed quinoa before and it turned out FAB!!! What a great idea to do it with millet, that is so high in protein!

    I agree usually granola is loaded with sugars and oil, so I make mine with honey and no oil, but almond milk, much better 😉


  15. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers December 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

    That sounds wonderful! I usually just buy mine, but making it at home to experiment with my own flavors would be nice.

  16. teabagginit December 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    doesn’t pumpkin pie spice make everything better? i love it!

  17. Pingback: Lightening Up: 2011 « Live and Love to Eat

  18. Pingback: The Perfect Low Fat Granola « Live and Love to Eat

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