Sweet & Salty Granola {gluten-free}

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a restful long weekend! After flying back from NYC, I spent the rest of the week with my family in Charlotte which was a much needed break after lots of traveling/life changes recently. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the entire family and even got an earlier start than usual on the Christmas decorating and shopping. I’m usually not in the Christmas mood by this time but this year I am SO there! My dad and I were even able to run the annual Turkey Trot 8k in Charlotte which was a fun and healthy way to kick off our Thanksgiving day!

If you are looking for a quick and easy gift idea in the coming weeks, this granola recipe is the perfect treat for neighbors, friends, and teachers when you are in a pinch for a last-minute gift! This granola only takes about an hour to make from start to finish and is packed with whole grain oats, coconut, and chocolate chunks. Oh yea and did I mention it’s sweet AND salty? The unique addition of sea salt to this granola makes this recipe delightfully different and is sure to please everyone on your list!

But hey if you don’t decide to give this one away I totally get it 😉 It’s that good. You can also switch up the ingredients in this granola depending on what you have on hand (aka the best find of recipe!).

Sweet and Salty Granola {gluten-free} 

Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans (you can also use almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc.)
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter) 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
1 tsp salt  
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, pecans, shredded coconut) and set aside.
3. Heat the almond butter, honey, coconut oil, and almond extract in a microwaveable bowl for about 30 seconds until melted & combined.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredient mixture and stir until well combined. 
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola mixture in one even layer.
6. Sprinkle entire mixture with sea salt and bake for 20-25 or until granola begins to brown just slightly!
7. Once cooled, add the chocolate chunks. Keep granola stored in airtight containers and it will stay fresh for about 2 weeks!

After an entire week of eating, (…hello Thanksgiving) I am looking forward to getting back into my normal healthy eating/exercise routine. I have been feeling a little off over the past few days and definitely need to kick it back in gear this week. I’ll be posting more soon on my tips/tricks for staying healthy and fit this holiday season (I need to remind myself of these as well!). I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

Love, 
Emily

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