Lean & Clean Chocolate Coconut Granola

I’m not normally a huge granola fan, reaching more commonly for the cereal’s raw cousin, muesli, or opting for oatmeal or overnight oats. Pregnancy drums up all sorts of unexpected food interests, though, and yesterday when I found myself craving that toasty crunch I was sad to remember the sky-high sugar and calorie content of most (if not all,) granolas on the grocery shelf . There were some sad, crumbly leftovers at the bottom of a bag and hidden in the back of my pantry from my dad’s last visit and they ended up on a cup of yogurt for a desperate afternoon snack. The stale, overly sweet contents were simply not gonna cut it. Time to take matters into my own hands!

My decision to go ultra-low sugar while pregnant has inspired lots of experimental baking and cooking as I work constantly to satisfy by never-ending need-for-tasty while also eating within my nutrient and calorie goals. This light and flavorful granola I whipped up yesterday doesn’t clump together like its sweeter counterparts, but the flavors of toasted cacao, pepitas, and coconut make it an excellent morning treat at only 144 calories and 3.1g of sugar per serving.

Yesterday’s efforts provide today’s comforts!

Ingredients:

Makes 3 2/3 cups of granola or 11 servings of 1/3 cup at 144 calories each

  • 11/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped, raw and unsalted nuts – I use a mix of pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, & almonds.
  • 1/4 cup puffed brown rice (crumbling up a rice cake is a great way to do this without having to buy generic puffed riced)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup organic, pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • Serving suggestion: top 1/3 cup of whole milk yogurt with 1 serving of this granola and 3 ounces of sliced, fresh strawberries for a 221 calorie breakfast 🙂

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F (163ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly oiled with about 1/2 tsp of your 2 tsp coconut oil.
  • In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oats, quinoa, cacao powder, puffed rice, nuts, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon, coconut flakes and ground flax.
  • In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and remaining coconut oil. Add to the dry mixture with a spatula, folding the granola until combined.
  • Spread the mixture evenly and as thin as you can over the baking sheet and place on the center wrack. Back for 10-15 minutes until your house starts to smell amazingly delicious and anyone living with you wanders into the kitchen wanting some.
  • Stir the granola, patting down again into a thin layer and roast for another 10-15 minutes, watching it closely so it doesn’t burn.
  • Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight jar to keep it crunchy.  

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 144 per 1/3 cup serving size; Total Fat: 6.9g; Saturated Fat: 2.1g; Polyunsaturated: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 140.3 mg; Carbohydrate: 16.2g; Dietary Fiber: 3.7g; Sugar: 3.1g; Protein: 6.9 g

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