If you are like me you know that starting the day with a good breakfast is really important, but not always easy. Sometimes cooking that early is not an easy task especially while getting husbands off to work and kids onto schoolwork. Having something easy on hand is so helpful. The problem is that most of the breakfast convenience foods are not very healthy, filling or nutritious and therefore not the best way to start the day.
We have a few options that we love and this includes homemade granola. I have always enjoyed granola though my family hasn’t and to get a healthier variety can be a little expensive. I found that making it at home was not only more budget friendly, but then my husband and kiddos liked it too! It was also very simple to make and makes a big batch that can last awhile. You can even double it to make it last even longer!
Recently we were introduced to a healthier cereal that was coated in yummy chocolate. It was so tasty but was a little sweet for breakfast and left me feeling ready for more food way too quickly. So I decided it was time to change up our morning granola to combine the healthy filling granola we loved with a little bit of delectable chocolate and a splash of sweet and tangy dried fruit. It was a hit and I think will be a regular in our breakfast food line up!
I will write it down below the way I did it, but you can feel free to change up the add ins or even add more of what you might want. For example you could use just raspberries or just strawberries. You could add in nuts for extra protein. I am planning to try some roasted hazelnuts in mine soon! You could add chia seeds for extra nutrition or use some ideas you may have! There are lots of great ways to make this granola personal or you can just enjoy it as is!
Chocolate Berry Granola
10 cups oats (or gluten free oats)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon seedless strawberry jelly
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup freeze dried raspberries
1 cup freeze dried strawberries
Optional toppings: roasted nuts, coconut, chia seeds
-Preheat oven to 250 F.
-Place the oats and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix together. Set aside.
-Put the coconut oil, butter, water, cocoa powder, maple syrup, molasses, honey, vanilla and strawberry jelly into a medium sized saucepan. Place over medium high heat and whisk constantly together until everything is melted and combined. Remove from heat.
-Pour the chocolate mixture over top of the oats and mix until the oats are evenly coated in the chocolate.
-Spread the oats in a fairly thin even layer on 2 cookie sheets. You may be able to just use 1 cookie sheet if you have large half sheet pans, but mine are smaller so I have to use 2. You want the layer to be maybe 1 inch thick so that it can all bake without the edges burning.
-Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 1 hour-1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring the oats occasionally. You want the oats to be getting dried and crunchy, but if you prefer more moist granola you can bake for the 1 hour instead.
-Allow the oats to cool and mix in the dried fruit and chocolate chips as well as any other optional extras you want to add in. Or, we love to mix the chocolate chips in while it is still a little warm as then they get a little melted and make yummy oat and chocolate chunks when they cool. Either way it is delicious!
-Store in an airtight jar, container or ziploc in the fridge for ultimate freshness. Enjoy!