I made the first version of this recipe while attending community college. We were presenting a few healthy snacks to a high school group, and the original version of this recipe called for one cup of sugar and one cup of butter. I wanted to present a more healthful version, so I substituted agave nectar for the sugar and swapped out the butter for canola oil.
The result is an awesome addition to yogurt or a smoothie for added crunch. Or just throw in a baggy and munch on it for an afternoon snack. As for the nutritional benefits, it delivers heart-healthy fats from canola oil, walnuts and chia seeds and fiber from oats, walnuts, chia seeds and dried fruit.
This recipe is so easy — you can combine it in the baking pan and there’s no need for cooking spray as it doesn’t stick much. Simple and so, so yummy. Enjoy!
Crunchy Sweet Granola
Makes 8 to 12 servings
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In medium bowl, combine all ingredients using clean hands or a wooden spoon.
- Press mixture into a 9×9-inch baking dish and bake in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until oats are a light, golden color.
- Cool, crumble and enjoy!
NOTE: You can switch out the dates and dried cranberries for other dried fruits that you like – raisins, blueberries, apricots or cherries all would be good! Also, you can replace the walnuts with another nut such as almonds and cashews.