Cashews, Bing cherries and decedent dark chocolate are mixed with gluten free rolled oats to make this healthier spin on traditional granola, Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola!
What’s in Granola?
Sugar, caramel coloring, refined white flour, high fructose corn syrup, glycerin, palm oil…wtf?! These are some ingredients that can be found in the most popular granola on the market. Yikes.
Choose quality over convenience.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: convenience does not equal quality. In our lust for fast and quick, at-our-fingertips, don’t inconvenience me EVERYTHING (news, travel, food, entertainment – you name it!) we’ve sacrificed a very important element: quality.
I’m sure when frozen TV dinners became popular in the 50’s and 60’s American housewives rejoiced at the timesaving convenience of those little plastic wrapped meals. Fast forward 60 years to a TV dinner world, where everything has been packaged and presented “conveniently” for us – and now we have an obesity epidemic, an opioid crisis, and lots of disconnected, distracted people everywhere. Now, please here me: I’m not saying convenience is a bad thing; it can be wonderful. I love my toaster, my fridge, and my toilet – all modern day conveniences 😉 But if we approach our health and diet without a sense of mindfulness, we could be wrangled into the fast and furious bandwagon, aka: convenience over quality. Not such a good thing for our overall well-being.
So at this point you might be asking yourself, “Ok what does granola have to do with changing a ‘convenience over quality’ world??” Well, it doesn’t. Not directly. BUT…the mindset of choosing natural, from-the-earth ingredients, in order to make homemade, high-quality food is a great start.
Who doesn’t like granola?
A good granola should scream of convenience: small and well contained, durable, and easily packable. But an even better granola should be high in protein, fiber and energy and low on sugar, sodium, cheap oils, and all those other additives.
Oh yeah, and they should taste yummy too.
The Natural Tasty Way
Mine are full of old-fashioned oats (whole grain!), cashews (protein!), and dried cherries (anti-oxidant!). I’ve sweetened them with a little brown rice syrup and coconut sugar and a small handful of chocolate chips.
Toss it in some Tupperware and take with you to work, on a road trip, or better yet…a beautiful hike outdoors 🙂
I hope you enjoy making your very own homemade Granola!
Specialty Ingredients for this Recipe:
Cherry, Dark Chocolate Granola Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup cashews roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 Tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 5 Tablespoons organic, grass-fed butter unsalted (or coconut oil for a vegan option)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cherries roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips*
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside
Place the oats, cashews, coconut sugar and sea salt into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In a small saucepan combine the bown rice syrup, butter or coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium-low until the butter melts, stirring occasionally.
Pour this mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine everything together. Add the dried cherries (DO NOT ADD THE CHOCOLATE YET) and stir again.
Pour oat mixture onto your lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake for 8 minutes, remove pan from the oven and give it a quick stir and bake for another 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Now add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. Place your baking sheet into a fridge or freezer to continue to cool completely before breaking into chunks.
Store leftover granola in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.
*I prefer Enjoy Life Brand Chocolate Chips since they are free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn.