Chia Granola with Almonds and Dried Fruit

Posted on by on June 23rd, 2012 | 43 Comments »

Stretching my legs after the long drive from NY to Tennessee felt amazing. The 17 hour drive and 5 hours in a crowded car just waiting online to get onto the grounds made everyone antsy. The sun was beating down on us as we set up our tents and unpacked our car. Tired, hot and hungry we sat around waiting for the sun to set or rain to come and reprieve us from the Tennessee heat. As my friend strummed his guitar I passed around a large container of homemade granola. We munched on the sweet crunchy snack and gained energy to emerge from our small circle and start exploring the Bonnaroo grounds before our weekend of live music began. This scene repeated for years, different concerts and festivals, new bands and old favorites and with friends, old and new.

Granola is a staple at summer concerts and is undoubtably  rooted in the hippy movement of the 1960′s where hippies were driven by ‘healthy’ eating and the trend to eat the mixture of oats and grains began. And, though granola will always remind me of the Birkenstock wearing, tie-dyed wrapped, dreaded haired girls that wandered around concert grounds offering up their homemade version, the popularity of granola has grown tremendously through the years and has moved and evolved way beyond those ‘granola hippies’.

There is something comforting and familiar about granola and maybe it’s all the music festivals I spent my time at or the long weekends roaming around the quiet town of Woodstock that give me that craving to munch on a jar of it, and luckily it couldn’t be easier to make at home. Store bought granola and granola found on menus in cafes are usually loaded with brown sugar or maple syrup and so a homemade version, like many things, is always nice because you can control what goes into it and fill it with your favorite nuts and fruits.

Chia seeds are something new for me and after reading about their amazing health benefits and hearing how great they were from my mom, I bought a jar of them. If you aren’t familiar with this superfood, its high time you become aquatinted with it. They aid in weight loss by reducing food cravings, they are filled with omega-3, they help control blood sugar, they help you feel fuller faster and may just be one of the healthiest things around. These little black seeds that have a nutty taste when eaten raw can also be added to pretty much anything. From your morning yogurt to smoothies, baked goods like breads and cakes to salad dressings and eggs. It’s amazing how versatile this healthy little seed can be and has become a favorite in my kitchen. I used raw chia seeds in my granola along with  slivered almonds, dried dates, cranberries and bananas. I sweetened it with agave syrup and just a tablespoon of maple syrup.

And since this pregnant belly of mine  wont be frequenting any of the stops along Phish’s tour this summer or catching new bands that I have fallen in love with like the Alabama Shakes at Bonnaroo or Vibes, I’ll be able to sit back with a jar of granola and enjoy it just the same while listening to music play on my speakers and playing The Beatles and Bob Dylan on headphones placed on my tummy for my baby to enjoy, while enjoying the summer sun.

Chia Granola with Almonds and Dried Fruit
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Beth Michelle
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Quick, easy and delicious, this granola is perfect served on it’s own as a snack or layered with honey and yogurt, which is my favorite way to eat it.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I used, dates, cranberries and bananas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 315F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine oats, chia seeds and slivered almonds and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl stir together grape seed oil, agave syrup and maple syrup until combined.
  4. Pour oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir until oats are completely covered.
  5. Spread oat mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden, tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  6. Remove from oven and carefully fold dried fruit into mixture.
  7. Granola may be sticky and a bit soft but will dry and crisp when cooled.
  8. Let granola cool completely and break up and large clumps that may have formed.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes

To serve as pictured, place 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass and top with 1/2 cup of yogurt. Finish off with granola.

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43 Comments

  1. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    As a granola hippy from the late 60s, I just love this! We didn’t have chia seeds in our granola back then. :)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Hahah Thanks Maureen! I think chia seeds are definitely a trend of the new generation granola hippies :)

  2. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    awesome granola………..i don’t think i would get chia seeds out here…….(.no wonder i have so much weight on me!)……the only change i would make is to make these bar s…i love granola brs!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      You can order chia seeds online if you cant find them in your area!! I love granola bars too and am thinking of making those next if I can ever peal myself away from this granola.

  3. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    This granola looks so out of this world!! Yum! I love the ingredients in it :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thanks! It is so so delicious. Perfect morning starter.

  4. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    I’ve never added chia seeds in my granola. Making sure that i do the next time. This one looks fantastic. :)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thank you! I never added chia seeds to granola either and figured I would give it a try. I think its a great addition.

  5. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    Those are lovely photos. It sounds like such a healthy and delicious recipe! Definitely need to give this a go!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thank you Jenny! Hope you do try it out. It is so delicious.

  6. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    Lovely recipe and great photos. I would love to get hold of chia seeds so that i could try this :)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thanks Nandita. You can always order chia seeds online if you arent able to find them in your area!

  7. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    Such beautiful photos! I’m going to pick up some chia seeds and add them to my freezer stash of granola…wonderful addition!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thanks Liz. You totally should. Chia seeds are such an unexpected addition and are so wonderful mixed in.

  8. Posted on: 6-24-2012

    yyuuuum! I wish this was here so I could have it for breakfast tomorrow!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      I eat this granola every day for breakfast! I love it so much.

  9. Posted on: 6-25-2012

    Totally delicious! I have been trying to incorporate more chia into my diet too!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      This is a perfect way to add more chia into your diet. It works really well with the granola.

  10. Posted on: 6-25-2012

    Chia seeds make me full for longer hours. I love to add chia on my breakfast menu. Helps me energized the whole day through. Love to try this granola mix.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      I also feel fuller longer when I have chia seeds. One of the many reasons I love them! Having them in breakfast is wonderful!

  11. Posted on: 6-25-2012

    I am a lover of quinoa but not a fan of chia seeds. I have a packet and was thinking to finishit by using in some cooked form. I don’t know I just did not get the taste for it. Or I should try in granola.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Try throwing some of the chia seeds into a granola mixture like this. You may be surprised!! With all the other yummy ingredients in here you may not even realize there are chia seeds in it.

  12. Dee
    Posted on: 6-25-2012

    I have a batch in the oven rightnow! Great recipe, thanks. I

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thats awesome!! Hope you love it as much as I do!

  13. Posted on: 6-25-2012

    There is nothing better than homemade granola!! Yummy!! I’ll give your recipe a try next time I decide to make a batch, love the chia seeds in there!
    Hope Baby Girl enjoyed the concert! We find out if we’re having a boy or girl and Friday and I can hardly contain my excitement!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Ahhh so exciting!!! Are you hoping for a girl or a boy? I couldnt wait to find out. I was so impatient. I remember asking the doctor if he was able to tell when I went for a scan at 14 weeks lol.

  14. Posted on: 6-26-2012

    Your food is always so pretty! This looks like something I’d get in trouble with. I’d eat mounds at a time!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Aw thanks Colleen. Who doesnt love to eat pretty food?! :)

  15. Posted on: 6-26-2012

    WOW! what a wonderful idea of adding chia to granola..
    I have to try this sometime soon…
    This looks good ,like really good.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thank you! I hope you try it! It is such a fantastic granola and the addition of chia seeds is perfect.

  16. Posted on: 6-26-2012

    I’ve never tried chia seeds before. I love granola and the crunchy texture is quite addicting. I should find this to experiment. Enjoy relaxing quiet summer with baby! :-)

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thanks Nami! Granola is definitely an addictive snack. I munched on a bag of this the whole plane ride to NY! I couldnt put it down. Summer has been anything but relaxing since I have been home. Too many people to see and running around. I hope it will calm down a bit!

  17. Posted on: 6-26-2012

    I am in for home made granola and yes, the store bought can be sweet at times. Since I don’t have desserts, I normally munch of granola after meal or as a snack when catching up with a movie. Healthy ingredients you have added though I am not sure whats Chia seeds and I may go for sunflower seeds as a replacement.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Granola is a great alternative to munch on instead of sweets if you aren’t into desserts or just trying to stay healthy. If you cant find chia seeds you can order them online. If not, sunflower seeds would be great too!

  18. Posted on: 6-27-2012

    This granola looks so tasty! I never thought to add chia seeds!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Thanks Stephanie! Its super delicious.

  19. Posted on: 6-27-2012

    I have just finished my current home-made cereal so I know what I will be making next! This would make a perfect gift for a housewarming…

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-27-2012

      Ooo homemade cereal?! That sounds amazing. I never made homemade cereal. I do hope you post it on your blog!!

  20. Posted on: 6-27-2012

    I really need to try chia seeds and I love putting granola in my morning yogurt too, def saving this recipe!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-29-2012

      Chia seeds are great! Especially in granola. You should definitely try this recipe if you enjoy granola in your yogurt for breakfast!

  21. Posted on: 6-28-2012

    yes yes yes!! I’ve heard soooo much about this chia seeds! Will totally get a jar of it once I’m able to find it in my supermarket! It’s annoying that the people who work there are usually quite incompetent and can’t even find maple syrup for me.. True story!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe and refreshing my memory on the seeds!! I’m so gonna add them to everything. lol!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-29-2012

      Oh no! I hope you are able to find them by you or at least find someone who can help you find them! If not you can always order them online!

  22. Posted on: 8-18-2012

    This is fantastic. I need to make this asap!

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