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Almond Banana Nut Clusters (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Almond-Banana-Nut-Clusters5Every time my husband and I travel, I pack some healthy snacks for our adventure.  Personally, I am not much of a snacker but my husband is an all-day grazer… ALL DAY! :)  And that being the case, I love making sure that his snack drawer is well stocked.

He loves all of the raw granolas that I make but I learned that he never wants to eat them as a cereal per se, so with that in mind, I like to make large clusters so that they are easier to grab and go.

I will tell you that this recipe has a trick up its sleeve.  I had it in the dehydrator for almost 24 hours and when I pulled the dehydrator out to test it, it still felt a bit sticky.  But once it cooled, it firmed right up… but has a soft-chew to it.

I didn’t want to dry it out, as we like it with a little chew, so in our book it turned out perfect.  I didn’t chop up the nuts for this recipe, I left them whole to give the cluster more hardy texture.   But I want you to “own” this recipe, making it just the way that you like it… soft, chewy, big and crunchy or small and dainty.  Regardless of the shape and size… the taste will amaze you.

As you might notice in the ingredient list, I state to soak the nuts prior to adding them to the recipe. If you already have these nuts soaked, dehydrated and in the pantry… go ahead and use those without soaking them again.  The main thing is that the nuts have been soaked to help reduce the phytic acid. This will make it much easier on your digestive system.

If you don’t own a dehydrator and wish to bake this recipe… please let me know how it goes. I have many readers who are in this situation and need to use their oven for drying purposes.  If you wish to keep this recipe as raw as possible, turn the oven on the lowest setting, crack the door and run a fan with the air blowing past the oven front.  When baking, keep a watchful eye on the nut clusters making sure they don’t burn.  Document the time for future batches.  I hope you all enjoy this recipe.

P.S I first created this recipe and shared it on July 21st, 2013.  My husband had a craving for these so I made them today (October 24th, 2015). While I was at it, I took a few new photos and cleaned up the preparation instructions.  My recipe writing skills have greatly improved throughout the years. :) Blessings! amie sue


yields roughly 14 cups nut clusters

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked
  • 1 cup raw pecans, soaked
  • 1 cup raw, rolled oats, soaked
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, soaked
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4.4 oz dried bananas, rehydrated
  • 3/4 cup raw agave nectar or equivalent
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted


Dry ingredients:

  1. Prep work: soak the nuts and oats.  Click on the link provided above to learn how if you are new to this concept.
    • Note: hemp seeds don’t require soaking, click (here) to read why.
    • After the nuts are done soaking, drain and rinse them before adding to the recipe.
    • Once the oats are done soaking, these too need a very good rinsing.  This takes a little bit but rinse them under cool water for 2 minutes.  Squeeze the excess water from them before adding to the recipe.
  2. Place the almonds, pecans, oats, walnuts, raisins and hemp seeds in a large bowl and set aside.

Wet ingredients:

  1. Rehydrate the bananas by covering them with enough warm for about 15 minutes.
    • Once ready to use, drain the soak water.
    • This helps to soften them a little for combining.
    • Fresh bananas will change the texture of this granola. Feel free to experiment.
  2. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade combine the sweetener, almond butter, cinnamon, salt, dates and bananas.  Process until it is nice and smooth.  Set aside.


  1. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well.  This mixture is STICKY!
  2. Sprinkle the batter in clusters onto the teflex sheets that come with the dehydrator.
    • I use the Excalibur 9 tray.
    • If you don’t have teflex sheets you can use parchment paper, but steer clear of wax paper!  Your batter will stick to it.
  3. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 145 (F) degrees then reduce to 115 (F) degrees, continuing to dry for about 4 hours or until it is dry enough to move the clusters over to the mesh sheet.
    • Removing it from the teflex will help speed up the dry time.
    • Continue to dry until desired dryness is reached.
  4. Allow the granola cluster to thoroughly dry before storing.
  5. Store in airtight container on the counter for 7 days, in the fridge for 1 month and in the freezer for 3 months.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes,  click (here) to read why.
  • Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon?  Click (here) to learn why.
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Learn how to make your own raw almond butter by clicking (here).
  • Are oats gluten-free?  Yes, read more about that (here).
  • Are oats raw?  Yes, they can be found.  Click (here) to learn more.
  • Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats?  Not required but recommended.  Click (here) to see why.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).


One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage.  Daily I get questions regarding substitutions.  Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe.    I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family.  I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.

So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item.  Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient.   Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself.   So have fun, don’t be afraid,  and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.

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30 thoughts on “Almond Banana Nut Clusters (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Christine says:

    Looks SO delicious!

  2. Sarah says:

    This recipe sounds very yummy!! How can I do the banana from fresh instead of a packet?

    Thank you

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Sarah, I would use dehydrated bananas, whether you buy them or make them yourself. Fresh bananas won’t give it the same texture and outcome. But you can try it and see how it comes out. Have a great day, amie sue

  3. Grace says:

    could I substitute honey for the agave nectar?

  4. bethanne says:

    this looks fabulous, as usual! your emails are the first thing i read in the morning…
    your photos are awesome…and i love your conversational style of writing. makes me feel like i am chatting with a neighbor!

    here’s my question- could you use raw bananas in this recipe instead of the dried bananas?
    i’d love to share that you have inspired me to start a blog too! its http://www.rawbitesandvegandelights.blogspot.com
    thanks so much for the inspiration-

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Bethanne.

      You will have so much fun with your blog! Good job! :) I recommend using dehydrated bananas due to the different texture that they give to the batter, but fresh can be tried. I haven’t tested it that way so not sure how they would set up. Have a great day, amie sue

  5. Michele says:

    I simply LOVE your website and recipes!!! This one is definitely a MUST-TRY for me!!! Thank you!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Michele. Please keep me posted if you give it a try. I always enjoy the feed-back. Have a glorious day, amie sue

  6. Natalia says:

    Mmm, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. Cassie says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    These look delightful, I would take these with me anywhere can’t wait to try. One silly question: are the nuts dehydrated also or just soaked? They’re under “dry ingredients” and I don’t want to guess :)

    • amie-sue says:

      No silly questions allowed Cassie. hehe Meaning… there is no such thing as a silly question in my book. :) You can use the nuts right after soaking, no need to dehydrate them first. I have them under the dry ingredients because the “wet” ingredients gets blended together into a sauce basically. If you already have soaked and dehydrated nuts on hand, those can be used and you don’t have to resoak them. Does that help? amie sue

      • Cassie says:

        Yes! That makes it so easy soaked or soaked & dehydrated. I love the versatility, it really makes raw food living easier. I’ll try this but I’m going to use raw honey in place of agave. We had a massive honey bee hive on our front porch and just had a bee keeper remove it and take to his farm last week. So I have jars of beautiful raw honey (and wax)! Thank you Amie-Sue

  8. suzi says:

    ok just boxed these beauties up and popped em in the fridge. bet they will all be gone after tomorrow!! cant wait to try them. changed the bananas for goji berries, changed the hemp seeds for chia, and after 5 hours of the 115*, i became impatient and pushed it up to 250* for an hour more. thinking they’d be good with popcorn too, like a healthy poppycock!! thanks for the great recipe, the inspiring photos and YOU!!

  9. Joan says:

    Hi Amie-Sue…

    I just made these and used 1/2 a fresh small banana. They are in the dehydrator now. Yes, they were sticky at first, but seem to be firming up well. The hint of banana flavor is nice. Will be taking them to Lassen Park this weekend. Will share with the other campers, hikers and birders. Thanks for the traveling snack idea!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Joan, your fellow campers, hikers and birders are lucky to have you along to share such goodness with them. :) I hope the Almond clusters are well received. Have a wonderful trip and be safe. amie seu

  10. joy says:

    I just made these and I could barely get them in the dehydrator. They are sooooo good. The wet batter ingredients are good enough to make separately and use as a dip or a topping.
    Thank you for the recipe..it is a keeper

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Joy and I so agree. That is the problem with raw…. it all tastes good at every stage. hehe Blessings, amie sue

  11. rhonda says:

    Amie-sue I have these babies just finishing in the dehydrator and my husband and I are in love with them.
    I doubled the recipe and found they didn’t come out with that glaze as I see hear but they are very delicious.
    The next batch I want to add some cacao niblets

    • amie-sue says:

      So happy to hear that you are enjoying them… hubby too :) And great idea to add cacao nibs! Have a blessed day, amie sue

  12. Angela says:


    Is there any way I can make any of your recipes without a dehydrator? I plan on buying one when I get the money but for now I would really like to try and get by without using one!


    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Angela,

      I am sure many recipes would stand up to an oven but I don’t have the experience to say for sure. I don’t bake/cook the raw recipes that I create. The best advice that I can give you in those terms is to set the oven at the lowest temp and keep the door ajar. Then keep an eagle on the food that you put in there to watch for burning. The recipes won’t be raw any longer, so be aware of that.

      Just a suggestion but you can watch Craigslist for Excalibur dehydrators. I have bought 2 used ones for a fraction of the price that way. Have a blessed weekend Angela. amie sue

  13. cassie says:

    Want to quickly share with you a good story about how your nut cluster recipe/creation has touched a few. My son is serving in the US Navy. He was home in August for a couple weeks before going on deployment out into the pacific for 8-9 months. Of course I made raw foods most every day. As I had hoped, he took a liking to them :) I made a batch of the nut clusters and before long I heard “where are those nut clusters?” Gone they were–already. I made more of course. He said why don’t you send me some of those in a care package. I got a couple emails saying “did you send the nut clusters??” Then I heard “they arrived! they’re awesome. Send more! I’ve shared them with a few guys and they like them. They don’t don’t get good food like this. Oh mom, you better leave out the hemp, because we have our blood tested, you never know.” Too sweet! :) I’m making another batch now, it’s one small treat for them to enjoy. Thank you Amie-Sue xxoo for sharing your gifts!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Cassie,

      I just LOVED that you share this with me. After reading it myself, I read it out loud to Bob and we both just smiled like there is no tomorrow. :) Your labor of love in sending those to your son is a blessing to all of those who partake. Sending prayers and blessing to your son. Thank you Cassie. amie sue

  14. Nancy says:

    I could not bring myself to rehydrate my treasured dried bananas for this recipe. So I risked it, as I noted others have done. They were great. I used 2 ripe bananas and cut the agave from 3/4 to 1/4 cup. Plenty sweet too. Also added dehydrated sprouted buckwheat and quinoa for more crunch. Thank you so much, amie-sue. Your blog is great.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Nancy… thank you so much for sharing this. I didn’t have any fresh bananas on hand, that is why I tried it with the dehydrated ones I had on hand. Your comment will help others who may not have dried ones and want to use fresh. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  15. Nancy says:

    Just thought I should pass along that my tweaking of this continues and it still works well. This time i used previously frozen bananas (liquid poured off) about equal to nearly 1 cup.(next time I will measure but I knew I would not refreeze the portion I might not use, so I just threw in all that I’d frozen in the zip lock.) Again I used only 1/4cup agave and I added 1/2 cup sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat and 1/4 cup rinsed quinoa (will sprout next time, no time for this batch), and 1 cup sunflower seed and pumpkin seed combo (soaked) to make up for the scant pecans I had on hand. They were in the dehydrator nearly 16 hrs total, this included the temp changes you suggested. Since my dehydrator does not have any auto shut off and my life is too busy to lock down my timing for the changes that you often suggest, I have also begun to see that if I begin at the low temp and can get that one hour 145degree spot after the first 3-4 hrs at low, it all still works. Clearly this recipe , at least, is not an exact science. For that I am most grateful. Again thank you, amie-sue.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Nancy for sharing all of this. Looks like you have fun creating the recipe to fit your needs. :) It all sounds wonderful. Have a blessed and wonderful weekend, amie sue

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