Sourdough discard granola is slightly sweet, crunchy, full of your favorite nuts and dried fruit. If you’re looking for another way to use up sourdough discard, look no further. Healthy and easy to make!
When my friend Alice gifted me sourdough started I was stoked. The previous summer, I had attempted to make my own sourdough starter in the heat of the summer. Needless to say, due to a number of factors it did not go so well.
Now that I have sourdough starter, there’s no going back. It’s a wonderful ingredient, and easier to maintain than it seems.
Sourdough starter is amazing, but there are only so many loaves of bread I can make for me and my husband. I have to feed the sourdough weekly, so I wanted to start exploring other uses for the discard.
That’s when I learned I could make sourdough granola. I found this recipe on King Arthur’s recipe website and fell in love.
Why Sourdough in Granola?
By adding sourdough starter to the granola, you use less oil and sugar. the sourdough starter helps to bind everything together. The end result is a pleasantly sweet and flavorful granola.
Note: Sourdough granola is way less sweet than “traditional” granola. Depending how long you cook it, it may turn out a bit chewier than standard granola so keep this in mind.
If you have a sweet tooth, I recommend adding a few more tablespoons of honey or even brown sugar. However, this recipe WORKS with less sugar because of the addition of the sourdough.
What’s in Sourdough Granola?
- Sourdough Discard – This recipe calls for fed or unfed – if you use unfed, you might need to up the sweetener a bit because it’ll be tangier.
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – Do not sub for steel cut or quick cook.
- Maple Syrup – It’s expensive, but you don’t use much and it’s way worth it. Sub honey if you must.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Puffed Rice Cereal – Rice Krispies work well instead.
- Spices – Cinnamon, ginger, and a dash of nutmeg. Other warm spices like allspice or cloves would work well.
- Dried Fruit – I used dried figs here, but you can use whatever you happen to have on hand. Dates, dried apricots, or raising are great fruits for granola.
- Mixed Nuts – Pecans, walnuts, or a combination including slivered almonds works well. I prefer the buttery taste of pecans in granola but you can get creative.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – If you like to make granola, I highly recommend keeping this ingredient on hand. It crisps up beautifully and adds another rich, nutty flavor.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – This is one of my favorite add-ins for granola. I don’t recommended using sweetened coconut, because you miss out on a lot of the texture and flavor coconut naturally brings.
- Chia Seeds – Optional, but recommended for the texture.
- Ground Flaxseed – High in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and adds another layer of texture to the granola.
How to Make Sourdough Granola:
- Chop the nuts: Before you get started, prep your nuts. Chop them as small (or leave them as big) as you would like.
- Chop your dried fruit: Unless you’re using raisins or other small pieces dried fruit, I like to chop my dried fruit into smaller bite sized pieces. Make sure to set it aside and don’t add them to the mixture until after the granola comes out of the oven and cools.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a small bowl, mix the starter, maple syrup, vanilla, and oil. Set it aside.
- Mix dry Ingredients: Combine all of your other dried ingredients EXCEPT the fruit.
- Spread evenly on a prepared sheet pan: I like to line my pan with parchment paper. If you don’t have that available, use tin foil and give it a quick spray with non-stick spray.
- Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and fragrant: During the baking process, you’ll definitely want to give it a stir or two in the middle to ensure all pieces have been toasted lightly.
Sourdough Granola Tips
If you’re using unfed sourdough (over a week old), make sure to add a bit extra sweetener. The unfed sourdough is a bit more tangy than unfed, so to balance that out you’ll use more maple syrup.
To ensure bigger chunks, press the granola firmly into the pan. Once it’s cooked, you can break the chunks up. However, if you don’t like chunky granola just spread it as you would otherwise.
Once it’s cooled, you can break the bigger chunks up into smaller bits.
Be careful not to over-bake the granola. Keep an eye on it, and when it seems like it’s done, it probably is. It will harden more once you remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
How will I know it’s done? It will be golden brown and fragrant. It will still be a bit “wet” when you take it out of the oven, but as I mentioned above, it will dry out as it cools.
Questions and Substitutions
I accidentally added the dried fruit while baking – What should I do? I’ve added dried fruit to granola during/before baking. It’s still totally edible! The only downside here is that the fruit might be bit more tough.
I like my granola sweeter – Can I add more sugar or sweetener? This recipe is naturally subtly sweet, so if you REALLY want to, you can add more maple syrup. Other options include adding a tablespoon of molasses (another favorite of mine for granola) or honey.
What other nuts can I add? I mentioned walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Other options might include seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. You might try chopped hazelnuts or even cashews.
Can I leave the Rice Krispie cereal out? For sure, just make sure to add the same amount of oats.
How to Store Sourdough Granola:
This granola will last in an airtight container for around a month. I typically store mine in a jar, but a plastic container would work just fine.
You can absolutely freeze this granola – and I do it sometimes just to ensure my granola won’t go stale. Put it in an airtight container or freezer bag and it should last for around 3 months.
To defrost, just remove it from the freezer and allow it to come to room temp.
Looking for other oat-based breakfast recipes?
- 1 large rimmed baking sheet
- 1/3 cup (76 g) ripe (fed) sourdough discard, see notes for unfed discard
- 4 tablespoons (78 g) maple syrup, increase by 2 tablespoons if using unfed sourdough discard
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (13 g) canola oil
- 1 ¼ cups (100 g) old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (20 g) Rice Krispies cereal, sub puffed rice cereal
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- 1/2 cup (65 g) pecans, chopped, (substitute other mixed nuts)
- 1/4 cup (35 g) sunflower seeds, sub pepitas
- 1/3 cup (28 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoon (30 g) chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped (see notes)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with non-stick spray.
- In a small bowl, mix the sourdough discard, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, Rice Krispies cereal, unsweetened coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, salt, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Do not add the dried fruit yet. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
- Spread the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. Spread it evenly over the pan. Once it cooks, you can break up the chunks into smaller pieces. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, string once in the middle. The granola will smell toasted and nutty and be a golden brown color.
- Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool completely before adding the dried fruit.
- Store the granola in an airtight container. It will last at least a month.
- If you are using sourdough discard (not fed), add 2 more tablespoons of maple syrup. The discard is tangier, and so the added sweetness helps to balance this. Or if you like it sweeter, add to taste!
- Mix fruit - I like to use dates, dried figs, currants, apricots, and other interesting dried fruit!
- Mixed nuts - Pecans are wonderful, but a great substitution is walnuts or a combination of walnuts and almonds.
- If you're using puffed rice cereal instead of Rice Krispie cereal, measure it out as the weight will not be the same.