This healthy high protein granola recipe is lower in sugar and higher in protein than the average store-bought granola. Oats, nuts, and seeds are combined with plant-based protein powder to give you a delicious and nutritious start to the day. Learn my secret formula for crispy, clumpy granola without eggs!
I’ve always looked at granola like the little girl, face pressed against the glass, yearning for the shiny bike inside. To me, granola was simply too much: too expensive, too high in calories, and too difficult to make at home.
It’s not as if I didn’t try making it at home. It was just most of my attempts didn’t turn out as I wanted. I was a homemade granola failure.
But I kept at it. Soon, I was making my own granola affordably and healthy too. Nowadays, homemade is the only way I roll when it comes to granola!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using plant-based protein powder adds flavor, protein, and even some texture to this recipe
- Adding nuts and seeds contributes nutrition, nutty flavor, and crunch to every bite
- Ground flax seeds added to the granola sauce means no eggs are needed to create granola clusters, the part of granola we all love!
- Protein powder granola doesn’t need much in the way of added sweetener because many protein powders have sweeteners in them.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Rolled oats — These are also referred to as old-fashioned oats. Instant oats are too soft and steel-cut oats are too crunchy, but rolled or old-fashioned oats are just right for granola.
- Nuts — You can use any combination of your favorite nuts, but I recommend walnuts and pecans. Almonds and pistachios would also be great here.
- Seeds — I’m recommending pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds, but you could also add sunflower seeds as well.
- Pumpkin pie spice — I like pumpkin pie spice because it is a combination of several other spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. You can substitute cinnamon if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice.
- Vanilla plant-based protein powder — There are many great vegan protein powders to choose from. The one we use has zero-calorie sweeteners. If you choose one without sweeteners, you should adjust the amount of syrup used in the sauce so your granola is perfectly sweetened to your tastes.
- Ground flax seeds — I’m using flax sort of like a flax egg here, binding the sauce to the granola, to form granola clumps. If you don’t like flax, a chia egg would have the same results.
- Granola Sauce — The granola sauce includes water, vanilla, a little olive oil, and a syrup sweetener like agave nectar or maple syrup.
- Dried fruit — Adding dried fruit, like raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and more creates bites full of chewy texture and sweetness throughout your granola.
I love buying the above ingredients and other vegan products at Costco! Having these products in bulk-sized bags means it’s more affordable and I have plenty on hand to make batch after batch!
What Protein Powder is Best?
Plant-based protein powders are made from a variety of plants, including soy, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, and even peas. They’re the protein powder of choice for this granola recipe. That’s because vegan protein powders are free of cholesterol, and also contain beneficial fibers and even probiotics. You can find plant-based protein powders at health food stores, many grocery stores, and places like Costco or Target. Look for “plant-based” or “vegan” on the package.
How to Make Protein Granola
Let’s get to the best part — making homemade protein granola cereal!
- Stir together oats, nuts, and seeds.
- Make the secret granola sauce.
- Drizzle the sauce over the oats mixture, stirring to coat.
- Press granola into the pan
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and add dried fruit.
- Cool on the pans, then break into pieces and transfer to a lidded container.
Here’s a more detailed step-by-step guide:
Step One: Oats, Nuts, & Seeds
Stir together oats, nuts, seeds, and spices in a large bowl.
Step Two: Secret Granola Sauce
I call this next step the granola secret sauce because that’s what it is! But first, let me explain what I consider to be the perfect granola.
Granola should be clumpy. In other words, the best granola shouldn’t fall into the bowl as many separate pieces. The best granola clumps up, serving up little granola chunks with some individual pieces around it.
I spent time researching how to make clumpy granola. Store-bought granola (and even some homemade granola recipes) achieve clumps by adding egg whites. Of course, I wanted to create an egg-free, clumpy, high-protein, and low-sugar granola recipe. That’s a lot to ask for!
That’s why my secret sauce is the magical part of this recipe.
So, combine the sauce ingredients and give it a good stir.
It’s the ground flax seeds combined with water that helps create that eggy, clumpy effect. No eggs needed at all!
Step Three: Mix Sauce with Granola
Pour this sauce mixture over the granola ingredients in the large bowl and then stir to combine. Make sure it’s mixed throughout the granola.
Step Four: Bake
Spread the granola out onto a prepared pan. I like to press the tofu into the pan, again this helps create more of those desired clusters. Place the pan in the oven and bake.
When it’s done, remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with the dried fruit. Allow it to cool completely on the pan and then break it into pieces.
Transfer granola to a lidded container and store it at room temperature. It will keep for up to 10 to 14 days. You can also refrigerate it or freeze it for longer storage.
- To keep this vegan protein granola low in sugar, I added a minimum of agave. You can add more if you prefer a sweeter granola, but the plant-based protein powder has sweetener in it as well.
- Olive oil may seem a strange addition to a granola recipe, but it adds a touch of healthy fats, while not adding any saturated fats.
- We want to keep the dried fruit chewy so it’s added after the bake.
- Allow the granola to cool completely before breaking it into pieces.
- You can make high protein low sugar granola by using a sugar-free syrup in place of agave nectar.
- Make chocolate protein granola by adding 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the sauce mix or add chocolate chips after the granola is removed from the oven and has cooled slightly.
- To make some peanut butter protein granola add 1/4 cup of peanut butter powder to the sauce mix.
Is granola good for weight loss?
Granola is full of oats, nuts, and seeds. These ingredients all have fiber and protein which is satiating. In addition, granola requires chewing, which may be another satiety signal that can lead to feeling full. According to nutritionist Richard Mattes, nuts help with weight loss because they’re “high in protein, and protein is satiating…high in fiber, and fiber is satiating…rich in unsaturated fats, and there is some literature that suggests that has satiety value.”
Is high protein granola healthy?
Because of the oats, nuts, and seeds, granola delivers healthy, plant-based fiber, protein, omega-3s, and more. However, many granola mixes include lots of sugar, fats, and even eggs. Look for a recipe with minimal sweeteners and fats. Vegan granola doesn’t use eggs, such as this recipe that uses ground flax seeds.
How much protein is in granola?
Most granola recipes offer minimal protein. However, adding protein powder to the granola sauce makes a difference. You can get as many as 9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving with this healthy protein granola recipe.
That’s it for this simple protein granola recipe!
Healthy Homemade High Protein Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder (see note)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup dried fruit , such as dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl. Stir together.
- In a bowl combine the spice, protein powder, ground flax, water, syrup, and olive oil. Stir together then drizzle over oats mixture, stirring to ensure everything is coated.
- Spread uncooked granola evenly across the baking sheet. Press it down gently into the pan to help form clumps while baking. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with dried fruit. Allow cooling completely on pans. Transfer to a lidded container and keep at room temperature for up to 10 days.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.