Heart-healthy, protein-packed almond granola with maple and cherry flavors for a tasty breakfast or snack. This gluten-free, vegan recipe is perfect for making in bulk to enjoy throughout the week.
Homemade granola is just one of those fun-to-make recipes, and is the perfect catchall for pantry purges. If you’re like me and have little odds and ends lingering around in your cupboards (2 tbl pumpkin seeds here, ½ c. dried fruit there, the occasional cacao nib, etc etc), granola is a great job placement for said ingredients.
PLUS, it makes for a healthful addition to your daily diet and is easy to make in bulk. BOOM! granola is kween.
You can view this granola recipe as a heart-healthy breakfast, a protein-packed snack, a delicious resource to satisfy your massive crunch craving, and/or your pack-and-go trail mix to fuel your outdoor adventures.
My basic formula for granola creation is 3 parts rolled oats, 1 part raw nuts, 1 part raw seeds, and 1 part dried fruit. A liquid sweetener, such as honey or pure maple syrup, + flavor additions, such as ground cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, etc. are where you can get creative in generating that epic flavor profile for optimal granola experience.
Typically when making granola, I use an egg white to generate mega clusters, but decided to make the recipe vegan using a flax “egg” for this go-round. It worked marvelously! This is now my prefered method because it means I don’t need to store the granola in the refrigerator, and it adds healthful omega-3s to the granola. Just be sure you allow your granola to rest for 30ish minutes once it comes out of the oven, as the rest time is essential in mega cluster formation.
This straight-forward recipe is easy to prepare – simply pulse the oats, nuts, and seeds in a food processor or blender, stir in the remaining “wet” ingredients, and bake on a large baking sheet.
Substitutions, additions, subtractions, and Tips:
- The raw walnuts and almonds can be replaced with your favorite nut such as cashews, pecans, or pistachios. So long as you use 1 cup total of raw nuts, you’re good to go!
- If using honey instead of pure maple syrup, be sure to watch the granola carefully while it’s baking, as honey has a lower burn temperature than pure maple syrup. Check on the granola after 25 minutes, and keep a close eye every couple of minutes thereafter.
- You can also use rice syrup, coconut sugar, coconut palm syrup, or agave nectar as the sweetener for this recipe.
- Use any oil you have on hand in place of grapeseed oil, such as olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. I love the flavor of coconut oil in granola!
- The dried cranberries can be omitted or replaced with any dried fruit, such as blueberries, raisins, strawberries, etc. Just be sure to avoid using sugar-sweetened dried fruit – instead use juice-sweetened dried fruit.
- Pumpkin seeds can be replaced with raw sunflower seeds or omitted entirely.
- You can replace the flax “egg” with one egg white. If you choose to go this route, beat the egg white until very frothy. You will need to store the granola in the refrigerator in order to avoid spoilage.
Get your crunch on!
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil *
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried cherries **
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare a flax "egg" (i.e. egg replacer) by combining the ground flax seed and water in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to the consistency of an egg, about 10 minutes.
Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times, just until the nuts are coarsely chopped. As an alternative, you can carefully chop the nuts using a sharp knife.
Add the chopped nuts, oats, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon, sea salt, and pumpkin seeds (all the dry ingredients except for the dried cranberries) to a large mixing bowl and stir well.
Whisk together the oil, pure maple syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the oats and nuts, along with the flax seed "egg." Stir well until everything is well coated.
Pour the granola mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Use your hands to press the granola mixture into the sheet, creating an even layer.
Place the sheet of granola on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are golden-brown. Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to sit for one hour - this allows the granola to set up and makes for large granola clusters. Once cooked and cooled, mix in the dried cherries.
Transfer the cooled granola to a large zip lock bag or jar for storing. Store granola for up to 10 days. Enjoy with fruit, yogurt, and/or choice of milk.
*You can replace the grapeseed oil with avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil
**You can use raisins or dried cranberries in place of the dried cherries