This homemade crunchy cinnamon granola made with egg whites is my absolute favorite with its classic oats and honey flavor with vanilla and cardamom. It has seeds like flax, hemp and chia for a little extra protein and fiber. I usually eat it with plain greek yogurt, a chopped up honey crisp apple and a handful of blueberries.
I usually eat it with plain greek yogurt, a chopped up honey crisp apple and a handful of blueberries. This recipe is a home staple and I make it monthly to have on hand for busy morning breakfasts.
This recipe was inspired by our Breakfast Power Cookies, Protein Pancakes, and Peanut Butter Energy Balls. All 3 make great breakfasts or snacks when you need some complex carbs, protein and fiber and AWESOME flavor.
What I Love About This Recipe
I tested this recipe over and over again to get the perfect blend of flavors. I wanted to make it higher in protein, so I switched most of the oil for egg whites which gives it the added benefit of being crunchier. I have found store bought granolas to have a lot of sugar, so I created a flavorful granola with far less sugar. I also crammed it full of nuts and seeds for a variety of fibers and a little more protein. It's the perfect breakfast!
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- old fashioned rolled oats- you can use quick oats, but it's better with old fashioned. I
- slivered almonds- other nuts work great too. Add high protein nuts for a great breakfast option.
- seeds- I use a mixture of flax, chia and hemp seeds. Feel free to use one or all or another type of seed like sunflower seeds.
- cinnamon, caradamom, nutmeg and salt - I tested this recipe extensively to get the perfect blend of spices for the best flavor. The cardamom adds a delicious warmth that goes so well with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- egg whites- egg whites help form those perfect granola clusters and add a little more protein.
- honey - I love this recipe with honey! I've made it with different types of sweeteners and found that honey has the best flavor and texture for this granola.
- avocado oil- olive, vegetable or canola oil can be used for this as well
- vanilla - I always use pure, but you can get away with imitation in this recipe since vanilla isn't a highlighted flavor but just used to accent all the other flavors.
How To Make Crunchy Homemade Granola
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
Place oats, almonds, seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and nutmeg into a bowl.
Toss lightly with your hands. Don't worry about a good mix, the most important thing is just that the spices are spread out so they don't clump together when adding the wet ingredients.
Whisk egg whites. Make a shallow well in the oats and pour in the egg whites, honey, oil and vanilla.
Mix using a spatula until well blended. All the ingredients will start to stick together a bit. Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake at 275 for 25 minutes. Gently turn granola over with a spatula.
Return the granola to the oven an additional 20-25 minutes until golden.
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- quick oats-substitute quick oats for old fashioned- but be careful of baking time, shorten the baking time by 5 minutes and watch carefully for overbaking.
- oil- the type of oil isn't as important here. You can use any oil: coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil or canola oil.
- chopped or sliced nuts- any type of nut goes great. Pecans, walnuts, cashews, macademia nuts. The world is your oyster. Pick you favorite and go with it.
- seeds- most small seeds should work great. We love this with sunflower seeds, they taste great! Or, go seedless! The recipe still works great without seeds.
- Cranberry Pecan- for a delicious fun version use pecans and 1 cup of craisins.
- Macadamia White Chocolate- Use macadamia nuts instead of almonds, then after they have baked, either spread white chocolate chips over the top while it's hot for a white chocolate glaze or wait until cooled and add 1 cup of white chocolate chips.
- Walnut Apricot- add walnuts instead of almonds then add 1 cup of chopped dried apricots after baking, or just serve with yogurt and apricot jam!
Go for the double! Make a double batch (it stores well for 2 months) and have it a few days a week until you run out. For a double batch, stir at 35 minutes, then 15-20 minutes later stir again. If it looks done (nice and golden, even on the bottom) pull it out. If it's not quite golden, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Side note for a double batch: There won't be as many clusters when making a double batch.
I like to prepare all my wet ingredients and add them all at the same time so I can start stirring before one of them starts to seep into and get absorbed into the granola by itself.
How to Serve Homemade Granola
My favorite way to eat it is with plain Greek yogurt, a chopped up apple and a handful of blueberries.
When we have houseguests I love to use it to make acai granola bowls. I'll make a little buffet of the works toppings for it. I use bananas, peanut butter, honey, greek yogurt, acai, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes and whatever else I have laying around.
It will crisp up as it cools, but it should be slightly crisp and not very soft when it comes out of the oven.
Crunchy Cinnamon Granola with Egg Whites
For the dry ingredients:
- 5 cups old fashioned oats
- ¾ cup chopped or sliced nuts- I use almonds but feel free to use cashews, pecans, walnuts or other
- ⅓ cup mixed seeds I use a mix of chia, hemp and flax, but use whatever you have on hand
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
For the wet ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil I've also used olive and vegetable oil and it doesn't really matter which one you use.
- 4 egg whites large
- ½ cup honey if you want it less sweet, go down to ⅓ cup, but don't do less than that or the flavor is quite lacking
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 275*.
- Put oats, then remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Toss gently, but not too much or the nuts and seeds sink to the bottom.
- Put oil and egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk 30-60 seconds.
- Add remaining wet ingredients and mix. It will separate, don't worry about it.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until combined, making sure you mix from the bottom up to get it all incorporated together. See photos above to check for consistency.
- Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake 25 minutes, then pull out and gently turn the granola over.
- Bake and additional 20-25 minutes until golden brown and lightly crisped. Don't break up the clumps!
- Allow to cool completely before breaking it up and moving into an airtight container.