There are two things I need from my breakfast. I need it to be a healthful meal that will fuel my mornings with no 10:00 crash, but I also need a little indulgence so I don’t feel deprived (and then indulge big time later). When I was pregnant (each time), all I wanted was sugary breakfast cereal. But I vowed to cut out sugary cereal from my breakfast routine after the kiddos were born. Not only was it horrible for losing the baby weight, but it didn’t fuel me with the energy I needed to start my mornings with two young whipper-snappers bouncing around the house.
This past year I’ve traded my love of sugary cereal for a love of yogurt bowls in the morning. Usually I’ll mix in seasonal fruit and muesli, but recently I’ve been making my own refined-sugar-free granola mixes for more of a delicious crunch with plain, low fat Greek yogurt. It’s the perfect blend of healthful and indulgent, as just a little bit goes a long way. Little swaps like this make big impacts my longterm health goals.
Now that Horizon Organic offers flavored creamers, I can make another good swap in my morning routine. I recently tried their french vanilla creamer for the first time and enjoyed it along with my homemade granola and yogurt.
I’ve been making my own granola for a few years now, and I gotta say— It’s my favorite homemade granola by far! Don’t leave it sit out for too long, or it might just disappear.
Chocolate Crunch Granola
Refined-sugar free and full of delicious and healthful whole food ingredients!
- 3 Cups of old fashioned oats (gluten free options are available)
- 1 Cup of sliced almonds
- 1/3 Cup of milled flax seed
- 1/2 Cup of dried fruit (I prefer cherries)
- 2/3 Cup of either maple syrup, honey, or date syrup
- 1/2 Cup of melted coconut oil
- 1/3 Cup of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- optional mix in at the end: 1/2 Cup of mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Chop your dried fruit and mix it with the oats to avoid their clumping together. Then combine the rest of the dry mix into a large mixing bowl. Combine the wet mix together thoroughly, pour over the dry mix, and fold it in. Spread the mixture into a jelly roll pan and bake for 50 minutes at 250 degrees F.
- Allow the pan to cool for 30 minutes before loosening the granola from the pan. There will be big chunks, so you may break them up or leave them clumped together depending on your preference. Add mini chocolate chips at this point if you'd like your granola to be extra indulgent.
- Allow the granola to rest for around 2 hours before storing it in an air tight container.
Making Nice in the Midwest http://makingniceinthemidwest.com/
This recipe is so easy! If you have kids, I’m sure they’d love to help. Simply mix the first set of ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then the second set in a large measuring cup. Pour the wet over the dry, mix, then spread out in a pan.
Pro tip: Mix your chopped fruit in with the oatmeal before adding anything else. It will help keep the fruit from clumping up.
After baking, break up the granola (which will be formed into glorious clumps after cooling) and add mix-ins like mini chocolate chips or unsweetened coconut flakes.
I sprinkled my granola over nonfat Greek yogurt and added a couple of end-of-season strawberries. So good! Lucy and Juniper were literally crying for more. Ha!
If you’d like to check out Horizon Organic’s flavored creamers, you can find them at Target and save 20% on your creamer purchase by using the Target Cartwheel app. While you’re there, be sure to check out their always on-point seasonal decor! We grabbed some plastic pumpkins to mix in with real ones we got at the pumpkin patch, because I figured reusing them year after year would make them more cost effective.
Side note: I totally give my kids snacks to keep them placated during our Target shopping trips! Then I can browse the aisles with a little less distraction. This time around the girls shared Market Pantry fruit snacks.
I hope you all try out this recipe! I promise it will not disappoint. I’m planning on making a huge batch for the holidays to give with our family gift baskets. Last year was a movie night basket with coconut oil, popping corn, cardboard popcorn containers, sweets, and a DVD. This year I think we’ll do a brunch theme for everyone! (Who doesn’t love brunch?!)
Don’t forget to check out the Cartwheel app to save 20% on International Delight Simply Pure, Horizon, Silk and So Delicious creamers at Target until October 22nd. See ya there!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WhiteWave Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.