It is so easy to get stuck in a breakfast rut, and I'm a food editor for pete's sake! Mornings are rushed, and while my daughter would like eggs every day, sometimes pouring a bowl of cereal is all I can manage. But, lately (ever since writing this article, actually), I've been trying to step up my game. I still serve cereal sometimes, but I've been mixing it up, offering fruit on a daily basis, and making a lot of appealing breakfast foods in advance.
That's why I love this recipe from Taylor Foster, mother of 4 year-old Duncan. She is a model (don't hold it against her), who made good on a life-long dream and, a few years ago, opened a bakery and café in upstate New York called Heaven on Main Street.
The café has since closed, but Taylor is cooking and baking more than ever. She teaches classes and works for wellness in schools, and just like the rest of us she's always on the lookout for a wholesome breakfast her kid will actually eat. This chocolate granola hits the mark and then some.
Taylor explains, "I came up with the idea to make chocolate granola while running Heaven On Main Street. I have always loved granola with chocolate chips since it gives me an excuse to eat chocolate while simultaneously eating something healthy. Win, Win!"
Duncan agrees. Taylor says, "He loves it with milk or just as a snack. And I feel a lot better giving him this for breakfast than most of the other boxed cereal options that are out there. He looks at it as a treat and gobbles it down, not even realizing he's eating flax seeds (high in Omega-3's!) and nuts."
So mix up a batch of granola this weekend and enjoy it with fruit and plain yogurt all next week. I know I will.
Taylor's recipe notes:
- The recipe makes a big batch, which is great because it keeps for months. Store it in the fridge or freezer.
- Feel free to play with the ingredients a bit and use what you have on hand or prefer. Sub cashews for the pecans, all honey if you don't have maple syrup, or vegetable oil for the olive and/or coconut oil. It's a very flexible recipe.
- Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list. This recipe couldn't be simpler.
DUNCAN'S CHOCOLATE GRANOLA
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (Taylor uses a mix of whole and ground)
3/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat the honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and olive oil in a pot over low heat. Whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and almond extract if using.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, nuts, chocolate chips, and flax seeds in large mixing bowl. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat.
- Spread the granola on two sheet pans and bake for 25 minutes stirring half way through. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. The refrigerator is best!
Serving size: 1/3 cup
Jenna Helwig is the food editor at Parents and the author of Real Baby Food. She tries to eat well, but you really can't trust her around granola.
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