Wholesome Skinny Chocolate Granola with chia seeds! A crunchy breakfast or snack to satisfy you when a chocolate craving hits! Gluten Free + Low Calorie + Vegan
Stress is a weird thing. For me, it’s manifests itself in so many ways. Last year when my hairdresser came from Tucson to cut my hair, she noticed something strange about my hair. She asked “did something happen 8-12 months ago that really stressed you out?” Of course, I just had a few stressful things going on around that time. I was in a car accident, recovering from hormone imbalances, quit my corporate job, started nutrition school, and was faced with hip replacement surgery.
She took me in the bathroom to show me in the mirror where all my hair had fallen out. I could see a layer of baby thin, short hairs that were growing back. It was the craziest thing. Thankfully, I have crazy thick hair so no one would notice.
I suddenly had vivid flashbacks of a college roommate whose hair fell out from organic chemistry stress. Every night she would count the hairs that fell out. At one point, she even accused me and our other roomie for putting something in her shampoo to cause her hair loss. Eventually, she dropped the semester and moved home. She was a mess.
It’s scary how stress manifests itself in the body. I’ve always known stress was a problem for me. In fact, it’s what caused my hormones to shut down. But there was something about seeing it physically that made me realize how important it is to the health of my body to slow down and find ways to relax.
Cooking is a form of stress relief for me, but it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when cooking really stressed me out. My idea of cooking was tossing a pizza in the oven. Anything more complicated gave me an anxiety attack. Oh, how things have changed!
It took me years to get comfortable in the kitchen.
Many women who I help lose weight come to me feeling overwhelmed with cooking as well. They don’t know where to start, they’re working full time and guess what? It’s preventing them from reaching their goals. I always them to focus on one thing they can do in the kitchen and practice it until they can do it really well. Then when it feels like a breeze, add something new.
You don’t have to do or be everything at once. By the way, I need this reminder as much as you!
Once you build the habit of cooking something really well, it becomes no big deal. Then you build from there, and actually discover the joy in doing it instead of viewing it as a task. Not to mention you get to enjoy really awesome food like this Skinny Chocolate Granola!
This is one recipe I’ve had in the freezer for awhile. As in, I had a entire mason jar of it in the freezer and forget about it. Oops! My heart could not have been happier to find it.
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- Preheat oven to 300 F. Prepare a medium baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring a medium saucepan to medium heat. Add coconut oil, almond extract, cocoa powder, salt and maple syrup to the pot. Stir until coconut oil is melted and ingredients are thick and syrupy.
- To a large bowl, add oats, chia and shredded coconut. Then pour the syrup mixture over them mixing to combine well.
- Transfer the granola mixture onto a prepared baking sheet into an even layer.
- Bake at 300 F for 35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the granola sit on the baking sheet 1 hour to harden. Once cooled, add chocolate chips to the baking sheet and break up the granola with spatula.
- Serve immediately or transfer to a mason jar or container to store.
What I Used For The Recipe
This skinny chocolate granola is packed with regular old fashioned oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and unsweetened coconut. Healthy carbs, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 and a sprinkle of sweetness! Perfect to eat as a snack on it own, with milk as a bowl of cereal or scattered over a yogurt with a spoonful of almond butter and berries. Seriously, the best snack combo!
No matter how you do it, I’m sure you could use a sprinkle of happy, stress free, tastiness in your life, and this skinny chocolate granola will surely do that!
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How do you keep your stress under control? What’s one habit you’d like to build?