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Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola

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In my former life, I was a serial cereal eater. If ever I fancied a snack I’d head straight for a bowl of sugar and carbohydrate laden cereal.

I don’t miss those days, or the way that all of those grains made me feel. But… I do miss that crunchy goodness of a bowl of cereal and milk.

I mean, bacon and eggs is the breakfast of champions and the best part ever of the keto lifestyle (am I right?) but some days I either don’t have time to cook breakfast or I just want that crunch!

Enter my low carb granola. If I do say so myself, It’s a winner. I have experimented a lot with this recipe and don’t believe that I can improve on this.

Keto. Crunchy. Nutty. A hint of sweetness. And a secret ingredient - flax meal - that gives it that “bowl of cereal” mouthfeel, instead of just wet nuts. I like to eat mine with some almond milk, or spooned over the top of some coconut yoghurt.

Anyway, try it for yourself. At under 3 grams of net carbs per serving, it’s a whole lot better for you than cereal.

Tips & Substitutions

  • Flax meal can be switched with chia seeds or almond meal but won’t give the same end mouthfeel.
  • Sugar-free maple syrup can be skipped or replaced with Erythritol, Swerve or stevia, to taste.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1/4 cup

Allergy information for Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1/4 cup)

Net carbs2.7 grams
Protein5.4 grams
Fat17.3 grams
Calories198 kcal
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 12%, fat 82%
Total carbs8.3 gramsFiber5.7 gramsSugars1.2 gramsSaturated fat5.4 gramsSodium28 mg(1% RDA)Magnesium80 mg(20% RDA)Potassium180 mg(9% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 6 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 150 °C/ 300 °F (fan assisted), or 170 °C/ 340 °F (conventional). Combine all nuts, seeds and spices, except for the salt and orange zest, into a large bowl. Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan or carefully in the microwave. Add the sugar-free maple syrup and mix well. Pour melted ingredients into nut and seed mix and combine thoroughly.
  3. Spread mixture out in an even layer onto a lined baking tray and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Stir every 15 minutes and keep a close eye on it after the 30 minute mark, it can easily go from toasted to scorched. Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola
  5. Once brown and crunchy, remove from oven and let cool. While still warm, but not hot, sprinkle sea salt and orange zest over granola and stir through. Once chilled, transfer into a jar or airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to a month. Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola One serving is about 1/4 cup (it doesn’t sound like much, but it is plenty when you eat it. If it's not enough, eat 1/2 cup - it will still be very low in carbs!). Serve with plain full-fat yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk. Secret Ingredient Low-Carb Granola

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1/4 cup)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Pine nuts
0.1 g0.2 g1 g9 kcal
Almonds, nuts (whole, unblanched)
0.7 g1.6 g3.7 g43 kcal
Cashew nuts, cashews
0.5 g0.3 g0.8 g10 kcal
Almonds, nuts (whole, unblanched)
0.1 g0.2 g0.6 g7 kcal
Pecans, nuts
0.1 g0.2 g1.5 g14 kcal
Sunflower seeds
0.3 g0.6 g1.5 g17 kcal
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
0.1 g0.8 g1.3 g15 kcal
Sesame seeds
0.2 g0.3 g0.7 g9 kcal
Flax meal (flaxmeal), ground flaxseed
0 g0.6 g1.3 g17 kcal
Coconut, dried, desiccated, shredded (organic, unsweetened)
0.2 g0.6 g0.4 g10 kcal
Low-Carb Maple Syrup (KetoDiet blog)
0.2 g0 g0 g6 kcal
Coconut oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g4.5 g41 kcal
Vanilla extract, powder (vanilla bean)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Orange peel (zest), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cinnamon, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cardamom powder, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 1/4 cup
2.7 g5.4 g17.3 g198 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (16)

Could this be made in a crock pot and then cooled on the baking sheets? Have you tried it?

Hi Teresa, I've made granola in a crockpot before so it should work. I'd cook in on low for 2-3 hours, stirring 2-3 times to prevent burning. It's also better if you place a strong parchment paper inside the crockpot before adding the granola.

Excellent! Love it! I'd eat it all day long if I could ...

Hi there,
I'm getting ready to try this but don't have slivered almonds or cashews. Can I up the whole almond amount and use hazelnuts in place of cashews? Would that make a huge difference to the macros do you think?
Thanks for your info/recipes and advice 👍🏻😍

Hi Lyn, sorry for the delayed response. Yes, you can definitely substitute those two. If you skip the cashews, no matter what nuts or seeds you use,  you will end us with fewer carbs so I wouldn't worry about the carb count. I hope this helps!

Hi Martina, Just wondering how it would go as a double batch . . . .  my daughter and I are both in love with it and she thinks "no" to a double batch as it would not cook as efficiently. Thoughts? I seriously could live on this!! I increase the spices and the salt and throw in lemon zest if I have no orange. This recipe is soooo wonderful. x x

Hi Helen, you can make a double batch! I would, however, use 2 baking trays, or if you only use one, mix it every 10-15 minutes to ensure even cooking. I hope this helps 😊

Can I substitute pure vanilla extract for the vanilla powder?

Yes you can! I would mix it with about 1/4 cup water (or add to syrup if you're using it) so there isn't just one part of the granola that absorbs all of the vanilla extract. If needed, you can bake it for a few more minutes just to remove any excess moisture.

I love this mix!!! Just made it two days ago and I’m enjoying it as a great 3pm snack ... and really 1/4 cup is actually very filling!!!

Just put it in the oven. I think the amount of salt is missing in the ingredients list, or I just can’t see it. Anyway even raw it tastes delicious, I could not resist licking the spoon 😊. Can’t wait for it to toast. Thank you for a great recipe!

Thank you, it was missing! I added the salt to the list 😊

Mine turned out oily  I cant bake it any more because the nuts are very brown.  I don't think there is any way to salvage it  suggestions?

Thank you for your feedback Bren! I think that if they are too brown, the temperature was too high (which depends on the oven and altitude).I would decrease the temperature to 130-140 C, or the baking time to 40-45 minutes. The oil should partially soak back as the nuts cool down.

What a great idea to add cardamom!  I make something similar and since use erythritol instead of a sticky syrup, to "bind" it I add one egg white.  That makes it chunky instead of separated nuts.  

I agree, egg whites or even egg white protein powder are great for binding! 😊