Apple Cinnamon Granola Clusters

Is there anything more warming and cozy than the smell and flavor of apple spice granola? Granola clusters and energy bites are popular snack items at the grocery store, but did you know that you can make your own at home? By making your own, you get to control the cost and the amount of added sugar – double win! Apple cinnamon granola clusters are easy to make because they are made from just a few pantry staple ingredients. Try them out and enjoy the benefits of a healthy homemade snack!

Three Must-Know Cooking Skills

Learn these 3 fundamental culinary skills first!

How to Measure Weight vs. Volume
Measuring Wet vs. Dry Ingredients
Kitchen Tools for Kids

Culinary Tips for Healthy Apple Cinnamon Granola Clusters

To help the peanut butter and honey slide out of the measuring spoon, spray with cooking spray before using. Or use Chef V’s favorite spatula tool that fits in a tablespoon measure to help get the peanut butter out!

If the peanut butter is too hard to mix, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds for easier mixing.

If trying to reduce waste in your kitchen, consider purchasing a silicon baking mat instead of parchment paper. It’s reusable and can withstand temperatures up to 500º F.

Clusters will continue to crisp and harden as they cool just like granola, so allow to cool before eating and storing.

Apple cinnamon granola bites are a great recipe for kids to help make! They love measuring, mixing, and rolling.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Oats: substitute quick oats. Do not substitute steel cut oats, as they need to be cooked in water.
  • Applesauce: substitute other fruit or vegetable purees, although then it wouldn’t be an apple cinnamon cluster! Pumpkin, banana, or pear purees would all work. 
  • Peanut Butter: substitute almond, cashew, sunflower, or soy nut butter.
  • Honey: substitute maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips: use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, but keep them mini. Substitute dairy-free chocolate chips for a vegan apple cinnamon granola bite.
  • Cinnamon: substitute pumpkin or apple pie spice.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to add other mixins of your choice! Vanilla extract, finely chopped nuts, ground flaxseeds, or chia seeds would all make great additions.

Want to add some healthy omega-3 fats to the recipe? Add 2 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts for apple walnut granola clusters.

Not a chocolate fan? Just leave them out! Remember, we encourage you to cook to YOUR taste!

Equipment Recommendations

You just need a few basic equipment pieces for this applesauce granola bite recipe! These should be part of your kitchen toolkit, but if you don’t already have them, these are the brands and items we recommend! 

Health Benefits of Apple Cinnamon Clusters

Apple cinnamon granola clusters are a healthy snack any time of day! The featured ingredients in this recipe are oats, applesauce, nut butter, and cinnamon.

Oats

Oats of any variety are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Carbohydrates are important for energy and focus. (1, 2)

Applesauce

Apples and applesauce contain prebiotic fibers which support good gut health. (3) Apples also contain phytochemicals that may reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risk. (4) Choose unsweetened varieties.

Nut Butter

Nut butter – almond, cashew, peanut, etc. – contains plant-based protein and healthy fats. These nutrients help you feel satisfied until your next meal. Choose natural varieties (i.e. just nuts and salt) whenever possible.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is packed with phytochemicals that feature antimicrobial, anticancer, antidiabetic, and antiinflammatory properties (5, 6, 7, 8). Additionally, cinnamon provides a sweeter flavor to foods, decreasing the need for added sugar.

Serving Suggestions

Apple cinnamon granola clusters are a healthy snack any time of day! Eat between meals for a great midday snack, add them to a balanced lunch, or enjoy before or after a workout or sporting event for a healthy energy boost!

Storage Tips

After cooking, allow the baked apple granola bites to cool completely. Once cool, place in an airtight container and store in the pantry for 1 to 2 weeks.

Want more healthy snack recipes?

Try out these favorites, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!

Energy Bites Base Recipe

Trail Mix Base Recipe

Roasted Chickpeas Base Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Granola Clusters
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

Made with oats, applesauce, peanut butter, and cinnamon, apple cinnamon granola clusters bring familiar fall scents into your kitchen!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F. 

  2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, applesauce, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to drop mixture by the teaspoon onto paper. Form into small balls.

  4. Bake 1 hour until bites are golden. Granola clusters will continue to crisp and harden while cooling. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If peanut butter is too hard to mix, microwave for 30 seconds to make it easier to stir. 

 

Cook 40 minutes for soft apple cinnamon granola clusters.

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