These days, granola is often thought of in health conscious crowds as more of a junk food than a health food.
And for good reason: most of the granola you buy in the store is loaded with sugars and added sweeteners, and is essentially just a higher calorie version of the standard junk cereal.
But granola doesn’t have to be bad for you—with the right ingredients, granola can be a healthy option on days when you just need something quick and don’t feel like making protein pancakes or oatmeal.
There are two keys to making granola a sensible breakfast or snack option: be aware of your portion sizes and pair it with protein.
Most granolas have a portion size of 1/4 to 1/3 cup—and this one is no exception. It’s dense with nutrients though and includes healthy fats, which will both help fill you up faster and keep you feeling full longer.
Adding protein to your meal will add to that feeling of fullness, as well as help keep your muscles fed and happy and keep you lean and fit. Greek yogurt, eggs, and protein powder (in a smoothie maybe) are all good choices to have with your granola.
Ok, now for how to actually make this really yummy coconut chia granola:
2 cups gluten-free oats (not quick cooking)
1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup freeze dried or dried fruit*
Optional: 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped almonds or other nuts
*I used the freeze dried raspberries from Trader Joe’s, because I really like how freeze dried fruit is unsweetened and therefore has way less calories than regular dried fruit. However… I think dried cherries or something similar would taste a little more exciting and bring out the flavor of the coconut, so it’s up to you what you want to use. No fruit works fine too, the granola still tastes great without i!
Heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then melt the honey and coconut oil in the microwave. Stir in the vanilla, honey and coconut oil until everything is coated and yummy looking.
Put in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. The oats and coconut should be browned and toasty looking, but not burnt.
Remove and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and toss to break up any clumps, then add in the dried fruit. Serve with some greek yogurt, a side of scrambled eggs, or whatever your heart desires!
This recipe makes about 4 cups of granola. Store it in an airtight container and have a delicious and easy breakfast option whenever you want!
Macros (per 1/3 cup, not including nuts):