Snacks

June 10, 2021

30 Minute Vegan Vanilla Almond Granola

This delicious Vanilla Almond Granola doubles as a healthy lactation snack for breastfeeding moms because it's fortified with essential nutrients from oats, almonds, chia seeds and protein powder. It's also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.
‍This post is sponsored by MilkDust Protein Powder but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Ka Pai Cooking possible!

Honestly, I always thought homemade granola took crazy weird ingredients and too much time, so I just stocked up on store-bought granola. Then I tried a granola recipe I saw on Pinterest and LOVED it. Like, really loved it!

My life was forever changed... ok, that might be a little dramatic, but really, homemade granola is one of my favorite snacks to make! The combinations are endless and the work required for such a nutritious and delicious snack is minimal.

My first successful recipe for homemade granola was this Cinnamon Honey Applesauce Granola that tastes like a bite of fall (imagine 50° weather just after it rains and all the colorful leaves are falling off the trees) and you just can't get enough.

Then I started experimenting with different flavor combinations, along with mixing in protein powder, and today's Vegan Vanilla Almond Granola recipe was born! I'm especially excited because I'm pregnant with my first baby and this granola recipe uses MilkDust's Prenatal Protein Powder to add essential nutrients for both me and baby.

A tray of vanilla almond granola with Bump Dust protein powder on top

Ingredients You'll Need

Like I said, homemade granola is wayyyyy easier than you think and it's so easy to customize, especially if you have dietary needs (like gluten-free recipes or dairy-free recipes). Luckily, this vanilla almond granola is 100% plant based, vegan, and refined sugar-free, so everybody can enjoy it!

This granola is made with:

  • Rolled oats: the main ingredient for any granola recipe. Oats are a great gluten-free source of fiber, whole grains, and protein, and they crisp up nicely in the oven.
  • Multigrain cheerios: one of the special ingredients especially for pregnant and breastfeeding moms! I love this cereal because it's packed with 100% daily value of 9 key vitamins and minerals and made with 5 different gluten-free whole grains. Even if you're not a new mom, these Cheerios are a great choice of nutrition for this vegan granola!
  • Vanilla protein powder: essential for boosting the protein content in homemade granola. Today's recipe for vanilla almond granola uses MilkDust's Prenatal Protein Powder to supplement essential vitamins and nutrients like folate and vitamin B12 for pregnant moms. If you're not an expecting mom, just use 33g (1/3 cup) of your favorite vanilla protein powder!
  • Sliced almonds: for an extra crunch and boost of magnesium. I like to buy my almonds pre-sliced to save time, but you can easily chop up unsalted almonds you already have on hand. Just make sure they're thinner or they'll overbake in the oven!
  • Almond butter: the "sticky glue" that coats the granola before baking. I love almond butter because it's more allergen-friendly and has a milder flavor than peanut butter. It's also a great source of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium. Be sure to use a 100% natural creamy almond butter that drips off your knife so it's easy to mix!
  • Unsweetened applesauce: to replace any butter or oil that would normally be in homemade granola. It also naturally sweetens the granola without using any added sugar!
  • Chia seeds: one of my favorite superfoods ever, chia seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! In just one tablespoon of chia seeds (what you need for this vanilla almond granola), you get 5.5g of fiber, 2g of protein, 4.5g of healthy fats, 9% of the RDI for calcium, and 6% of the RDI for iron. The best part is that they're so little you can't even tell they're there! #sneaky
  • Cinnamon: my favorite spice! Cinnamon is full of flavor and rich with antioxidants to boost your immune system. Don't skip the cinnamon!

Ingredients for prenatal and lactation granola

A Healthy Pregnancy and Lactation Snack

Thanks to MilkDust Prenatal Protein Powder, every bite of this tasty vegan granola is fortified with essential nutrients for mom and baby like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, folate, and potassium. It's also 100% plant-based, allergen-free (no gluten, dairy, soy, or corn), and non-GMO.

I've loved using incorporating this protein powder during pregnancy because it makes for a quick and healthy pregnancy snack that keeps me full until the next meal. I've added it to my protein shakes, granolas, pancakes, and even energy bites!

I'm also excited to use their lactation protein powder when I start breastfeeding! Their unique blend of plant-based protein has a slightly different blend of nutritional ingredients that help boost milk supply, keep mom satiated, and promote healthy weight loss after birth.

Lastly, you'll love this granola as a healthy pregnancy snack because every serving is contains:

  • Heart-healthy fats (monounsaturated fats and omega-3s) from the almonds and chia seeds
  • 100% whole grain carbohydrates from the rolled oats and Cheerios
  • 7g of plant-based protein thanks to MilkDust Prenatal Protein Powder, rolled oats, chia seeds, and almonds
  • 2.2mg of iron, which is about 8% of the RDI for pregnant women
  • A good source of magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of depression, and alleviate headaches and nausea

MilkDust prenatal protein powder on top of vanilla almond granola

How to Make Vanilla Almond Granola

Oh my goodness it's SIMPLE. Like, my husband could do it without my help! Just like most baking recipes, there is a bowl of wet ingredients and a bowl of dry ingredients. Combine them and bake!

Don't worry though, if you've never made homemade granola before, I'll break it down step by step below.

Start with mixing the rolled oats, Cheerios, cinnamon, sea salt, and sliced almonds together in a medium-sized bowl.

Next, whisk together the applesauce, almond butter, milk, vanilla, and protein powder in a small bowl until smooth. Gently fold in the chia seeds until combined. Note: the MilkDust Protein Powder will turn the wet ingredients slightly green because it is plant-based. The color won't affect the taste!

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until everything is coated and a little bit sticky. Don't worry, it'll look like there's not enough wet ingredients at first, but I promise there is! It just takes a little bit to get everything mixed.

Spread the granola in an even layer on a large baking sheet. This step is important because we want everything to bake evenly and we want to avoid really big clusters of granola! Bake for 15 minutes, toss with a spoon, and let cool completely on the pan before serving. That's it!

A bowl of lactation vanilla almond granola

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my homemade granola not crunchy?

If you increased the baking temperature or left the granola in the oven for too long, it's likely your granola burned before getting a chance to caramelize and develop a slight crunch.

What makes the granola stick together?

The natural sugars from the almond butter and applesauce caramelize in the heat of the oven, which causes the sugar molecules to bond together. If you like big clusters of granola, don't mix up the granola after baking. If you like smaller, bite-size pieces, give the sheet pan a good toss before cooling. Either way, you'll still have perfectly golden homemade granola!

Why is my vegan granola green?

Using plant-based protein powder might add a green hue to the wet ingredients, especially if using the MilkDust Prenatal Protein Powder. This is normal and won't affect the taste!

If I'm not pregnant, can I use a different protein powder?

Of course! Feel free to use any vanilla protein powder, vegan or not, for your vanilla almond granola. Just make sure to measure out 33g (approximately 1/3 cup) of protein powder.

A tray of vanilla almond granola

How long can homemade granola last?

Allow your granola to cool completely, then store in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 6 months at room temperature.

What can I serve with homemade granola?

This vanilla almond granola is perfect with a bowl of nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (this brand is my favorite!), a bowl of unsweetened almond milk (like cereal), or just by itself! It's so easy to bring on the road for a quick healthy snack.

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and review below so I and other readers know how you liked it! You can also tag me on Instagram with a photo of your finished granola. I love seeing my recipes in your home!

30 Minute Vegan Vanilla Almond Granola

This delicious Vanilla Almond Granola doubles as a healthy lactation snack for breastfeeding moms because it's fortified with essential nutrients from oats, almonds, chia seeds and protein powder. It's also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

15

min

cook:

15

min

total:

30

min

servings:

8

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
  • 1 C Multigrain Cheerios
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ C sliced almonds
  • 1 scoop MilkDust Prenatal Protein Powder* (or 33g vanilla protein powder)
  • ¼ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp natural creamy almond butter**
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oats, Cheerios, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the protein powder, applesauce, almond butter, chia seeds, milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and gently fold together until everything is well combined. (It won't look like enough wet ingredients as first, but I promise it's enough!)
  4. Spread the granola in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, toss with a spoon to break up the big clusters, then let cool for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a plate to finish cooling. Allow the granola to cool completely before serving.

Notes

*You can substitute any vanilla protein powder here, vegan or not, as long as it is 33g (appr. 1/3 cup).

**Using natural almond butter is important because we need it to be runny. If you have a thicker almond butter, you'll need to melt it with 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil in the microwave to make it drippy.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/2 cup (2 oz.) of granola using the MilkDust Prenatal Protein Powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup / Calories: 169 / Fat: 6.8g / Saturated Fat: 0.5g / Carbohydrates: 21.2g / Fiber: 4.3g / Sugar: 3g / Protein: 7.1g / Iron: 2.2mg