Vanilla almond granola clusters

We’ve crept into the time of year when the mornings are cold, the sun is slow to come up and quick to disappear, and the leaves crunch underfoot. Fall is my favorite season, and it holds many memories for me of football games, new semesters, fresh starts, moving new places, and meeting new people. It’s funny how our minds are able to connect memories to a particular sensation. 

This granola goes hand-in-hand with fall. It’s sweet and subdued, crunchy and comforting. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking. Replacing the honey with maple syrup would also be a delicious fall-ish touch. You can substitute sliced or slivered almonds here, but I think the big chunks of chopped almonds really make this granola shine. Enjoy it in yogurt or topped with milk, cereal-style.

 
Sometimes granola is heartier, with less sweetness and more crunch, and others are all about those sweet clusters. This is one of those cluster situations, and the result is delicious.
Vanilla Almond Granola Clusters
Serves 8
Makes about 4 cups
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup almond flour (make your own - directions below)
  2. 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  3. 1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 1/2 tablespoons oil (I've been loving avocado oil lately)
  6. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  7. 3 tablespoons honey
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make almond flour, put 1/3 cup almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade and run the machine for about 30-45 seconds until the almonds are pulverized to a powder. Don't process too long or you'll end up with almond butter (delicious, but not what we're going for here. When almond butter is the goal, check out my recipe). If you end up with some small pieces mixed in with your flour, sift them out with a fine mesh strainer and process them further.
  2. Preheat oven to 300F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine the almond flour, oats, chopped almonds, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle the oil evenly over the mixture and stir.
  4. Heat the brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  5. Pour the sugar-vanilla mixture over the oat mixture. Stir to coat evenly, breaking up any clumps. Press the granola firmly into the prepared pan and use the back of a silicone spatula to flatten the top.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool for 15 minutes. Lift the granola out of the pan and break into desired size chunks with your hands. Scatter on a baking sheet and bake an additional 15 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the granola clusters are a bit soft when they come out of the oven - they will harden as they cool. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. Note: This recipe makes great crunchy-soft granola. Oxymoronic, I know, but you know that great granola texture that's got great crunch but also has a little give? That's the result here. Yum!
  2. SR Clients: Β½ cup = Level 1 (50%) snack, Level 3 appetizer/dessert, or 1 add-on.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Strong Roots Nutrition http://www.strongrootsnutrition.com/
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9 Comments

  1. November 4, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    Love the chunky clusters – great to nibble on!

  2. November 4, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    Perfect snack. Never made my own, so thanks for the advice!

  3. November 4, 2014 / 6:54 pm

    THESE are perfect! So heavenly! I want to jump through the screen!

  4. November 4, 2014 / 10:31 pm

    Oh man, these granola clusters would not be around for long! I would probably start eating the granola right when it comes out of the oven. Sounds delicious! Fall is also my favourite season, and I've been taking as many walks as I can now to appreciate the cool air and the changing colours.

  5. November 5, 2014 / 1:05 am

    I agree! Thanks, Jeanette!

  6. November 5, 2014 / 1:08 am

    I'd totally recommend making your own – it's easy and so tasty! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  7. November 5, 2014 / 1:09 am

    Thanks, Rebecca! πŸ™‚

  8. November 5, 2014 / 1:14 am

    It's totally tempting to snack on this all the time! Enjoy the cool air before it turns to snow. πŸ™‚