By Diana Chaplin
As a busy working mom, I’m all about practicality when it comes to food. I love recipes that can be put together in 10 minutes or less, popped in the oven, and not only come out delicious and healthy, but would also pass the test with my little picky eaters. That’s why this recipe rocks!
And because it’s easy to make in advance and keep on hand whenever hunger strikes, it’s also the perfect snack to throw in my purse on-the-go. It prevents me from wasting money on unhealthy products and helps keep my blood sugar even so my mind can function at its best on busy days – a little snacking tip I picked up at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!
2 cups of gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups of your favorite nuts & seeds in any ratio you like (can include almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.*)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. hemp hearts (optional)
1/8 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional, but these definitely add the yum factor because of how they melt and form clusters)
*Some nuts, such as hazelnuts and pecans, could burn if baked for as long as the rest of the granola, so if you’re using a nut or seed that is not listed among the above and you think it might burn, then simply bake it on a separate tray for a shorter amount of time and add to the rest of the granola at the end. Hazelnuts go GREAT in this recipe, so I bake them separately for about 10 minutes, remove the skins after they cool enough to handle, and then use a mortar and pestle to break them up a bit.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, cinnamon, and hemp hearts in a bowl, mix it up.
- Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, mix again.
- Lightly grease a 9×12-inch baking pan with some coconut oil, then add granola and spread evenly.
- Bake on the middle rack for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice to bake evenly.
- When the granola is golden brown and fragrant remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Now you can add the chocolate! Sprinkle it all around and mix lightly. You’re aiming for the chocolate to melt slightly and spread enough to stick to some of the granola but not so much that it’s completely melted and all mixed in.
- Place the granola in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Diana Chaplin is a former Health Coach, current foodie, mama of two, and the founder of Wellspired.com, a family wellness brand that brings together what working parents care about most: health, family, and career. When she’s not in the kitchen or hanging out with her boys, Diana is also a freelance content manager and photographer. She’s a 2011 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. You can connect with Diana on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.