I’m excited to share this Chocolate Cherry Granola recipe with you because I realized a rising trend in my kids. They love granola. Which is fine. It’s a good snack, nice on top of yogurt or packed in their lunch box. But the other trend I noticed is that granola is expensive. If you have as many kids as I do, you learn how to prioritize your grocery purchases. For example, if a single bag of something could potentially be eaten in it’s entirely in less than 12 hours, you pretty much stop buying that item, especially if the price per oz of that item makes you cringe every time you see the empty bag in the trash. Like, why do you guys eat so much food so fast??? Instead of rationing out the kid’s portions into half oz serving sizes, I decided it was time to start making my own granola.
The great thing about granola is that you don’t really need a super specific recipe. Like, the first time I made this I used dried blueberries instead of cherries. You can add different nuts. You can chop your pecans or leave em whole so they’re easy for your kids to pick out (insert rolling eye emoji here. Like, eat the pecans, guys). You can even leave out the chocolate chips if you want to punish yourself, but I’d suggest leaving them in.
Also, instead of wasting tons of parchment paper, get yourself a Silpat already! Your life will be changed, guys. I don’t even enjoy baking & I know how useful a Silpat is.
Chocolate Cherry Granola
Did I mention I have a horrible head cold? I’m blaming my children. As you may or may not know, our youngest, Arthur, finally started preschool this month. Which of course, means germs. You may or may not also know that when you have multiple children your rules & boundaries start to slowly erode away. Because as my friend, Jaclyn, says: you are weak & outnumbered. Things that you used to be really, really strict about slowly fade & lines get blurred. The next thing you know you’ve been putting your 3rd & 4th kids to bed every night in their own beds, only to have them somehow slither into your bed. Every night.
Then follows a torrid evening of flying feet & elbows & dang it if I’m not continually coughed on, sneezed on or just generally goo’d all over by one to two kids all night long. And last week, as my sweet baby angel inhaled sharply & proceeded to sneeze all over me in his sleep, I was too weary to duck & cover & knew illness was inevitable.
I’m sure by the time this recipe makes it around the interwebs this information won’t be relative. I won’t have a head cold anymore & this would be an extraneous detail you never needed to know, except for the fact that I feel like I need to apologize for slightly uninspired images. After taking these pictures I realized how lovely some fruit would have looked. Figs, blueberries… heck, even a touch of honey. But I have a head cold & head cold rules my life right now so there’s little thinking I get to do. Case in point, I drove to the post office to mail a package but couldn’t find it when I got there. After searching in my car for what felt like an exhaustive amount of time, I finally came home, where I found the package… in my car. You guys – head cold.
Also, as another aside, you know when you’re sick & you curse yourself for every single other minute of your life when you could breathe with ease & you clearly took that time for granted? Yep, that’s where I am.
I’m thinking granola will be dinner this evening.
- ⅓ cup Coconut Oil
- ⅓ cup Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 3 cups Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Sliced Almonds
- 1 cup Pecans
- 1 cup Dried Cherries
- ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 250.
- Line a baking sheep with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- In a large measuring cup, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, vanilla & spices. Mix.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats & nuts.
- Pour liquid mixture over oat mixture & stir with a spatula until well coated.
- Spread granola mixture evenly over backing sheet & place in the oven for about an hour. If necessary, use more than one baking sheet to make sure the granola is spread in a thin layer.
- Stir every 20 minutes or so, to make sure it's getting well toasted.
- Remove from the oven & add dried cherries. If you'd like your chocolate melted, add the chocolate chips now, otherwise wait till granola has cooled before adding them.
- Let cool & serve or store!