Cherry Almond Granola – a Vegan and Gluten-Free recipe I made in honor of a special friend and extraordinary human being – a Celebration of Life!
Cherry Almond Granola Recipe Tips
Granola is one of those dishes that is crazy-simple to make. Just start with the ingredients you want: oats, nuts, coconut, flavorings. Add a bit of sweetness and some oil to toast the oats and nuts. Pop in the oven and stir a couple of times. It’s done when it’s a beautiful golden color.
But you can make this recipe your own.
Don’t want to use Olive Oil? Good substitutes include: melted butter, melted coconut oil, vegetable or canola oil, or any neutral-flavored oil.
Can you use different nuts, say pumpkin seeds? You can substitute any nuts for the almonds and cashews. Just stick to about 2 1/2 cups total. I chose almonds and cashews because they were used in the original Con Pane recipe. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sesame seeds, peanuts, all good here!
What if I don’t have Maple Syrup? You can substitute an equal volume of honey for the maple syrup, just realize it’s much thicker, so be sure to mix it up with the oil so it’s easier to incorporate into the he oat and nut mixture.
Do I need to use the Ground Flaxseed or Wheat Germ? If you don’t have or don’t love these items, feel free to leave them out. But they do add some additional nutritional benefits like fiber and healthy fats for the flaxseed and additional whole grains and fiber for the wheat germ.
I don’t have, or don’t like, Almond Extract. That’s fine, you can either omit it or substitute Vanilla Extract. But know the almond extract both complements the nutty flavors and the dried tart cherries.Print
Cherry Almond Granola
This Cherry Almond Granola is so tasty! It has all the flavors we love: crunchy roasted oats, almonds, cashews; toasted coconut, chewy dried cherries. A bit of cinnamon and almond extract for added depth. Perfect for eating every day, or serving for a special occasion.
Salty and sweet, fruity and nutty, this granola offers a nice serving of healthy fats and fiber!
And so easy to prepare!
Equipment needed: a half-sheet pan (12×18) or 2-9×13 pans to spread the granola to bake, and a big bowl to mix all the ingredients.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 45 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 10 cups 1x
- Category: Granola
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 4c Rolled Oats
- 1/2 c Ground Flaxseed or Wheat Germ (I used Flaxseed Meal)
- 1/3 c Brown Sugar (light preferred)
- 1 c raw or salted cashews, roughly chopped. (See Note 1)
- 1 1/2 c whole or halved almonds (I used toasted, salted almonds)
- 1/2 c Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
- 1 t cinnamon
- 3/4 t salt
- 1 t almond extract (See Note 2)
- 1/2 c Pure maple syrup (See Note 3)
- 1/3 c olive oil (See Note 4)
- 1 1/2 c dried tart cherries
Preheat the Oven
- Preheat oven to 325F (Conventional) – I used 300F in my Convection/Fan oven. Line a sheetpan with parchment or cooking spray.
Mix the Ingredients:
- Roughly chop 3/4 cup of the almonds, and leave the remaining 3/4 cup whole or halved.
- In a large bowl combine The oats, flaxseed meal (or wheat germ), brown sugar, cashews, whole almonds, chopped almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt.
- In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil and almond extract.
- Using 1/3 to 1/2 the liquid mixture at a time, pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and fold in until the maple syrup mixture is evenly distributed.
- Pour granola onto a large baking sheet (half-sheet size, or you can use 2-quarter sheets or 2-9×13 pans)
- Bake in the oven until beautifully golden brown and crispy, stirring once or twice during baking, about 35-45 min. (I took min out at 42 min)
- Cool on the pan, placed over a wire rack.
- When cooled completely, fold in the dried cherries.
- Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit, or with milk, or munch on a handful. Store in an airtight container. Keeps 2-3 weeks at room temp if tightly sealed.
1. You can use any type of nuts here. Extra almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts. I used cashews because that’s what I think the original Con Pane recipe included.
2. You can omit if you like, or substitute Vanilla Extract. But I highly recommend the almond.
3. Please don’t use anything but Pure Maple Syrup. Don’t use the maple-flavored corn syrup varieties. You can substitute honey if you prefer, just know it is harder to stir and mix in and will be a bit sweeter than Natural Maple Syrup.
4. You can use any neutral oil, or melted butter or coconut oil if you wish.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Keywords: Cherry Almond Granola, granola, coconut, homemade granola, recipe
So sorry for your loss, Laura. People like your friend Phil, are truly treasures in one’s life. I am glad life sent across such a beautiful soul and friends to you. Making his favorite granola is such a beautiful tribute.
Thanks so much! I appreciate your kind words. It was truly a joy to create this dish in his honor.
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
Just looking at pictures of your homemade granola is making my stomach rumble, Laura. There’s very few things I like as much as it!! Cherry almond is a terrific flavor too. I would love to have this over some yogurt, with some berries in the morning!!
Thanks so much, Katherine! I agree! And this one is so tasty, I know I’ll be making it on repeat! I eat it the same way – yogurt + blueberries!
Sorry to read of your loss Laura. And also for the painful time you went through with your own health. I love this recipe. It’s nice that you made his recipe and shared the memories of your friend. Thanks.
Thanks so much, Neil! I appreciate your kind words. And glad you like the recipe! Thanks for visiting!
Kelly | Foodtasia says
So sorry for your loss, Laura. Such a beautiful read and such an inspiration to live a beautiful life. Even though I don’t know Phil, I bet I’ll think of him every time I come across cherry almond granola. May we all live our lives to the fullest. Sending you a big hug xo
Thank you so much, Kelly. I appreciate your kind words. I feel like we can learn something from just about everyone we come across. And it’s good to remember those who’ve been special “teachers of life”. XO
This granola is such a fabulous recipe for the morning! I love all the ingredients in this.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I never ever buy store bought granola Laura. I always go the homemade route. Can’t wait to try your version. I love the cherries and almonds!
Thanks, Mary Ann! It’s my favorite version right now. I love the whole crunchy almonds! And I agree, no reason to buy store bought when homemade is so much better!
Cara Thome says
Laura, this is beautiful. So well said. I can’t wait to try the recipe. We miss Con Panne!
Got your gift yesterday – so amazing! Thank you. It was unnecessary but wonderful. 🙂
Thanks so much Cara! I hope you get the chance. I wish I had even tried Con Pane Granola, so it would be interesting to know if this recipe is even close to theirs. I’d found a photo and ingredient list and just guessed at everything in the middle. (!) And, glad you liked my gift to you – was the least I could do! ☺️
David @ Spiced says
Gosh, what a heartfelt post, Laura. I loved it! Of course, I’m sorry to hear about Phil, but I love sharing the story behind the recipe here. It makes me feel a connection to the recipe – and I’m always more likely to make a recipe if there’s a connection there. Phil sounds like a wonderful man, and I’m truly sad for his wife and daughter. (I’m also surprised to hear about your lymph node troubles. Glad that’s in the past!) It’s great that you can make and eat this simple (but delicious!) recipe and evoke memories of a wonderful friend. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks, David! I always like sharing the stories behind recipes. I got away from that a bit (SEO and such) but really hope to do it more. I feel like our connections to food are so important, too, and always make for a better recipe, too! One day, maybe I’ll continue my own story here. But its one of the things that started this site. Phil was a wonderful person and great friend, and hoping this recipe does evoke his memories. Thanks for your kind words, my friend!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
So sorry for the loss of your friend!!! That’s always hard. Such a yummy recipe to celebrate him, Laura. Sounds like this one definitely is a must try. Love cherries and almonds together!
Thanks so much, Dawn! It is an awesome recipe, and I hope you get the chance to try it! I agree, Cherries and almonds together are scrumptious!
Kim Lange says
That granola looks so amazing and I know I’d probably eat it all in one sitting! Pinned!
Thanks, Kim! It is pretty scrumptious! Thanks for pinning!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats says
Awww I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend! What a lovely recipe to celebrate Phil. We should definitely call this Phil’s Granola!! And glad you are better now too! That sounds like it was scary! Xoxo
Thanks, Kelly! In my house, this will always be “Phil’s Granola”. Just wish the bakery that originally made it was still in business. Although I’m serious when I say, this is the BEST Granola I’ve ever made! Love it so much!
A stirring tribute to Phil and friendship in a well written story. Cherry and almond is a favorite combo for me, “Phil’s Granola” is going to the top of my list. Also love that olive oil is here as a first choice for the oil ingredient.
Thank you so much Juliet! I appreciate that you read the story, and loved it as much as I truly felt honored to write it. I hope you love this granola as much as we do, and I have to say, this is the one I keep making again and again! Thanks for your kind comment!