Almond Chai Breakfast Clusters {grain-free}

October 4th, 2012 at 8:08 am


Ready for some super satisfying, no-bake, sweet and spicy breakfast action?

Meet my new grain-free granola creation. Wake up to a warm and spiced treat with these Almond Chai Breakfast Clusters. Packed with healthy fats and plant-based protein from the nuts and seeds, they set up perfectly in the freezer and don’t even require baking.

I used to be a creature of habit when it came to breakfast, starting my day with one of two things: cereal or homemade granola with fruit, or sprouted wheat bread with almond butter and honey. That’s before I transitioned to a gluten-free, whole foods based diet. I’ve learned through a lot of trial and error that my body does best with satiating fats and proteins in the morning instead of just carbohydrates.

I’m no longer a creature of habit. My breakfasts now span a wide range of foods, all the way from smoothies to scrambles to clusters to puddings to salads. I love the variety and am always excited to start my day with wholesome and delicious food.

With fall’s vibrant colors speckling the Wisconsin landscape, I’m wanting to be outside now more than ever. Long walks happen daily. I can’t say I’ve ever hiked a mountain or backpacked in the wilderness, but this is the first year that I’ve actually thought it might be kind of a neat thing to do. Since that’s coming from a very tame indoorsy person (the kind of person who is utterly bummed when her Uggs get splashed with rain water), that’s saying a lot.

If you’re into outdoorsy stuff—whether you’re an avid backpacker or weekend hiker—these clusters are the ultimate trail food. Wrap them up tightly in some waxed paper, throw them in your pack, and head off on your adventure knowing you’ve got a tasty snack in tow.

There’s no shortage of cookies, bars, bites, and balls around here. Just take at look at my archives!

That said, if you’re like me and can’t get enough wholesome healthy-enough-to-eat-for-breakfast treat action, then you might want to check out these recipes, too:


Almond Chai Breakfast Clusters
Makes 12 hearty clusters

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup raisins or dried currants
¼ cup creamy raw almond butter (unsweetened)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Line 12 cups of a standard muffin pan with paper liners. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the almonds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt until the nuts are finely chopped, about 10-15 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the shredded coconut and raisins.

In a small pot over low heat, whisk together the almond butter, honey, and applesauce. Whisk constantly until the almond butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the flaxseed. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.

Using slightly wet hands, press the mixture firmly into the bottoms of the lined muffin cups to create tightly packed clusters. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Store the clusters in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


  1. These look delicious. So many of my favorite flavors all in one little treat. Perfection! Also, I am with you, I am all about variety and different things, I get bored quite quickly with a food if I eat it too much, so I am always trying out new things and different meal options :) I will def try these!

  2. These look very “moreish”. :) I could eat more than my fair share of them!

  3. Making these asap. I love this kind of snack/breakfast–so many healthy ingredients and a bonus of grain free! Thanks for another fabulous recipe, Hallie. :D

  4. Yum! Love all the spices. Looks like the perfect Fall snack!

  5. Ohh…these look yummy! And would be handy on a fall hike….the leaves are beautiful this year (on the other side of the state)!!!

  6. A perfect trail snack indeed Hallie! This are pinned and shared, thanks for the link love!

  7. I’m ready! Hallie I love these and wish I had some RIGHT NOW! What a jam-packed recipe.

  8. These look incredible! Bring on the power breakfast :)

  9. OMG! I love Chai spices and nuts and seeds…umm the only thing to decide is, do I go with raisins or currants? One thing for sure, I will be making these ASAP!

    Pinned, shared on Facebook and adding it to my MMM Must-Make-Monday series :)

  10. I think these are exactly what I need this morning – thanks for posting!

  11. Making these this morning, rolling them into small balls, taking to a party where people can pop them into their mouth and utter, yummmmmmm love all your bites, keep the recipes coming. Thank you

  12. A perfect morning recipe! I would totally feel great about sending my kiddos out the door with these in their bellies! Totally going to make these! :D

  13. Love the look of these, we can’t do apple or pear sauce any ideas for substitutions.

    Thanks so much!

  14. Joi: Try pumpkin puree! :)

  15. Great, thanks so much!!

  16. Can’t wait to try these!

  17. I made these with 1/4 cup of chopped bittersweet choc chips instead of the raisins, to reduce the sugar. I used glycerin instead of honey, coconut oil instead of applesauce, and added 1/2 tsp powdered stevia. Also didn’t have cardamom, but it turned out really good anyways! It made 24 mini muffins (in the silicone tin).

  18. These sound delicious! I’ll definitely try them, but I’ll have to use a different sweetening agent.

  19. I HATE shredded coconut. Any tips for an alternative?

  20. I made these this afternoon with pumpkin instead of applesauce, with xylitol honey and a little stevia and a combination of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Just took them out of the freezer and ate the first one. Oh my, it will be a challenge not to go back another. These were yummy and very “oatmeal cookie” like. Thanks for a great treat I will add to my menus.

  21. any way to lose the honey? can’t use sweetener :)

  22. Thank you so much, they are so good! I was amazed to be able to throw them together with what was already in my kitchen. Put in maple syrup instead of honey cause that’s what I had on hand. Also, I threw everything in the blender instead of heating up any ingredients. I tasted the batter and decided to go without the spices. So much flavor already! The bit of salt is a must.

  23. By any chance, have you figured out the nutritional information on these? I’m especially interested in the carbs. Thanks!

  24. This recipe is fabulous, I made them this evening! Super easy to make! Thank you for posting.

  25. I love this as a quick breakfast for myself and my kids! What is the serving size and the calories per piece? Where do I find this info on your recipes on your site?

    • I put the ingredients through MyFitnessPal to calculate.
      Recipe states it makes 12 servings (muffin tin size).
      Each serving is 218 cal, 16g fat, 17g carbs, 11 g sugars, 5 g protein.

  26. I am trying to cut all sugar from my diet. Is the honey a binder or just for sweetness? Can coconut oil replace the honey your think? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  27. Normally i don’t care for raisins, but i found the chai spice + almond butter balanced out their sweetness really nicely. i’m gonna make a batch of these for my lil brother to take back with him when he comes to visit me for easter ;) you know how careless college boys are with eating healthy. thanks for the recipe!

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.