Hello from United Campground in Durango, CO. It’s ridiculously early and normally I’d still be zonked at this insane hour.
The only reason I’m up is to prep for my 10-mile running race I’ve been planning to participate in all month.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
- Fuel up on coffee and this awesome granola recipe 2 hours before race. CHECK.
- Pick out my cute race outfit. CHECK.
- Get on Facebook and find where the race starts and what time same-day registration opens. WAIT. WHAT?!?
HOLD THE PHONE STOP EVERYTHING!
This was posted 17 hours ago on the race’s page: “The race has SOLD OUT! No same day registration will be offered.”
Are you kidding me. Are you KIDDING me?!?
Turns out they aren’t kidding. “Plan to have your plans change.” UGH. Life, you clever jokester you.
Since I have it in my belly and therefore on my mind, thought I’d use this time to share my latest granola creation with y’all. Have you ever tried the store bought granola called “Love Crunch“? Don’t. Seriously, just don’t. It’s so freaking good and addictive it’s best to avoid it at all costs.
And while Love Crunch is FAIRLY healthy, cane sugar is #2 ingredient. We can do better than that. My homemade chocolate granola version is healthier. And cheaper.
Be warned, this recipe makes a TON. You’ll fill 3 quart-sized Mason jars plus have a cup or two extra. I freeze about half of it, and since it keeps for up to 6 weeks at room temperature, we’ll be granola-stocked the rest of our summer RVing season. Sweet!
Healthy Chocolate Berry Granola Recipe
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 9 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup baking cocoa powder
- 2 cups unsweetened raw coconut chips
- 1 ½ cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 cups freeze-dried berries (strawberries and/or raspberries)
Preheat your oven to 250F.
In a large bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, agave nectar, and vanilla. Add the oats and cocoa powder. Toss well. Divide mixture between 3 baking sheets, and spread it out evenly.
Bake the granola for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and transfer the granola back to the large mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut chips and sliced almonds*. Put back on the baking sheets and bake again for another 25 minutes, or just until it seems gently toasted…careful not to burn or over-toast.
Remove the granola from the oven and sprinkle the chia seeds over the granola while still hot on the baking sheets. Let the granola cool uncovered for at least an hour. This will also help it dry out more, so sitting out even longer is just fine. After it’s sat and you’re ready to get your kitchen counters back to normal, add the chocolate chips and berries and call it a day.
Store granola in airtight glass containers for up to 6 weeks, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
*If you prefer you COULD keep the almonds and coconut raw and add them once cooking is over, but I like the toasty taste of adding them halfway through. (FYI Love Crunch uses raw coconut…)
And remember gang, a serving of any type of granola isn’t comparable to a serving of cereal. You aren’t going to fill your bowl to the rim like you do your bran flakes. I like to use 2 rounded tablespoons of granola over yogurt or whatever type milk kick I’m on that particular day. THAT’S a reasonable (AND YUMMY!) portion.
Safe and healthy travels, gang!