NOT liking this sugar-free thing.

At. All.

It’s not that I’m “craving” sugar so much – it’s just that I’m realizing  how automatically I reach for a little something sweet after every meal. And now it’s not there. And there definitely feels like something’s….missing.

And please, please don’t tell me to just grab a piece of fruit. That, in time, I’ll come to appreciate its sweetness in a way I hadn’t before.

I detest fruit.

Fruit is not dessert and never will be. Unless it’s baked, frozen or cooked into one.

That said, I’m enjoying my actual meals more, as I’m not gauging what I eat based on what I’ll treat myself to at the end. I didn’t realize just how much I thought about dessert until it was no longer an option.

But still.

This granola recipe caught my eye practically the minute I opened the  TOTALLY AWESOME Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (have you bought this book yet? Please do. It’s SO, SO good). I bookmarked it right away, and recently noticed that it is sweetened with maple syrup – one of my approved “natural” sweeteners.

maple granola


I do believe this granola is even better than the “other” Smitten recipe that I love so much. I’m now on my second batch of it and am pretty sure this will be a keeper long after my sugar-free month has ended.

In only 13 more days.


maple granola

Maple Granola with Dried Cherries
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

3 c. (240 g.) oats
1 c. (50 g.) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c. (100 g.) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. (25 g.) toasted wheat germ
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 egg white, whisked in a small bowl till frothy
1 1/2 c. (215 g.) dried cherries*

Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the egg white and dried cherries. Once the ingredients are well combined, add the egg white and stir again to evenly distribute.

Spread mixture in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet; bake for 45 -55 minutes. About halfway through, using a large spatula, turn the granola in as large sections as possible. When evenly browned remove from oven and cool granola, in pan, on a wire rack. Gently mix in cherries.

Will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container; much longer if frozen.

*Note: unsweetened dried cherries are decidedly difficult to find. I discovered these apple juice-sweetened cherries at my local Whole Foods, but feel free to use the sweetened kind if that’s all you can get your hands on (you can also substitute any other dried fruit you like).

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver


  1. Sandra on February 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I’m doing the no sugar thing too! But avoiding all sugar including maple syrup.

    It’s an easy way to avoid processed food which I generally do anyways.

    The killer for me isn’t dessert but something with coffee. It took a few days but I’m out of the habit finally!

    I feel better.

    My motivation was my trainer. I did another fitness assessment and while I am super fit strength and cardio-wise, the old body composition hadn’t changed as much. Busted,

    It was the treats with the lattes while writing at the local coffee place…

    • sherisilver on February 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

      I hear you Sandra – I was conflicted too. Like, is maple syrup just as bad? Apparently, to my body anyway, it is. However, prohibiting the “white sugar” has drastically reduced my consumption of so much crap, which was kind of my personal goal. I commend you for eliminating it all! xo

      • Sandra on February 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        Yup – eliminate white sugar or even just HFCS and a lot of crapola is gone from your diet – processed foods and most mass produced baked goods.

        Sugar and HFCS sneaks in everywhere! Even most condiments and dressings. Craziness…

        • sherisilver on February 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm

          Yes – EVERYWHERE!

  2. Elizabeth on February 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    This granola looks fantastic! There has been a lot of sugar and butter and cheese floating around my house lately, and I need to get back to eating well next week, so this recipe and the sugar free month is really inspiring!

    • sherisilver on February 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth – more to come! xo

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