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Tart Cherry & Almond Protein Granola (Vegan/Gluten Free)

In my household, I always have snacks on hand that are nutritious and easy to grab and go. I find that nothing is quite as versatile as homemade granola that can be sprinkled on yogurt, eaten as a cereal, or even grabbed by the handfuls! Get the recipe for this crunchy and nutty Tart Cherry & Almond Protein Granola that is packed with nutrients below.

Ever since making my Gingersnap Granola last fall, I’ve been on a homemade granola kick. I love to make my own granola because it is often healthier than the store bought kind with no artificial ingredients and its, well, cheaper.

However, there are a few natural and nutritious brands on the market, such as Purely Elizabeth and Blissful Eats, that are great options for when you’re looking to switch things up or you just don’t feel like turning on the oven in the heat of summer!

Back to homemade granola. Tart cherries are my jam lately and I couldn’t wait to incorporate them into a granola recipe. I was inspired by a paleo granola recipe I used to make a lot that uses mostly nuts, but wanted to make a vegan-friendly option.

Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola

So, I went with the classic flavor combo – cherries and almonds, sweetened with brown rice syrup! The results were oh, so delicious and I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you all.

Nutrition 411

This Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola is packed with, you guessed it, protein (thanks to a little secret ingredient)!

That secret ingredient? Raw quinoa to add a crunchy bite and additional protein in every handful. It also provides a healthy dose of fiber and vitamins and minerals, specifically iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

Tart Cherry and Almond Granola

The bulk of this Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola is made up of nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds. These key ingredients are full of healthy fats, protein and fiber to keep your hunger in check, while also satisfying your cravings.

FitLiving Eats Tip: It’s time to throw the “no fat” mentality out the window! Focus on incorporating healthy fats into your diet to fuel your body and boost your brain power throughout the day. Plant-based sources include: avocadoes, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

On to the recipe…

Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola

This recipe for Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola makes a big batch and would be a great gift to family, friends or coworkers! No need for a special occasion, just a way to brighten their day (and add a little nutritional goodness to their lifestyle).

This granola is delicious eaten on it’s own, or used as a topping for smoothies or yogurt!

Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola
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Tart Cherry & Almond Protein Granola {vegan/gluten free}

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Oven
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe for Tart Cherry and Almond Protein Granola makes a big batch and would be a great gift to family, friends or coworkers! No need for a special occasion, just a way to brighten their day (and add a little nutritional goodness to their lifestyle).


Units Scale
  • 2 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (or ground flax seed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (coconut nectar, coconut oil and almond extract) to a small saucepan and heat on low until everything is melted and can be evenly stirred together.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Spread the granola mixture in an even layer on the parchment paper, spreading it out as much as possible.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through (being careful not to burn the granola!). When the granola starts to turn a golden brown, take it out of the oven to cool.
  7. Wait until completely cooled to remove from baking sheet and break up into smaller pieces. Place in a container with a tight fitting lid and store on the counter for up to a week!


When the granola is in the oven, the brown rice syrup will bubble. That’s okay! It’s what makes it crispy when cooled.

Keywords: almond granola, gluten-free, vegan, granola, quinoa, snack

Loved this recipe? Pin for later!

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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33 Responses

  1. This looks delicious! Thanks for pointing out that fat is really important to eat — the “no fat” fad has gotten to be way too much.

    1. Yes! Although I wouldn’t suggest doing this with ONLY quinoa – it might be a little too crunchy. Ha!

  2. This recipe is simple and really easy to make. Thanks for sharing it. I used true elements baked granola to try this recipe and it gave a perfect texture like how it shows here. You should definitely check them out.

  3. You mention brown rice syrup in the blog but it is not included in the ingredients or the instructions. It is supposed to be included somewhere?

    1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Jodie! I had revised the ingredients but failed to update the directions to replace these changes. The original recipe had brown rice syrup included, but was updated to call for coconut nectar as a more nutritious option. We have fixed this issue. We hope you love the recipe!

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  5. I love how you’ve incorporated nutritious ingredients like oats, almonds, and tart cherries to create a crunchy and satisfying granola that’s perfect for breakfast or snacking. Plus, the addition of protein powder adds an extra boost of nutrition to keep us fueled throughout the day.

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Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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