Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola with Caramelized Pecans & Walnuts

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You are not going to want to miss out on this granola.

It is full of dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, and caramelized pecans and walnuts. 

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This is my third and final granola recipe for the holiday season and it is FABULOUS!

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 The previous two recipes, Maple Almond Raisin Granola and Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates are delicious as well, but this one…

…this one is the crown jewel. 




Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola with Caramelized Pecans & Walnuts

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For The Nuts:

1 Cup of Walnut Halves

1 Cup of Pecan Halves

1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon of Ground Cinnamon

Generous Pinch of Sea Salt

Measure all ingredients into a medium frying pan (non stick!). Cook on medium stirring regularly until sugar is melted (but thick), and nuts are coated, about 7 minutes. Pour out onto a couple of sheets of parchment and immediately separate with two spoons. Allow to cool completely and then break apart the larger pieces. You will also have caramel that isn’t stuck to nuts. I broke that up as well and put it in the granola.

(**My nuts were still a little buttery after cooling so I moved them to a paper towel to soak up any excess that would otherwise take away from the crunch of the granola.)

For The Granola:

6 Cups of Gluten Free Oats

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, melted

3/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Cup of Dairy Free Mini Chocolate Chips

1 Cup of Dried Cherries

Caramelized Nuts

Measure the oats, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt into a large roasting pan and stir until thoroughly combined. Bake in 10 minute increments until a small amount removed and cooled is golden and crisp. Mine took about 40 minutes. Pour out onto the counter onto to parchment to cool completely. Then pour into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips, cherries, and caramelized nuts.


Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates



Here’s a another fantastic granola to make for your family or share with friends for the holidays!



Beautiful and golden and made the house smell so spicy and wonderful!

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Tomorrow I’ll post my third and last granola recipe for this holiday season. You can find the first one here.

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The dates add the perfect sweetness to the pumpkin and spice.




Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/8 Cup of Unsulphured Molasses

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

3/4 Cup Canned Plain Pumpkin

2 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

20 Medjool Dates, seeded & chopped

Place all ingredients except the dates into a large roasting pan and stir thoroughly to combine. Bake in 10 minute increments until a small amount removed when cooled is golden and crispy. Mine took about 50 minutes. Pour out onto parchment paper and once it is cooled completely, poor into a bowl and stir in the dates.


Maple Almond Raisin Granola



I love granola.

It’s sweet, a bit salty, crispy, chewy. All great things in one.

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Plain, or with dairy free milk, or half and half if you can have dairy.

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On top of ice cream, on top of yogurt, over fruit, on a hike, in the car….It’s delicious any way or anywhere you choose to eat it.

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I can’t eat it often because grains and I don’t get along well, but over the next few days I’m making a small exception.

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Of course, someone has to be here as the taste tester, and that happens to be me!

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I’m going to bring you two more fabulous granola recipes over the next few days that you can make for your family or as gifts to give.

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This recipe was particularly tough for me to keep my hands off of because it happens to have candied almonds. Unbelievably good!

I could not stay away from them.

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In fact, they would make a nice gift all on their own if you didn’t eat them all before you were able to get them packaged.


Granola is a great gift because most people love it, it’s easy to make, and your creative options are endless!

Candied Sliced Almonds

1 Cup of Sliced Almonds

3/4 Cup (kind of small-ish heaping) of Maple Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

1 teaspoon of Pure Maple Syrup

Generous Pinch of Sea Salt

Measure the almonds, maple sugar, and butter into a small fry pan. I used my omelette pan so it wouldn’t have any chance of sticking. Turn the burner onto medium and toss and stir lightly until all of the butter is melted and the sugar begins to stick to the almonds. Drizzle in the maple syrup and throw in a good pinch of sea salt and continue to carefully toss. I like to cook mine about 7-9 minutes or so to ensure that the sugar is melting and sticking and will harden lightly when it cools. Keep an eye on it though so it doesn’t burn and turn down the heat a bit if necessary. Pour them out onto parchment and quickly separate them with two spoons. Allow to cool completely.

Maple Almond Raisin Granola

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

3 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

3/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Cup of Candied Sliced Almonds

1 Cup of Organic Raisins

Measure the oats, avocado, maple syrup, maple sugar, and sea salt into a large roasting pan and stir until completely combined. Bake in 7 minute increments stirring thoroughly  until it is toasted and golden in color. It took mine about 35 minutes and I use convection. A good way to test if it is crispy enough is to take a small spoonful and spread it out on the counter to cool. It will cool quickly, then taste test for crunch.

Once it’s crispy to your liking (I like mine lightly crispy), pour it out onto parchment paper on the counter and spread out to cool. When completely cooled, pour it into a large bowl, add the candied almonds and raisins, and stir until everything is distributed evenly.


The Early Bird Gets The Worm


Extra healthy sustenance for an early morning and a productive day in the garden.

Power Packed Breakfast Granola

I haven’t had to use an alarm clock to wake me since I was a teenager. It’s wonderful not having to be awakened by a horrible buzzing sound if I have something important planned for my day. Typically, this “inner alarm clock” works in my favor. I’m a morning person and enjoy getting up quite early and doing my own thing for a while before the rest of the house starts to stir.


Sometimes this inner alarm has a sense of humor and gets stuck on east coast time or something and decides to wake me way, way earlier  than any “early bird” would like.

For the past week and a half it’s been 2:30 in the morning. On. The. Dot. 

Yep, not really the ideal time.

So to fix my inner clock I try to just remain in bed with a blank mind (yeah right!), and try my hardest to fall back to sleep until my inner alarm remembers that I am to wake up at 5:00, not 2:30.

This lying in bed with a somewhat blank mind (imagining myself soaking up the sun on the beach in Kauai), had worked until this morning. So after an hour of staring at the ceiling and twiddling my thumbs, I finally just got out of bed.

It ended up being a very productive morning, actually. I was able to catch up on blog posts from my fellow bloggers, ooohhhinng and awwwwing over all of their amazing recipes upon recipes upon more recipes, stories and more stories, and gorgeous words, photographs and beautiful music to start my morning. Then, I wasted an incredible amount of time on Facebook looking at posts and chatting with other early birds. Finally, I snuggled into my favorite chair to do my morning bible study and journal. I started journaling again about 8 months ago after not doing it for about 25 years. I love it. I can’t imagine beginning my day without it. It’s just me and God, having an incredible conversation. Right now I’m also reading two devotionals. Jesus Calling and The Confident Woman. Such insight. And such an incredible way to start the day. On the right footBecause we all know how the day can go when we start off on the wrong one.

Here’s a little something to give you some extra energy for your day, in case your inner alarm is also playing tricks on you:                                                                                                                   

Extra Energy Smoothie with a side of Granola

*Inspired by Yes I Want Cake

(This makes 2 – 16 ounce servings)

1 -1 1/2 Cups Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Fresh Organic Strawberries

1 Cup Mixed Organic Frozen Berries (Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries)

1 Cup Pineapple TidBits

1 Organic Banana

 2 heaping Tablespoons Organic Raw Almond Butter

2 Nice Sized Handfuls of Organic Spinach


Place in a heavy duty blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a side of granola to sprinkle on top or mix in for extra oomph and texture.