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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Almond & Coconut Macaroon Granola (and a Chobani Giveaway!)

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It's no secret that Chobani is my all-time favorite yogurt. I first fell in love with Greek yogurt on a vacation to London. Ryan and I would pop into a grocery store each morning and buy full fat Greek yogurts and breakfast pastries. The pastries were good, but it was the yogurt that we couldn't get enough of. I don't know what brand we were buying overseas, but here in the United States, Chobani is our go-to. Occasionally we'll try other brands and they are admittedly good--you can't beat the thick texture or extra protein in any Greek yogurt, but none of them compare to Chobani.

Recently Chobani came out with three new flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Blood Orange, and Passion Fruit. When they offered to send me a case of the new flavors--and give one of my readers a chance to sample them as well--I was so excited, literally running to the front door every day after work to see if it had arrived yet.
Because my favorite way to eat yogurt is with granola, I decided to make some in anticipation of my special package. My favorite granola ever is still this one, but this almond and coconut version was the perfect match for the Chobani. The granola was only lightly sweet, a good match for the fruity flavored yogurts. Ryan and I had no problem devouring the Chobani. I have a hard time picking a favorite...I used to love pomegranate and lemon the best, but each of these new flavors are noteworthy as well. Bottom line is, you can't go wrong with Chobani...especially when paired with homemade granola! (Note--after trying all three, Ryan said blood orange was his overall favorite, he thought the seeds in the passion fruit were kind of weird, and he thought the apple cinnamon was the best match for the granola. I agreed with him, except I love the seeds in the passion fruit, as well as how thick the 2% fat version was! Ultimately, each is good in its own right!)
As I mentioned above, Chobani is giving one of my (United States) readers a chance to try the new flavors as well. Leave a comment on this post telling me something you're looking forward to this weekend (because YAY, it's almost the weekend!) and I'll announce the winner in Tuesday's post. Leave your comment by 9:00 pm Central on Monday for your chance to win!

One Year Ago: Spicy Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Stew (in the crockpot)

Almond & Coconut Macaroon Granola
slightly adapted from Healthy Food for Living

-2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
-1 cup puffed wheat cereal
-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp pure almond extract
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup sliced almonds
-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large place, place the oats and puffed wheat cereal. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, melted coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Whisk until smooth before pouring over the oats and cereal. Stir until evenly coated. Add coconut and almonds and stir to combine.
4. Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the granola are beginning to brown. Remove from oven, stir, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.