Snacks

July 20, 2022

Healthy Lemon Blueberry Granola

This healthy homemade Lemon Blueberry Granola is the perfect summer granola recipe. Each cluster of oats has chopped cashews, dried blueberries, and fresh lemon mixed in. You'd never guess it's gluten free, sugar free, and vegan!

One of the reasons I love being a food blogger is the seasonality of recipes.

The flavors and flavor combinations change with the time of year and the holidays, so being in the kitchen is always exciting!

It's also fun when a specific food or flavor lasts more than one season.

For example, carrot cake is popular in both spring and fall, during the Easter and Thanksgiving holidays. (You HAVE to try these Carrot Cake Bars when those holidays come around!)

Another example is lemon. It's celebrated in spring and summer, from March to August.

Over the last two years I've shared Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, Lemon Blueberry Bread and Lemon Chicken Stir Fry, so I knew I needed another winning lemon recipe this year.

Enter: Lemon Blueberry Granola!

A bowl of lemon blueberry granola with greek yogurt

Why you'll love this recipe

  1. You only need a handful of ingredients to make it and you probably have most of them right now!
  2. It's a great option for a healthy snack or healthy breakfast - just add greek yogurt or milk!
  3. It's packed with protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and dried fruit
  4. The lemon blueberry combination is light, refreshing, and not too sweet
  5. It only needs 5 minute of prep work and less than 30 minutes in the oven
  6. It's naturally gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and easily vegan

Ingredients you'll need

  • Rolled oats: the base of most granola recipes. Make sure you use old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats or steel cut oats.
  • Multigrain Cheerios: these Cheerios are my favorite because they have very little added sugar (only 7g per serving!) and they're packed with 5 different whole grains and TONS of vitamins, minerals, and 100% of the RDI for iron. I always have them on hand for recipes like granola or energy bites.
  • Raw cashews: creamy and mild in flavor, cashews add an extra crunch without overpowering the lemon. Feel free to swap in any nuts or seeds you like, like almonds, macadamia nuts, or sunflower seeds.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: a healthy, low calorie replacement for coconut oil, butter, or brown sugar. You won't taste the apple at all!
  • Vanilla protein powder: for a boost of protein. You can use any protein you like, but I wouldn't recommend replacing or omitting it.
  • Sugar free maple syrup: a low calorie sweetener that doubles as the "glue" for the granola. You can use regular maple syrup, but it adds lots of calories and carbs to the recipe.
  • Fresh lemon: we're using both lemon juice and lemon zest for this blueberry lemon granola. (Pro tip: zest the lemon before juicing it!)
  • Cashew butter: part of the glue that helps the granola stick together during baking. I opted for cashew butter because it's the most mild in flavor, but almond butter, sunflower butter, or tahini would work too! Just keep in mind that the flavors of other nut or seed butters might mask or overpower the lemon flavor.
  • Dried blueberries: unsweetened, of course. To save time, I bought some unsweetened dried blueberries here on Amazon, but you can dry your own blueberries at home too! My friend Natalie has directions to do that in this blog post.

Blueberry lemon granola

How to make lemon blueberry granola

Step 1: preheat the oven to 350°F and set out a baking sheet. I always use aluminum baking sheets because they bake evenly, so if you're using a darker material or pan, you'll need to reduce the bake time by 2-3 minutes each time. Also, for this recipe, you won't need any parchment paper.

Step 2: zest and juice the lemon. Be sure to zest first! I like using a small, handheld zester like this one, but you can use a regular cheese grater too.

(Note: if you're in a pinch and don't have a fresh lemon, you can use 2 tablespoons lemon juice from a bottle. However, I highly recommend using a fresh lemon because the zest really brings out that gorgeous lemon flavor!)

Step 3: in a small bowl, whisk the applesauce, protein powder, maple syrup, lemon juice, cashew butter, and salt until smooth.

Step 4: in a large bowl, combine the oats, Cheerios, cashews, and salt.

Step 5: pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold gently until well combined.

Step 6: spread the granola on the baking sheet in an even layer and bake!

Step 7: let your homemade granola cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl, toss with the dried blueberries, and let cool to room temperature.
Step 8: store in an airtight container like a ziploc bag, glass jar, or plastic tupperware in a cool, dry place. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months!

A bowl of lemon blueberry granola with greek yogurt

Variations and substitutions

  1. More mix-ins: toss in unsweetened coconut flakes or quinoa flakes for a subtle crunch and extra texture
  2. Tons of superfoods: mix in chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, or poppy seeds for a boost of healthy fats and plant based protein
  3. Nut butters: I don't recommend peanut butter as a substitute because it is a very strong flavor and doesn't pair well with lemon. You could try another mild butter like tahini or sunflower butter, but those might be a little too savory or salty too. It's best to stick with cashew butter. This brand is my favorite!
  4. Vegan friendly: make sure your protein powder is vegan. That's it!

What to serve with homemade granola

One of my favorite ways to enjoy my blueberry lemon granola with a bowl of nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (this brand is the best!) with a drizzle of sugar free maple syrup on top.

It's also delicious with milk. I love unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any milk is great.

More healthy snacks to try

A tray of lemon blueberry granola

I hope you love this fun twist on homemade granola! It's definitely not the usual flavor you've had, but it's addictingly delicious and it's a great way to enjoy all those yummy summer flavors. I think it's my new favorite granola recipe!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below so other readers know how you liked it! You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram.

Healthy Lemon Blueberry Granola

This healthy homemade Lemon Blueberry Granola is the perfect summer granola recipe. Each cluster of oats has chopped cashews, dried blueberries, and fresh lemon mixed in. You'd never guess it's gluten free, sugar free, and vegan!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

10

min

cook:

30

min

total:

40

min

servings:

18

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1 C Multigrain Cheerios (or regular Cheerios)
  • 1/4 C cashews, halved
  • 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 C vanilla protein powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C unsweetened dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set out a baking sheet.
  2. Zest the lemon into a small bowl, then juice the lemon into a different (small) mixing bowl. You should have about 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  3. Whisk in the applesauce, protein powder, maple syrup, cashew butter, and salt with the lemon juice until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Toss the oats, Cheerios, and cashews in a large mixing bowl until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and fold gently until everything is coated. Lastly, fold in the lemon zest.
  5. Spread the granola on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, toss the granola, then bake another 10-15 minutes. (If you like crispier granola, bake for the full 15 remaining minutes.)
  6. Allow the granola to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then toss with the dried blueberries and allow the granola to cool at room temperature in a bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. See blog post for serving ideas. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/2 cup of the prepared granola, including the dried blueberries.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup / Calories: 94 / Fat: 3g / Saturated fat: 0.4g / Carbohydrates: 14.8g / Fiber: 1.6g / Sugar: 5.6g / Protein: 3g