This Vegan Granola is crunchy and delicious, with the comforting flavor of cinnamon, the earthy undertones of walnuts and pecans, and a touch of sweetness from the raisins and maple syrup. An Easy, Oil-free Granola Recipe that's perfect for make-ahead breakfasts and snacks all week!
I used to make a rather complicated granola recipe that involved all sorts of spices and measurements and took over an hour to cook. In the long-run, it wasn't sustainable as a breakfast staple because I always dreaded making it. Then--lightbulb!--I realized I could create my own quick granola recipe that focused on vegan ingredients. I swapped the butter for almond butter, simplified the spices and nuts, shortened the cooking time to twenty minutes. The result is this flavorful, delicious, and super easy Vegan Granola Recipe!
You'll love this recipe because it's:
- Healthy & Delicious
- Quick & Easy
- Vegan & Dairy-Free
- Ideal for make-ahead meals
- Perfect for Breakfast or a Snack
Is granola vegan?
Not always. Many granola recipes call for butter and/or honey, two ingredients that aren't vegan. Any time you have a recipe that calls for honey, you can substitute maple syrup, agave, or another vegan liquid sweetener. You could make granola with vegan butter, but I think that almond butter is both a healthier and more flavorful fat for making vegan granola.
Is this gluten-free?
To make this vegan granola gluten-free, just be sure the oats are labeled gluten-free. To my knowledge, none of the other ingredients listed here contain gluten.
Can I make this nut-free?
Sure! To make this healthy granola nut free you need to use sunflower butter in place of the almond butter. Instead of walnuts and pecans, use ½ cup of pumpkin seeds and 1 cup of sunflower seeds.
- Substitute any nut for another: cashews, pistachios, or almonds, all make perfect substitutions for the pecans and walnuts.
- Likewise, you could substitute pumpkin or other seeds for the sunflower seeds.
- Agave or vegan honey could be used to substitute for the maple syrup.
- Dried cranberries or dried cherries would taste great in place of the raisins.
- Any nut butter should work in place of the almond butter. Sunflower seed butter is also fine. Just be aware that some store-bought nut butters contain salt. If you use salted nut butter, you might need to omit the added salt.
- Make your own almond butter. This is usually cheaper than store-bought almond butter. (I save about ⅔ of the price by making my own).
- Buy your nuts in the baking aisle instead of with the fancy nuts. The nuts in the baking aisle are often exactly the same but come in different packaging at a lower price point. Nut halves are usually cheaper than whole, and pieces are the cheapest of all (this is especially true with cashews, pecans, and walnuts).
- Buy nuts and oats in the bulk section to save even more.
What kind of cinnamon do you recommend?
When making vegan granola or any sweet recipe, I recommend people use Ceylon Cinnamon, aka "true cinnamon." Most "cinnamon" sold in grocery stores is actually a relative called Cassia. Ceylon Cinnamon is the real deal and has noted anti-inflammatory effects and other health benefits. It tends to cost a little more, so if you're on a tight budget, use what you have.
How to serve
- I love to have a bowl of vegan granola topped with fresh fruit and soy milk for breakfast or even a snack.
- You can also layer the granola with fruit and yogurt to make a vegan parfait.
- Granola makes a nice topping for baked apples, peaches, or pears.
- old fashioned rolled oats (don't use quick or steel-cut oats)
- walnut pieces raw, unsalted
- pecan pieces raw, unsalted
- sunflower seeds raw, unsalted
- cinnamon (I prefer Ceylon Cinnamon--see note above--but use whatever you have on hand.)
- sea salt
- maple syrup
- almond butter (unsalted) If you only have salted almond butter, reduce or omit the additional salt in the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 175C.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and seeds.
- In a small saucepot, combine the wet ingredients, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the almond butter has liquified and integrated with the other ingredients.
- Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry mixture. Use a rubber spatula to combine wet and dry ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. The oats and nuts should be evenly coated with the wet mixture.
- Add the raisins and stir to combine with the granola. (Yes, you bake the raisins and they taste great!)
- Turn the granola mixture out onto a lined baking sheet. Use the spatula to spread the mixture evenly and press it into place.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the granola is lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before storing. The granola should cool for at least 15 minutes (but up to an hour) so the granola can harden and get crunchy.
- Break the hardened granola into chunks and store.
- Serve with plant milk or vegan yogurt and fruit.
Can I make it ahead?
This is a make-ahead recipe that's perfect for meal prep! In just 30 minutes and with little effort you'll have more two weeks' worth of breakfasts.
Adding any liquid will make the granola soggy, so do not make parfaits too far in advance. Add any yogurt or plant-milk right before eating.
How to store
- Wait until the granola has cooled completely before storing. This is one recipe where letting it sit out is actually an advantage. I usually let it sit out for about an hour before moving to a storage container, but 15 minutes is enough time to cool.
- Store homemade granola at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- Granola can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I haven't tried this method because we always eat it too fast, but according to The Kitchn and other sources, it works.
More vegan breakfast ideas:
Vegan Granola (Oil-Free!)
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 175C.
- Mix together all of the oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the almond butter, maple syrup, water, cinnamon, and salt to a small pot. Heat over medium and whisk until combined. (The almond butter should be liquified, but it's okay if it's not totally smooth).
- Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to combine. Be sure to scrape the bottoms and sides of the bowl. All of the oats and nuts should be coated with the wet mixture.
- Add the raisins to the granola mixture and mix to combine.
- Transfer the granola to a lined baking sheet. Use the spatula to spread and press the granola mixture flat.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the granola from the oven and let cool completely.
- Serve the granola right away or break into chunks and store in an airtight container.
- If storing, you can let the granola sit out for up to an hour. This will help it dry out more to create crunchy bites. Do not move to the storage container before the granola has cooled completely or it will not get crunchy.
- See the blog post above for substitution ideas.
- If you use a store-bought nut butter that contains salt, you can omit the added sea salt.
Did you try this recipe? Have a question? Just leave a comment below and I'll get back to you ASAP!