Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola {Oil Free, Low Sugar}


Ah Monday. The beginning of a new week and the perfect day to start fresh which is just what I need after a weekend of indulgence. 

Okay, indulgence may be a strong word but my weekend was definitely not typical for me. As a late Christmas present my husband took me on a weekend getaway to a nearby historic castle that has been transformed into a hotel, restaurant and spa. 
 
We spent Saturday sipping some wine, getting massages and feasting on a gourmet dinner. We also treated ourselves to some much needed rest- by 8 PM that night we were snoozing in bed which lasted until 7 AM the next day. 
 
We spent a leisurely morning enjoying coffee in the “Study” room of the castle we made our way down to brunch by 11 and stuffed our faces hardcore, mimosas and all. After 24 hours of relaxation and spoiling ourselves with fine dining and treats, I’m happy to return to real life of routine and moderation. 
 
Unfortunately, my cravings still have a champagne taste and while indulging in fine dining and sipping on expensive wine isn’t really conducive to my every day routine, I can still enjoy a taste of the finer things while keeping my wallet, waist line and calories in check.  
 
A while back I made a Goji Almond Granola recipe which equally as delicious as it was easy to make so I decided to recreate in a bit more indulgent tasting way swapping out the vanilla for chocolate and trading the goji berries for some ridiculously delicious freeze-dried strawberries.  
 
Not surprisingly, the combination makes it taste just like chocolate covered strawberries but without all the added sugar! 
 
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola that's gluten free, oil free, vegan and quick & easy to make! Perfect for breakfast or even a light Valentine's Day dessert! 
While chocolate always has my heart, the star in of this granola is really the freeze-dried strawberries made by a natural food company called Crunchies.  Aside from strawberries, Crunchies offers a variety of freeze-dried fruits including blueberries, grapes, raspberries, mango, cinnamon apples, strawberry banana and mixed fruits. 
 
 Perfect for snacking or on-the-go, these fruit snacks are made with just one ingredient- fresh fruit.  They contain no added sugar, artificial flavors or coloring are non- GMO, gluten free, vegan and kosher.  Since these fresh picked fruit pieces are made using the freeze drying method they retain their nutritional value while creating a satisfying crunch which is why I knew they’d be perfect for my dessert inspired granola recipe! 
 
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola that's gluten free, oil free, vegan and quick & easy to make! Perfect for breakfast or even a light Valentine's Day dessert!
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola that's gluten free, oil free, vegan and quick & easy to make! Perfect for breakfast or even a light Valentine's Day dessert!
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola that's gluten free, oil free, vegan and quick & easy to make! Perfect for breakfast or even a light Valentine's Day dessert!
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Granola that's gluten free, oil free, vegan and quick & easy to make! Perfect for breakfast or even a light Valentine's Day dessert!
 

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY GRANOLA {LOW SUGAR, OIL FREE}


RECIPE

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups gluten free quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (add a few more tbsp, if needed)
  • 4 oz unsweetened applesauce 
  • 1/2 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder 
  • 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup Crunchies Freeze-Dried Strawberries
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs
You might also like:  Foodie Friday: 4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add oats, almond butter, applesauce, protein powder and cacao powder into a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine mixture until evenly until large clusters form (some will still be loose, that’s okay).
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and pour the mixture on, distributing evenly. 
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, remove and spoon mixture around so that it doesn’t burn and place back in the oven.  Bake for another 10 minutes- watch to make sure it doesn’t burn and remove sooner, if needed. 
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Pour granola into a large bowl along with strawberries and cacao nibs and mix. 
  8. Store in airtight mason jars. 

Seriously, what more could you ask for than a nutritious breakfast granola that tastes just like a gourmet dessert? Give it a try- you won’t be disappointed, I promise!

Have a meatless recipe to share? Be sure to linkup AND link back! :) 

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Let’s chat!

Have you ever had freeze-dried fruit? 

What is your favorite gourmet dessert?


This recipe is also shared with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for Meatless Monday. 

 

 
 

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aelicatese
About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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39 Comments

jill conyers
Reply January 25, 2016

I love love granola. Especially when it's low sugar, gluten free and oil free. That's perfection.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yes it is! :)

CARLA
Reply January 25, 2016

(((adds cacao powder to her Trader Joe's list!)))

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yaaasss!

Carly @ Fitliving blog
Reply January 25, 2016

Yum! This one looks delicious. I love making this one at home and can't wait to try.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Thanks! Hope you enjoy! :)

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply January 25, 2016

Love granola, love freeze dried fruit--I've been eating Crunchies for years! I also love freeze dried peaches.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Oh yum those sound good too!

Ivanna
Reply January 25, 2016

Looks delicious Annmarie. I really love granola, never tried to make it myself perhaps i will soon

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Definitely do- it's so easy!

Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com
Reply January 25, 2016

Chocolate & Strawberries! 2 of my favorite things, can't wait to try this lovely recipe :-)

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yay- hope you enjoy! :)

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply January 25, 2016

This looks amazing! What a yummy combination. SO glad you had fun this weekend- well deserved! Pinned!

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yes, it was a lot of fun! And thank you, the granola is so yummy and easy to make!

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Reply January 25, 2016

My granola ALWAYS has freeze-dried fruit!!! I don't really liked chewy dried fruit in granolas, I like the crisp!

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    YES! I like the added crunch too! :)

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply January 25, 2016

Chocolate and strawberry go SO well together, so I love that you have turned this in to granola. It's on my list of things to make.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yay! It's so easy and quick- let me know if you end up giving it a try!

Crystal Renaud
Reply January 25, 2016

I LOVE Granola. I will have to try this recipe!
Crystal Renaud recently posted...SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt Review & GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    It is SO GOOD! Definitely give it a try if you have time!

Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner
Reply January 25, 2016

ooh all over this one! I love granola but have not made my own yet. Pinning!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted...Polenta Eggplant StacksMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Really?! You definitely have to give it a try!

Sarah
Reply January 25, 2016

YUMMY!
One of our favorite granola flavors! It's been awhile since we've made granola. We use to make a new flavor every month and then a batch every week, or two if we weren't eating it like crazy but in the summer sometimes more. There were a couple weeks we weren't eating it as much, a trip or two or three, and then the remodeling so it just kind of stopped. I had planned to start making it again but my love for muesli... but I really do need to I think, especially after seeing this and wishing I had a bowl of it right now!

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    I still have to try muesli- your recipes always look delicious!

Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
Reply January 25, 2016

Wow what a fun getaway! Love chocolate and strawberry combo, but have never seen it in a granola! This looks amazing :)

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Well looks like it's something new for you to try! ;)

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply January 25, 2016

What a fun getaway! A little spoiling goes a long way and is good for the soul! That granola sounds delish! Who doesn't love chocolate covered strawberries? and for breakfast? I say yes!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...Week Three and my first PR for 2016!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    Yes, a little spoiling does go a long way for sure!

dixya | food, pleasure, and health
Reply January 25, 2016

i have started to use granola on a weekly basis..this version with apple sauce sounds wonderful. pinning it.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    It is SO yummy and SO easy! Hope you get to give it a try!

Gretchen (fitquestmom)
Reply January 25, 2016

I LOVE those freeze dried strawberries and so do my kiddos.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    They really are so yummy!!!

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply January 25, 2016

I would eat this entire batch in one sitting! YUM! I need to look into that freeze dried fruit company.
Also - you spent the weekend at a castle?! Love! Let's move there.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 25, 2016

    My kiddos almost did eat the entire batch, ahah! And yes, I second moving to the castle!!! :)

Rachel
Reply January 26, 2016

Asleep by 8!!! Sounds like heaven!

rachel @ Athletic Avocado
Reply January 26, 2016

Chocolate and strawberry is always the best combo, can't believe I never tried it in granola yet! Thanks for sharing :)
rachel @ Athletic Avocado recently posted...Warm and Nourishing Bowl of Frothy Chai Spiced Oatmeal with Apple NoodlesMy Profile

Jess @hellotofit
Reply January 26, 2016

I love freeze-dried fruit :) this looks tasty, and I'd love to top off my Greek yogurt with a big handful of this ;)
Glad you had a fun time with your husband!

Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Reply January 26, 2016

I love crunchies, I have a bag of them in the pantry right now! Your weekend sounds lovely, I was wondering what your red wine post was about - wine in your room that's just fancy :) This is a much healthier version of my all time favorite cereal as an adult - special K with berries :) Don't judge me I would eat that stuff by the truckload! I had to give that up but this, this I can totally get behind!

Christina
Reply January 27, 2016

Ohh yep. Indulgent weekend over here. Bachelorette weekend for a friend... no need to say more lol. This looks so good I want a big bowl with some almond milk!! I love that you added dried strawberries - definitely my favorite dried fruit !
Christina recently posted...Baked Penne with Eggplant and Italian SausageMy Profile

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