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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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- 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
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients (brown rice syrup, coconut oil and almond extract) to a small saucepan and heat on low until everything is melted and can be evenly stirred together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.