Chocolate Cherry Granola with Coconut & Flax

I feel like making granola is a lot like making music.   Now I wanted to sound really smart and fancy here, but to be honest, I know nothing about creating music but in my uneducated ideas on music, the oats and grains make up the baseline.  The nuts and seeds create the beat and the fruits and and “sweets” make the high points.  In the end it’s all about creating something that flows together but is still exciting and enjoyable.

I swear I’m saying this almost everyday but spring is almost here!  In fact, I may be so bold (pun intended) as to say that it is here.  It’s dropped a few times during the week and in the evenings but overall has been maintaining a pretty nice temperature.  

Last weekend we visited my mom for her birthday (which was so much fun!) and her daffodils were starting to bloom.  We were lucky enough to be able to bring some of them back and they are currently sitting happily on the kitchen table in the vase my grandfather made me, a reminder of the spring season to come.

But back to granola. (Check out that beautiful cluster-ooh baby!)

Granola is a wonderfully simple thing to make.  The ingredients aren’t usually very expensive, and yet I often find myself tempted to buy the fancy artisan-style granola from the store- you know, the ones that are made without additives from local ingredients that cost $8+ for a small container.  And then I stand around for a while, perusing ingredients on the labels and go “Come on Kelsey- you could make this at home!”

So here we are- I made some granola for myself and for you.  The chocolate cherry combo probably comes from some of the cravings I’ve been having lately.  I used a local honey for the sweetener but just enough so that it doesn’t overpower.

Give it a try- make a batch one evening or over the weekend and enjoy delicious homemade granola for the week!

Chocolate Cherry Granola with Flax

1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats

2 TBSP Cacao

1/4 tsp Salt

2/3 Cup Shaved Coconut Chips

3 TBSP Ground Flax

1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds

1/2 Cup Honey (Use agave or maple syrup to make vegan)

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2/3 Cup Dried Tart Cherries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients except cherries.  Mix together and pour in honey and vanilla extract.  Using a wooden spoon or your hands, work the honey in to combine.  Add mixture to a lined pan in a single layer.

Bake for 10 minutes before stirring granola.  Cook for 10-12 minutes longer.  Carefully remove from oven and pan and allow to cool on a tray.  Add in cherries.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

I like to eat this with by itself as a snack, or over yogurt or with milk.

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