This oil-free Vegan Maple Bacon Granola is the ultimate salty-sweet snack or crunchy topping with an unexpected veggie secret ingredient!
This recipe involves all kinds of crazy combining…
Sweet + savory.
Breakfast + dinner.
Vegan + maple bacon.
Granola + veggies.
Not to mention its part of an awesome Vegan Brinner (breakfast + dinner) Collab over on YouTube. A collab of unexpected flavors within a collab of amazing vegan video creators if you will.
Okay even I will admit this recipe is not the most on-theme brinner idea. But when you’re me and the idea of posting a real dinner recipe seems very awkward, a breakfast food with added dinner-ish things like vegetables and smoky coconut bacon is about as brinner as it gets. Plus if true brinner food is what you are after, there are 9 other amazing recipes for that!
But brinner or just salty/sweet snack, this stuff is can’t-stop-at-one-handful good. So bring both of your hands. And maybe a jar to fill up for the road. Oooh and a bowl of ice cream because you know that’s going to be a tasty topping contrast. And if you happen to have a glazed donut lying around, grab that and we can maple bacon it up too since donuts seem to be an integral part of the maple bacon movement.
The maple bacon thing is absolutely one of those over-the-top crazy food combos that even I scoffed at for a long time. But now that the hype is years behind us and people have moved on to unicorn milkshakes instead, I can appreciate the actually delicious sweet + savory fusion of my favorite sweetener plus smoky “bacon” flavor. Not gonna lie, using vegan coconut bacon makes it seem much less absurd too. Because putting coconut flakes in granola is something I’ve been doing since long before maple and bacon ever joined forces.
This is actually my first time making coconut bacon and…why did I wait so long? It’s the easiest thing that took me all of 3 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake to crispy perfection. I used this recipe but only made a half batch because
I didn’t realize how low I was on coconut flakes that’s all the more you need for one batch of granola. Actually you will still probably have some extra, but I do reccomend adding lots to the granola so every bite has a bit of bacon flavor to compliment the sweet maple clusters.
If you are truly opposed to the idea of having to use your oven twice for one recipe, I’m pretty sure you can even buy vegan coconut bacon nowadays. Although I did strategically adjust the granola recipe from my usual granola baking time/temp to match the coconut bacon, so you can just toss them in the oven together and then mix once both are toasty.
Now let’s talk about the white cruciferous elephant in the room. Because there are two cups of cauliflower in this seemingly-just-a-snack food, but no one will ever know as long as neither of us spill the granola beans.
The tricky part about adding cauliflower to granola is moisture. Once you start cooking the stuff it’s amazing how much steam it can create. But too much moisture is a sure-fire path to mushy granola, so we have to toast the hell out of the cauliflower before adding it into the bowl of granola ingredients. I tried roasting it in the oven, but that took way too long and still turned out mushy. Toasting it stove-top style works better, and will create crispy little crumbles much faster.
I used frozen riced cauliflower, but you can use fresh cauliflower and rice it yourself in a blender or food processor too. It might take a little longer to toast since the frozen stuff comes pre-cooked, but it will still work. Two cups (measured after ricing) toasts down to a surprisingly small amount, so those toasty little cruciferous bits are hardly detectable after the granola is done. And I promise you won’t taste it at all.
Now about that Vegan Brinner Collab I mentioned. You can watch the full playlist of video recipes HERE. Or take a peek at the recipe line-up with links below…
1. Vegan Maple Bacon Granola from ME!
2. Vegan Breakfast Bao from The Kale Sandwich Show
3. Vegan Breakfast Nachos from Sweet Simple Vegan
4. Vegan Chickun and Waffles from Lisa Reimi
5. Vegan Breakfast Pizza from From My Bowl
6. Vegan Breakfast Tacos from Meat Free Athlete
7. Vegan Egg McMuffins from The Viet Vegan
8. Vegan Breakfast Lasagna from Hot For Food
9. Loaded Potato Waffles from Two Market Girls
10. Vegan Savory Bread Pudding from VeganLovlie
This easy Vegan Maple Bacon Granola is the ultimate salty-sweet snack or crunchy topping with a healthy veggie surprise mixed in!
- 2 cups riced cauliflower ((I used pre-riced frozen cauliflower))
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans ((or any nut/seed))
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut bacon ((*see notes))
- Add the riced cauliflower to a nonstick pan. Cook over medium heat until toasted and crispy, stirring frequently (about 30 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pecans, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the toasted cauliflower and maple syrup. Stir to evenly coat.
- Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350F or until the edges are lightly brown. (You can bake the coconut bacon at the same time on a separate pan if you haven’t already made it!)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before stirring to create the most clusters.
- Add the coconut bacon and mix.
- Enjoy as a snack or topping! Store in an airtight container to keep it crunchy for as long as possible.