Large, crispy clusters tend to be the best bites of granola, so why not bake just the clusters together! This recipe makes healthy, delicious granola easy to make and even easier to eat. Bake the maple almond granola mixture in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, then unwrap and return to the oven. (That’s the trick to the crust!) ) You only need 8 ingredients! This is a natural vegan recipe that is dairy and egg free.
If you like oatmeal, you probably feel the same way… Have you ever rummaged through a container or package and pulled out a huge chunk? Am I the only one?
Because those big crunchy chunks (that take up the entire spoon) aren’t the best? Granola clusters are now available in some stores, but with a few simple, healthy ingredients, they can easily be made at home. Just Clusters . The idea is to make them crispy by putting them together.
This recipe was published in 2012. It was one of the first recipes we featured on this site. It is still a favorite of mine. And it is still a steady favorite in my home. Over the years, I have discovered that whole wheat flour is not really necessary. Instead, I use only almond flour, which helps bind the oats and make those big chunks. If you remove the whole wheat flour and use certified gluten-free oats, this recipe is gluten-free. Flaked almonds add flavor and texture, while maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla add a nice touch. (Honestly, it’s kind of like a crunchy granola version of maple brown sugar cookies.)
Homemade Granola Dough Summary.
- Made with minimal ingredients and requires nothing else.
- This is an easy recipe, making it a good choice for beginners and young bakers.
- Healthy treat made with oats, almonds, and maple syrup
- Slightly salty, sweet, and wonderfully flavored with maple
- An energizing treat to eat!
- Vegan, egg-free, and gluten-free (when made with GF certified oats)
- The chunks can be large or small–you can control their size
- Satisfying texture and crunch in every bite
Eight ingredients and why each is key
- Oats The nutritional centerpiece of the oatmeal set is whole rolled oats (old fashioned). The use of quick or instant oats is not recommended. Whole oats are required.
- Almond Flour. Almond flour has become a very common ingredient and is sold in most grocery stores. It is a necessary ingredient for cereal to firm up. If you have some left over, try French macaroons. If you can’t find almond powder in the store, you can make your own at home. See recipe instructions.
- Salt. A little salt enhances the other flavors and makes the best oatmeal dough.
- Sliced/flaked almonds. The nuts improve the texture and can be omitted if desired. If you only have whole almonds, chop them coarsely. We recommend using unsalted ones.
- Coconut oil You can’t leave this out. The fat prevents the granola from becoming muddy and adds crunch and richness to each chunk. You can substitute butter if needed, but do not use liquid oil. You need a fat that is solid at room temperature.
- Brown sugar. Brown sugar is needed not only to add sweetness, but also to thicken the sticky “sauce” to pour over the dry ingredients. Coconut sugar may be used instead, if desired.
- Maple Syrup Pure maple syrup is an unrefined sweetener that gives this granola its most delicious flavor. It also makes the granola more likely to stick together and form lumps.
- Vanilla extract: Another flavor enhancer.
Frequently Asked Questions Can I make this without brown sugar?
We use maple syrup and brown sugar to sweeten this granola cluster, but we do not recommend using maple syrup alone. The dry sugar is really needed to thicken the sauce that you pour over the dry ingredients. If you prefer to use unrefined sugar, try using coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
in a baking dish (that’s the trick!)
Melt the coconut oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup on the stove, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix. Press into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and harden as you would granola cookies. That’s the real trick.
Rotate the baking tray every 10 minutes. When granola has baked for 40 minutes, remove from baking tray and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Carefully — it’s hot!!! — Remove the slightly cooled granola board (just use the edge of the parchment paper to support the whole thing), cut into squares, and break into chunks. These are your clumps!
Return the granola clusters to the pan or spread them out on a lined baking sheet this time and bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or so to make crunchy granola clusters.
They will crisp up as they cool, so allow them to cool completely at room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container (or mouth).
These Maple Almond Cereal Clusters can be enjoyed like any other cereal with a spoon in a bowl with regular/plain milk or yogurt, but they also make a great on-the-go snack. You can also put some in a portable container and add it to your favorite mixed juice or sprinkle it on top of oatmeal or ice cream.
Frequently Asked Questions Can I add add-ins?
You can add pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, sultanas, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, etc. to your maple almond granola if you wish, but please limit the total amount of add-ins to about 1/4 cup, including the flaked almonds in the recipe. So use 3/4 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of other additives. More additives = more chunks falling apart and just granola. This is not a bad thing, the clumps just don’t form!
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