The Mr. has been begging me to make a big batch of lower sugar vegan granola for a very long time now. I used to make tons of it for us but I just kept putting it off this time around for who knows what reason (oh I know, because I was feeling lazy!) Well that was a poor excuse because this is really simple to make. It takes a tiny bit of babysitting (stirring) but since it makes so much you won't have to do that every day to have yummy bowls of granola.
Oh and can you see the big clusters in this granola? Nice trick I picked up all thanks to the oat flour! Such a simple solution, isn't it?
We like our granola just barely sweetened so if you like it on the sweeter side feel free to add more dates. The 1/2 cup was perfect for our tastes, especially with yummy dried fruit mixed in! Oh and feel free to add whatever fruit you like. Raisins, dried cranberries, or whatever you enjoy best.
You can also trade out some of the nuts or seeds and add in oats if you'd like it to be a little less calorie dense. Granola is pretty flexible so play around with it!
Oh PS - this granola is totally oil free (plant strong!)
Date Sweetened Cherry Almond Granola
- 6 cups rolled oats, divided (gluten free if necessary)
- 1/2-1 cup packed pitted dates (7-12 medjool dates)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup hemp seeds
- 2 cups raw almonds (chopped or slivered)
- 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups dried cherries (or another dried fruit if you prefer!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.
Take 1 cup of the rolled oats and blend into a flour using either a food processor or blender.
Dump the oat flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining oats, hemp seeds, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds and dried cherries.
Add the dates and water to your food processor or high speed blender. Blend until the dates and water have become a smooth thick liquid. Add in the applesauce, cinnamon, salt and almond extract and blend until very smooth.
Stir the date applesauce mixture into the oats and mix well. I used my (well washed!) hands for this part to make sure that every bit got wet.
Spread out the oat mixture onto the baking sheets and put in the oven. Stir gently every 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until nicely toasted.