Chocolate Berry Granola and some news...

The other reason for the lack of recipe posts on this once legitimate food blog is that, in addition to studying for the bar, traveling, moving, starting a new job, and house hunting,  I have been very preoccupied with the fact that we are expecting!

If all goes well, baby R will be arriving in February.  

The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions for me, the primary one of which has been total overwhelm.  It's been challenging to have all these big life experiences happening at one time, but I have arrived at a place where I feel incredibly thankful for all of them.  I can't wait to meet our future little kitchen helper.  :)

In the food realm, I haven't had any particularly crazy food cravings.  I think I was fortunate compared to many women in that I didn't get sick too often during my first trimester, but I did experience nausea if I didn't eat every few hours.  Many of the foods that were once staples in my diet become foods that I could.not.stand, including avocados, eggs, and oatmeal.  So sad.  Not many vegetables were appealing to me either, so I ate a lot of cereal, bagels and fruit.  One great thing about being pregnant in the summer time is watermelon.  I ate an entire one myself in three days....

Thankfully, once I entered the second trimester, most of my food aversions disappeared, so I'm trying to eat a more balanced diet now with lots of protein and calcium.

One of my main calcium sources has been yogurt, and on a whim a few weeks ago I bought a bag of chocolate berry granola to top my yogurt.  I was soon hooked, but store bought granola is expensive.  I've come up with my own version, and I'm quite pleased with it.

The freeze dried strawberries are key, in my opinion. You can find them at Trader Joes or on Amazon.

We love eating this granola with plain yogurt, milk, or just snacking on it by the handful--for breakfast or dessert!

Chocolate Berry Granola 

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped freeze dried strawberries 

Preheat oven to 350. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Add oats to a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil and butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Whisk with a fork until smooth, then pour over oats.  Stir until oats are evenly coated in chocolate mixture. 

Pour chocolatey oats onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.  Bake at 350 for 21-28 minutes.  Set time for 7 minute intervals, stirring and moving the oats around every 7 minutes. Granola is done when toasted and fragrant. 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. You can use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips around, which will create delicious chocolate chunks! Sprinkle with chopped freeze dried strawberries. 

Let granola cool completely. (You can put it in the fridge or freezer if you are impatient to speed things up!)

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction