Christmas Oat Granola - A Healthy Festive Breakfast

A healthy vegan granola with no added sugar, warming spices, orange, brazil and pecans to conjure up festive flavours of Christmas. Although this is great at any time of year.

cookie jar spilling out granola next to orange and red ribbons

Is there a Healthy Granola?

We hear this question so much these days, as supermarket granolas have recently received some pretty bad publicity in the news, as they have been found to contain too many pesticides.

So, my quick answer to ‘Is There a Healthy Granola?’ is a simple Yes. Make your own homemade granola! Just ensure you buy organic ingredients and you’ll see below that this recipe is healthy as it doesn’t contain any added sugar. Supermarket granolas, in my opinion, contain far too much unnecessary sugars, so all the more reason to make your own.

Another reason why granola has a reputation of being bad for you is on the calorie count with the amount of nuts it contains. Moderation is key. In any case, after a bowl in the morning, you’ll probably find that it’s pretty filling to set you up until lunchtime. 

Healthy Sugar Free Granola

As with all my recipes at home, I always taste-test until I’ve reduced the sugar to a minimum.  As with my homemade maple granola, no sugar is needed! The natural sugars are sweet enough to start the day, coming from the maple syrup and the dried fruits.

Christmas Oat Granola

To conjure up some festive flavours, add warming spices, orange zest and special Christmassy nuts such as brazil and pecan nuts.  The orange zest may seem a lot, but the flavour calms down as it toasts in the oven, leaving just the right amount for a cosy, Christmas hint at breakfast time. And, ça va sans dire – it goes without saying – that you can enjoy this at ANY time of year!

Although this video is for chocolate granola, the recipe base is the same.  


cookie jar spilling out granola next to orange and red ribbons

Christmas Oat Granola

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course : Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine : French, British
Keyword : vegan granola, vegan breakfasts, festive granola, homemade Christmas granola
Servings : 12
Calories : 230kcal


A healthy vegan granola with no added sugar, warming spices, orange, brazil and pecans to conjure up festive flavours of Christmas, although great at any time of year.


  • 300 g (11oz) medium porridge oats (I use Hamlyns when I can)
  • 100 g (3.5oz) pepitas (unsalted pumpkin seeds)
  • 50 g (1.75oz) sunflower seeds
  • 50 g (1.75oz) pecan nuts broken
  • 50 g (1.75oz) brazil nuts (or hazelnuts/walnuts) roughly chopped
  • good pinch good quality salt (fleur de sel)
  • 2 tsp gingerbread spice (pain d'épices) SEE NOTES*
  • 1 unwaxed orange - grated zest only
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral oil or coconut oil)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 80 g (3oz) dried cranberries
  • 30 g (1oz) dried goji berries


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C fan); Gas 3
  • Measure all the ingredients (except the dried fruits) and grate the zest of the orange in a large bowl. Stir to mix them all well together.
  • Grease a large rimmed baking tray with more oil or use a baking tray covered with baking paper (even better, a Silpat silicone mat). Spread out the oat mixture by shaking the tray gently from side to side.
  • Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, turn over the mixture to ensure the mixture is toasted evenly, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Leave to cool completely for about 30 minutes then add the dried fruits.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy at its best and consume within a week.
*NOTE: If you can't find gingerbread or apple spice, make your own blend:
1½ tsp ground cinnamon; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; ¼ tsp ground ginger; ¼ tsp ground cloves.
Serve with the milk of your choice and fresh berries.
Although I've indexed this under gluten-free recipes, please note that Coeliac sufferers may not be able to include oats in their diet. Please ensure that oats are marked gluten free if you're following a strict gluten free diet.


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Comments (6)

Will definitely make this for Christmas breakfasts. My daughter and I don’t eat commercial breakfast cereals – even Weetabix is too sweet for us, and as for chocolate-coated/stuffed bizarre things…. Husband and son have slightly greater tolerance, but are at the natural end of the spectrum. Overnight cold-soaked oats/home made Bircher muesli for daughter and me. But as a treat I will definitely make this luxury mix – and will enjoy using my Dad’s former company’s product. In fact in the past he would have personally selected some of the oats. I have fond memories of going round farms with him in the summer holidays, as the harvest approached, standing in fields of oats or barley as he took samples and discussed the crop with the farmer. The barley of course was destined for whisky distilling!

Linda, what an honour to have you comment here, with your Dad having been at Hamlyn’s from the start. What precious memories to have of him personally selecting your oats. Pleased as punch (or whisky?) that you’ll be making this too!

Much as I love granola, I can’t eat sugary foods in the morning. Your recipe is perfect! xo

We are exactly the same in the morning, Liz!

I just shared this on Facebook, Jill! You are so right about the sugar, and it’s a lesson most of this country (USA) could really use! There is sugar in things that I can’t even imagine putting sugar in (sugar added to beetroot, which are actually used to MAKE sugar because they are so sweet)! It’s crazy because it’s not an ingredient that we should be increasing in our diets.

If I’m making a US recipe I’ve never made before, I always cut the sugar. I usually end up cutting it even more if I make it again. This recipe would be perfect as it does have a lot of sweet fruit which adds the sweetness that’s needed, instead of starting the day with a bowl full of sugar! Would make a lovely gift just as you’ve presented it in your photo! Nice job!

Well I’m glad we still think the same, Christina. Spot on. I’m amazed at the number of British celebrity chefs who put way too much sugar in their recipes, too. That’s one of the main reasons why I love to bake at home, because we can control the sugar content!