Homemade Crunchy Granola

Yogurt for dinner. This is the kind of dinner I have when my husband is gone. I make random dishes that he doesn’t enjoy: lentil soup, rice and beans, vegan chili, and many plant based recipes on my mind. Now, to be fair: my husbands loves his veggies, but he also loves his meat. So, when he’s gone, we pretty much go plant based because that’s my jam. Plus, I finally found a dairy free yogurt that I love: So Delicious. It’s a coconut milk based yogurt. I like to buy plain and then sweeten it myself.

So, one evening we wanted yogurt for dinner. The kids thought it was a fun idea, and I always think of the movie Julie + Julia when I eat this. However, if you’re gonna have yogurt for dinner, you need all the toppings to go with it. (If you give a mouse a cookie…).  We had plenty of berries, honey, chia seeds… but we didn’t have any granola. Now, I’ve made homemade granola in the past, but I’ve never been able to get it “clumpy,” and all clumpy granola recipes I was finding was using egg as the binder. Now, I’m not 100% vegan, but I like to limit the amount of animal products I eat (except honey, there are so many health benefits, I still use it often).

I finally stumbled upon a recipe by COOKIE + kate that promised clumpy granola without using eggs. I tweaked it a little, and my kids and I love it. Today, I’m sharing my version of this recipe with you… but first, look at the “clumpiness!”

 (Then just break it into the size you want!)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 liquid sweetener (I used half honey and half maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix really well to ensure it’s well incorporated.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and pour granola onto the sheet. Make sure to pack it really tight together to help it clump together.
  6. Bake for a total time of 22 minutes, and stir halfway through.
  7. Allow it to cool completely before breaking it up. This will ensure it clumps.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • I know honey isn’t vegan, but I still use it regularly as it has many health benefits. Feel free to use all maple syrup or agave to make this recipe 100% vegan. You do you.
  • Technically, this is a gluten free recipe, but some oats still contain gluten, so make sure your oats are safe if you have a gluten allergy.
  • Pretty much anything can be substituted or added to this recipe, you may just need to make a few adjustments! Some optional add ins are: dried fruit, seeds, and additional spices.

Enjoy this granola over your yogurt, in your bowl of almond milk (check out my easy homemade recipe), or just on its own as a snack!

Check out the poll I did on Instagram. The amount of people that find it acceptable to eat yogurt for dinner is pretty even, so how about you: Yogurt for dinner?

 

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Granola Balls: Healthy and Toddler Approved!

As a mom of hungry boys, I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks that actually taste good. Then I stumbled across this gloriousness (not sure if that is a real word, but it should be) through my friend (thanks, Lindsey!) who had found this recipe on a blog smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com. I think the term that they used for the snack was “energy bite,” but my son Noah renamed them “granola balls,” so that’s what we call them in my house. You can just call them “awesome.”

granballnoah

I knew this recipe was a winner when my son said it tasted like a cookie, AND I was happy with all the ingredients in the recipe. Not only that, but your kids can totally help you make this recipe. Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t like being in the kitchen? Let’s get right down to it, because you don’t want to waste another minute without this recipe. Be sure to read all the way down to the notes for modifications for the healthiest snack possible!

granball1

Ingredients:
• 1 cup of oats
• 1 cup coconut flakes
• ½ cup of chia seeds
• ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
• ½ cup peanut butter
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until they are all evenly distributed. I start with a spoon and end up working with my hands. Your hands will get messy, just embrace it.
2. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Once chilled, roll into 1 inch balls (makes about 20-25 balls). Again with the messy hands, but you can lick your fingers after!
4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, but they won’t last that long!

Notes:
• Instant oats are heavily processed, which means less nutrition. Use old fashioned oats!
• As far as the coconut flakes go, use UNSWEETENED coconut flakes. There is no need to add more sugar to the recipe, and you still get a great texture and flavor from the unsweetened flakes.  You can usually find these at any whole/health foods store.
• The original recipe calls for flax seed, which I actually always have, but I used chia seeds a few months ago and prefer the texture more in this particular recipe. You can totally use chia or flax or a combination if you wish!
• If you want to omit the chocolate chips, you can substitute any dried fruit in its place, but I gotta tell ya I almost always use the chocolate chips. The mini chocolate chips work the best, and it becomes more of a treat for me and the boys. 🙂
• You can use any nut butter in place of the peanut butter. Again, try and find one without any add sugar or junk (look on the back of your jar). I’ve used unsweetened/unsalted almond butter and it worked just as well.
• Honey has great health benefits, so I don’t substitute anything there.  If you can snag some local honey, use that for assistance in allergy relief!

You will soon find that this will be a staple in your arsenal of healthy snack. These are so much fun to make with the kids, and I’ve gotten opportunities to explain the ingredients going in the snack and why they are so great for our bodies.

Do you think your family will enjoy this recipe? Try it out and leave your reviews in the comments!