Just Losin' It

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola

When a person starts a diet, they are on fire with will-power which has the strength to spread like a relationship status rumor. However, after you’ve been on a diet for a while[1], you start to search for ways to cheat, but not really cheat. You want to feel like you’re cheating without having to take in the empty calories of a cheat day. Insert granola here. It is crunchy, sweet,[2] and full of flavor. But the best thing is that granola, even a healthy recipe doesn’t taste like diet food or fake sugars; even the unhealthy granola is made in approximately the same way. Here is my favorite healthy recipe for granola.

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola[3]

½ cup of Peanut Butter[4]
¼ cup of honey[5]
¼ cup of coconut oil[6]
1 tbls lemon juice[7]
1 tbls cinnamon[8]
½ tsp salt[9]
4 cups of rolled oats[10]
2 tbls flax or chia seeds[11]
½ cup of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine peanut butter, honey, and oil in a medium saucepan. Melt over low-medium heat.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until completely combined.[12]
Add the rolled oats and stir until all the oats are dressed equally.
Spread out evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the top with the flax or chia seeds. Stir to combine.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and slightly brown, stirring once half-way through.
Once out of the oven, let cool for 20 minutes.
Fold the chocolate chips into the cooling mixture and then use your fingers to break up the melting chocolate chips into pea sized morsels.
Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container or zip-top bag.

I serve this with unsweetened banana chips over low-fat greek yogurt.

 

 

[1] maybe even in the first week
[2]team oxford comma
[3] This is a loose granola that I designed for the purpose of adding to my yogurt. If you are hoping for something that holds together a little bit more up your honey to oil ratio; the more honey, the stickier (and sweeter) it will be.
[4] I used smooth but you can use crunchy or any other nut butter (cookie butter anyone?)
[5] Or maple syrup
[6] Why is this healthier than vegetable based oils? Unlike vegetable based oil, the fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized by your body quickly and not stored as fat. It also has a high smoke point so is great for cooking as well as baking.
[7] Yes, lemon juice. Don’t skip it. Adding a little bit of acid will help balance the flavors of the granola without actually adding any flavor. I promise no one will be able to taste it!
[8] Cinnamon is great because it can help give your metabolism a little boost; although not enough to actually cause dramatic weight loss.
[9] I measure by pinches and this is about four pinches for me
[10] You could substitute some rolled oats for some chopped nuts or dried fruit if you want a complete snack – no yogurt or milk required.
[11] I used a blend of the two that I found at a health food store. Both flax and chia are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Both will keep you fuller for longer and have health benefits that can help with high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s and more.
[12] If you stop here you have a delicious sauce to pour over your favorite low-calorie ice cream.

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