These healthy, homemade granola clusters are perfectly crunchy, delicious, and lower in sugar. They can be crumbled into smaller pieces or kept in large clusters and makes a great meal prep for a healthy snack. It takes less than 10 minutes to prep and can fit into vegan and gluten free diets!

Crunchy granola clusters stored in a jar.

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I have a few nonnegotiables when it comes to granola clusters. First, they MUST be crunchy.. like, really crunchy. Second, I want them to store well so I can meal prep a batch for the week. Lastly, it has to be lower in sugar without lacking in flavor! Guys, this granola does and has it all.

Prep a batch of this healthy granola for the week to use on top of your favorite yogurt, smoothie bowl, or even to just snack on straight up! If you love granola and want another healthy snack idea to prep for the week, try my chocolate seed bars!

This granola flavor is our favorite in particular, because it really tastes like cinnamon toast crunch! We sweeten it naturally with maple syrup and add in a touch of coconut sugar or monk fruit to really bring in that classic cinnamon toast flavor! However, there are tons of flavor variations below so you can have fun with it!

Is granola healthy?

This can be tricky! Store bought granola is typically PACKED with added sugars and inflammatory oils and because the serving sizes are so small, it can really add up quick. Granola is also a more calorically dense food and is super easy to over-eat.

This is why I like making it at home. YOU have control over the ingredients, the sugar content, and the flavors! Some granolas may have butter which wouldn’t work for someone following a vegan diet. Make it at home and use coconut oil, instead!

It is such an easy recipe to make, you can spend just 10 minutes to throw it together at the beginning of the week to have yourself a healthier, more nourishing option!

Why you’ll love these crunchy granola clusters

  • Tastes like cinnamon toast crunch!
  • Crunchy granola clusters make a great healthy snack and meal prep!
  • It’s versatile and shouldn’t be confined to breakfast! Use it to top berry crisps, add it to a bowl of milk and fresh berries for a healthier cereal option, etc. You can even leave out the cinnamon and spices and use it top salads!
  • This granola is vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free.
  • Full of nourishing ingredients.
  • SUPER easy to make. These granola clusters are made in one bowl in under 10 minutes.
  • They turn out super crunchy and can be kept in large clusters or crumbled into smaller ones like typical granola.
Healthy cinnamon toast crunch granola clusters in a jar.

How to make crunchy granola clusters

Equipment

Ingredients

  • Oats: I personally like to use a mixture of oats, doing half old-fashioned rolled oats and half quick oats. I just prefer the texture of smaller oats, so mixing it is a great medium for me! You can also use all old-fashioned oats! If you need a certified gluten free option, I highly recommend One Degree Organic oats. They are sprouted and tested for not only gluten, but glphostate!
  • Cashew or almond butter: You can also use sunflower seed butter for a nut free option. I wouldn’t recommend peanut butter. For some reason it just doesn’t turn out the same and has an overpowering flavor. Side note – if you have a Costco membership, they have a great price on almond butter! You can also use my code “DANI15” to get a discount on my favorite Ground Up nut butters (I used their snickerdoodle flavor in this and it was incredible!)
  • Maple syrup: This is my favorite natural sweetener to use. You can also use honey or your favorite sticky sweetener (zero calorie sweeteners will NOT work).
  • Chopped nuts or seeds: I love adding seeds into my granola for their hormone-balancing goodness! Chopped pecans or walnuts also make a great addition and add in some healthy omega-3’s!
  • Coconut sugar or monk fruit: I love using coconut sugar for that cinnamon toast crunch flavor, but you can swap in monk fruit for a lower sugar option. Using golden monk fruit is a great way to still get that brown sugar flavor!
  • Coconut oil: You can also use melted ghee, vegan butter, or avocado oil.
  • Pantry staples: Vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt

Steps to make granola clusters

  • Mix together the granola: Simply mix everything together in a large bowl. The mixture should hold together without being super sticky!
  • Prepare the baking sheet: Lay a piece of parchment paper down on your baking sheet. Pour the granola mixture onto it and use a spatula or your hands to press the granola down into a large rectangle, packing it down as thin and tightly as you can.
  • Bake! Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden (watch it carefully, you don’t want the edges to burn!)
  • Let it cool! Then break it into pieces and store!

flavor variations

  • Stir in some toasted coconut and use chopped almonds for an almond joy flavor!
  • Drizzle the finished granola with melted white chocolate and store in the fridge for a chocolate coating!
  • Add in a pinch of cardamom and cloves for a chai flavor.
  • Add in chopped dates and chopped pecans before baking for caramel pecan granola!
Granola aftter being baked.

how to enjoy granola/serving suggestions

  • Top my healthy frozen yogurt with this granola!
  • Crumble granola clusters over yogurt and fresh fruit.
  • Add some to a bowl with fresh berries and milk and enjoy as a healthier cereal option!
  • Snack on it straight up! Bring it to work or on the go in little baggies for a healthy snack!
  • Make granola bark: After baking and cooling, don’t break the granola into pieces yet. Rather, melt some chocolate and pour it over the granola. Spread it out evenly and place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate hardens. Then break into pieces, store in a container, and keep in the fridge!
  • This granola is so versatile – you can use it to top berry crisps, salads, or puddings!

FAQ’s, tips, & tricks

  • Pack the granola before baking: You want to make sure it’s packed down and spread out thinly, without having gaps. If it’s spread too thickly, it won’t get as crispy!
  • Can you meal prep granola? Yes! This is one of my favorite snacks to prep for the week. Simply store it in an air-tight container on the counter & it’ll last a week or so.
  • Can you freeze granola? Yes! Store the granola in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to two months!
  • What if my granola didn’t turn out crunchy? You probably need to spread it out more thinly or bake it a bit longer as all ovens vary!

More healthy recipes to try

Crunchy Granola Clusters

These healthy, homemade granola clusters are perfectly crunchy, delicious, and lower in sugar. They can be crumbled into smaller pieces or kept in large clusters and makes a great meal prep for a healthy snack. It takes less than 10 minutes to prep and can fit into vegan and gluten free diets!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups oats *I like to use half old fashioned rolled oats & half quick oats. But you can use all rolled oats!
  • 1/3 cup almond butter or cashew butter *Sunflower butter is a great nut-free option
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted *can also use avocado oil, melted grass fed butter or ghee, etc.
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or other nut/seed *can omit or use more seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut sugar or golden monk fruit
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg *optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • good pinch sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and nut butter. Mix well. Then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Spread the granola mixture out onto the parchment paper. Use a spatula to pack the granola down into a thin rectangle. I try to make sure there's no holes/gaps!
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan and bake for another 8-12 mins until the granola is golden all over. You may need to bake yours a little longer depending on your oven.
  • Remove the granola from the oven. Let it cool COMPLETELY, about 30-40 mins, as this is when it firms up.
  • Once firm, break the granola into pieces and store in an air-tight container.
  • Fun granola bark option: Once cooled, don't break into pieces. Rather, melt a cup of chocolate until smooth. Pour it over the granola and spread it out evenly. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 mins until the chocolate has hardened. Then break it into pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge!

Notes

Granola can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks. It should last in the freezer for a month or two!
Keyword cinnamon granola, crunchy granola, easy granola recipe, healthy granola, low sugar granola, one bowl granola, vegan granola bars

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this and I’m waiting impatiently for it to finish cooling so I can break it up. I’ve already tried a little corner- it’s so delicious! Such tasty flavours.

  2. 5 stars
    The almond butter gives the oats a little more substance compared to other granola recipes. It satisfies the need for a little ‘cookie’ snack too vs only using with yogurt, etc! Tasty!

    1. Hi Stephanie! I haven’t tested one so I can’t say for sure! I would think it needs to be a sticky sweetener, since it’s the binder in the recipe that holds it together and sugar free syrups are typically more water-based/liquidy! 🙁

    1. Hi! I wouldn’t add more maple syrup as it’ll throw off the wet to dry ingredient ratios, but you can simply leave out the coconut sugar or even use stevia/monk fruit for a no-sugar option!

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