Yesterday I was out doing one of my favorite things…grocery shopping with my kids. (Crazy, I know). The plan was to hit up Whole Foods and, of course, Costco. Since we would be passing by my mother-in-law’s work at lunch hour, we also picked her up so she could join us for shopping and a snack-lunch at Whole Foods.
The boys had their choice of firetruck or police car cart, apples and oranges were on sale, and our favorite hot tea was buy one get one free. Things were off to a good start.
Then, as we were standing in the cereal/milk aisle two things happened that led to writing this post and sharing this recipe.
First, the bags of sweetened cereals lined up so enticingly on the shelves (well played, Whole Foods, well played) reminded me of how wonderful cereal can be. When I was a kid, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, and Rice Krispies (served with extra sugar so the last few bites were essentially just sugared milk) and more were mainstays at our house.
Nowadays, I may purchase a (somewhat healthified) bag of fancy cereal studded with marshmallows occasionally. Because childhood is short and it shouldn’t be completely without its special treats. But for the most part, I try to limit excess sugar, thus ruling out almost all packaged cereals– or at least, all the ones that taste better than the box they come in.
Thankfully, making granola (cereal) at home is a really simple process.
Which brings me to the second thing that happened. My mother-in-law helped me save money on our grocery budget by telling me that Costco has big bags of oats for a great price. Somehow I’ve never realized this. Likely because I always avoid the cereal aisle. So I put the smaller containers of oats back on the shelf and planned to stock up on our next stop.
All of this led to deciding to make my kids some chocolate childhood magic in a bowl. Only with healthy ingredients and without the sugar overload.
This cereal is perfectly chocolatey and sweet. It tastes like a treat and turns your milk brown just like it should. It is also full of “super foods” like oats, honey, coconut oil, chia seeds, and dark chocolate.
And for full disclosure, it’s not just a cereal for kids. I may have eaten more chocolate cereal than my kids have so far.
The next time you’re eyeing the
candy cereal aisle at the store, pick up some plain oats instead and try spending ten minutes making your own cereal at home. Bring your kids in to help you stir or simply throw it together yourself. Either way, you’ll be enjoying a much healthier but no less indulgent cereal before you know it!
- 6 C oats
- 1 C wheat bran or germ*
- 1 C unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 C chia seeds
- 3/4 C melted coconut oil
- 3/4 C honey
- 3/4 C cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C chopped dark chocolate
1. Combine the oats, wheat bran, coconut, and chia seeds in a large bowl. Stir well to mix the ingredients thoroughly. In a small bowl mix together the coconut oil, honey, vanilla and cocoa powder. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated. Mix in the dark chocolate.
2. Spread the cereal mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake for 45 minutes in a 275° oven, stirring twice during the cooking time.
4. Let the cereal cool completely before transferring to a container.
* Substitute flax meal for the wheat bran to make a gluten-free granola.