- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup roughly chopped almonds or nuts of choice
- ¼ cup chocolate Shakeology (or cocoa powder)
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1½ - 2 cups dried cherries or dried fruit of choice (look for one with no added sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, Shakeology or cocoa powder and salt. Then add the honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg white until it’s frothy. Stir the egg white into the granola mixture, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a spoon (or your hands) to spread it out into an even layer. Gently press down on the granola to help it stick together.
- Bake for about 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. The granola should darken slightly and feel mostly dry to the touch. If you’re using a dark pan, you may need to decrease the cooking time slightly.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool completely (resist the urge to stir!). The granola will get more crisp and crunchy as it cools. When it’s cool, break up the granola into whatever size clusters you like, and stir in the dried fruit.
- The granola will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple weeks. But trust me, it's not going to last that long;-)
What does granola have to do with babies you ask? Well, one of my favorite things to do is make a special tasty “treat” for my mom-friends when I visit them with their new sweet baby in the hospital, or the first time I go visit them at home.
In the past I have made a very popular and often requested “Minnesota mix” aka “crack” aka “super-unhealthy-but-dang-delicious” treat. And while I think it’s totally fine–since the new mama just accomplished a physical and mental task more daunting and draining than running a marathon–to take her something completely indulgent and loaded with carbs and sugar, I also wanted to find a healthier option to take along.
Enter Big-Cluster Healthier Chocolate Granola. I found the recipe and tweaked it to reduce the overall sugar. I also used my favorite chocolate protein powder–Shakeology–in place of the cocoa powder to add some protein and nutrients.
It was easy (a requirement for recipes at my house) and the kids and I couldn’t. Stop. Eating. it. So it’s mom, kid, and husband-approved!