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: Chocolate Walnut Granola

 

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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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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