Granola Clusters (GF, Vegan, Naturally Sweetened)
The secret to getting big, crunchy granola clusters that hold up well in milk or as a snack is to use the food processor! This recipe is adapted from a version in my first cookbook (The Food Processor Cookbook), and it’s a total game changer, especially if, like me, you’re a cluster lover! First you’ll process some of the rolled oats into a coarse flour, which will act as the binder, hugging all of the other ingredients together. Then you add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine (check out my video above to see how it's done). Don’t stir the granola when baking, and be sure to let it cool completely before breaking it into clusters. The clusters make for a delicious and healthy breakfast, snack or even dessert! Adapted from The Food Processor Family Cookbook (Sonoma Press 2016), by Nicki Sizemore.
Servings: 7 cups
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats, divided
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dried fruit, such as apricots, dates, cranberries, currants, cherries, etc.
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (or a mix of both)
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put ½ cup of the rolled oats in the food processor, and process to a coarse flour. Add the remaining oats, along with the pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped, about 5-6 pulses.
In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup or honey, melted coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the syrup mixture over the ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until the mixture comes together and looks damp, about 8 pulses.
Transfer the granola to the baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, press it into a ½-inch thick rectangle, about 8x12-inches large. Bake 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 190 degrees and bake until lightly browned along the edges, golden on top, and firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes longer.
Cool the granola on the pan. Break it into clusters before serving.
Do Ahead: The granola clusters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- If you have a gluten allergy, be sure to by certified gluten-free oats.
- You’ll need a food processor for this recipe. I use this 14-cup Cuisinart model, which is a true workhorse in the kitchen.
- Be sure to press the granola into a compact rectangle before baking—it should be about 8x12-inches and 1/2-inch thick. A silicone spatula works well for pressing the granola.
- Don’t stir the granola while baking! Be sure to let it cool completely before breaking it up (it will harden as it cools).