Uncle David’s Hearty Vegan Granola recipe is an easy-to-make vegan, gluten-free, oil-free granola; slow-baked baked in natural sweeteners for deeply satisfying, delicious crunch.
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If you love starting your morning with a delicious bowl of whole-grain goodness, you are in the right place! This great-tasting, protein-rich vegan granola recipe is shared here courtesy of my sister’s Uncle David, faithful breakfast eater and lifelong vegan. Ever humble, Uncle David says,
I wish I could take the credit [for this recipe] but it is from a friend’s cookbook that is my favorite: Best Gourmet Recipes from Five Loaves Deli & Bakery by Neva Brackett. I use the recipe all the time and never tire of it. Best I’ve ever had. Enjoy!
Regardless of the source, recipes for granola – favorite breakfast cereal turned traveling-snack of hippies, West Coast hipsters, and aging boomers alike – are as numerous and varied as are the ingredients used to make them.
This recipe, however, stands out in a couple of significant ways: it contains no added fats, no sweets (i.e., carob, chocolate, candy-coated M&M’s and the like so often found in “trail mix” granola varieties) and is naturally vegan. Moreover, with just the right amount of sweetness and no more, it is a delicious, natural source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
The primary sweetener in this granola is pureed dates; which, I have to admit I thought sounded awful when I first read the recipe (I don’t like dates); however, going on my sister’s recommendation, I gave it a try. Wow! I am so glad I did! This is one granola recipe you will be making over and over.
Hearty Vegan Breakfast Granola
- 2 cups pitted or chopped dates
- 1/2 cup walnuts roasted peanuts, or almonds
- 2 tablespoons of sesame tahini
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup honey or agave, or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tsp maple flavoring
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 42 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats about 14 cups
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, or more
- 1 - 2 cups slivered almonds coarsely chopped walnuts, and/or roasted peanuts roasted peanuts
- Breheat oven to 200°F [93°C]
- Place dates and 1/2 cup nuts in blender. Add hot water, honey, vanilla, molasses, maple flavoring and salt. Blend for about a minute until smooth.
- Place the oats, coconut, and nuts in a roasting pan or very large mixing bowl.
- Add blended mix to the oats in the large bowl and gently mix together with your hands.
- Work the wet and dry mixtures together for several minutes until all the oats are all very evenly moistened and coated.
- Place in large cake pans or cookie sheets, taking care not to pack or pat it down tightly. Keep it light and airy.
- Place pans in oven at 200°F [93°C] for about 8-10 hours. (I usually use a spatula to turn the granola a couple of times during the baking process.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
- HONEY: The use of honey is a hot-button of contention in the vegan community: some are fine with it, while others are vehemently opposed to its use. Uncle David is one of the former; however, if you avoid honey altogether, you can substitute agave 1:1 for the honey.
- NUTS: I have literally never made this the same twice: I’m always mixing up the nut blend, or adding more coconut, or throwing something in when I have a handful leftover that I don’t know what else to do with.
- OATS: Uncle David’s says, “Preferably Quaker or Three-Minute brand—avoid other and most bulk brands. They go to pieces and don’t make a tender, flaky granola“*
- COCONUT: We loooove coconut in our house, so I always use at least 2 cups.**
- TAHINI: If you don’t have tahini, peanut butter makes a fine substitute.
It is a good idea to use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven is really 200 degrees. We have found that ovens vary greatly and granola can easily burn if the temperature is too high. For really tender granola, use a convection oven!
BONUS IDEA! The first time I made this, while I was “testing” the puree, it occurred to me that is would make a fabulous fruit dip, and it did! All you need to do is mix the date puree (from step #1) 50/50 with plain yogurt, add an extra splash of vanilla, then serve it up with some fruit chunks. People will call you a genius!