Granola Recipe Roundup . . . Starring Avocado Pineapple!

As promised, I’ve rounded up my recent granola recipes in honor of National Oatmeal Month.  For years, I just mindlessly bought granola at the store until I realized how insanely easy it is to make at home. Not only is it super fresh and more economical, but my favorite reasons for baking homemade granola are the creativity factor and control over the ingredients.  Try one, try them all!

homemade granola and granola bars A) Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola – This chocolate granola is so scrumptious I could eat it for dessert! Problem is, my kids and husband always have the batch polished off before lunch!

B) Smashing Pumpkin Protein Granola – Pumpkin shouldn’t be a seasonal food; I stock up on canned pumpkin in the fall so I can show my thanks to this super nutritious squash all year long.

C) Tropical Caramel Cashew Granola Bars – Coconut and cashews hugged with gooey caramel, these chewy granola bars get a protein boost with raw shelled hemp seeds.  Perfect for gym bags and lunch boxes!

D) Gingerbread Cranberry Protein Granola  – One whiff of this granola wafting from the oven will give you that warm fuzzy feeling of being at grandmother’s house and helping with the baking. Nostalgic noshing!

avocado recipe with pineapple pumpkin seeds


AvocadOMG! You’re going to think “oh no she didn’t,” but OH, YES I DID! I’ll stop shouting now to share the news about my recipe for Avocado Pineapple Granola, not only is it strangely delicious but also over-the-top nutritious. By substituting mashed avocado for the coconut oil I typically use in my granola recipes, I was able to significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat.  Did you know the fats found in avocados are healthy and satiating? Check out some new research on avocados and satiety that I think you’ll find . . . .full-filling!  Eating 1/2 an avocado with a meal can make you feel satisfied and reduce the urge to snack following a meal.

Avocado Pineapple Granola Recipe

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cups raw, shelled hemp seed
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 large avocado (approx. 1 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 4 – 6 single-serving packets Stevia (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 4-ounce unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup dried diced pineapple


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, toss together oats, hemp, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add peeled avocado, almond milk, Stevia and applesauce. With a fork, mash together until combined and creamy.
  4. Add avocado mixture into bowl with dry ingredients; mix with spatula until completely coated. Do NOT add pineapple before cooking.
  5. Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet, pressing down slightly, and bake for approximately 1 hour. Stirring every 20 minutes, taking care not to break up all the clusters.
  6. Remove from oven, stir in dried pineapple, and let cool on pan at least 15 minutes before breaking into clusters



Oat Yeah! Caramel Cashew Energy Bars & OatWorks Smoothie Giveaway

The holidays aren’t over just because December has come and gone. January is National Oatmeal Month and that’s 31 days of whole grain goodness to celebrate.  Now, before I get all mushy about oatmeal, I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the stuff porridge-style — except when it is dressed up with nuts and honey and fruit. Okay, okay, I love it! I also love to use oatmeal in many of my healthy recipes, everything from granola (oh, you know there will be a granola-palooza post next week) to grinding it up and using it as a “flour” in all sorts of baking and crusting.

Cashew Caramel Chewy Energy Granola Bars

I recently created this super easy, super yummy recipe for Tropical Caramel Cashew Energy Bars for Litehouse Food. Dried mango and pineapple along with cashews are tossed with a hearty pile of old-fashioned oatmeal (and shelled hemp seed for extra protein) and then coated with a packaged light caramel sauce.  Baked into chewy perfection, these bars have less than 190 calories per serving, 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Easy to wrap ‘em up and tuck into a lunch box or gym bag, ready to provide sensible, satisfying relief when hunger strikes.

oatmeal dried fruit nuts in bowl

So, what’s so great about oatmeal? There have been numerous research studies that link the consumption of oatmeal with a host of positive health benefits. You can read about these perks in detail at the Whole Grains Council, but here are the bullet points:

  • Oats may reduce asthma in children
  • Oats may boost nutrition profile of gluten-free diets
  • Oats increase appetite-control hormones.
  • Oat Beta Glucans improve immune system defenses.
  • Oats help cut the use of laxatives.
  • Oats may help reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Oats may improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Oats lower bad cholesterol.
  • Oats help control blood pressure.
  • Oats #3 overall, #1 for breakfast in overall satiety index.

did you drink your oatsDid you also know that you can drink your oats? Yup, just throw a handful (approx. ¼ cup) into the blender when making a smoothie. In order to keep your smoothie from being lumpy and clumpy; It works best to grind the oats in the blender before you add the liquid ingredients.

However, are if you are having a crazy morning or need a post-workout snack, OatWorks Oat-Powered Natural Smoothies are a fantastic, fitness-focused and flavorful option to a home-made smoothie. The company sent me some product to try out, tell you about, and share through a giveaway (read on to the bottom for entry instructions).


Made with natural oat fiber (the soluble fiber called beta glucan) and real fruit juices, these individually- bottled beverages are vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, cholesterol free, non-GMO and Kosher. There is also no added sugar, artificial sweeteners or artificial anything. So what DO these OatWorks drinks have? Well, each 12-ounce bottle of Oatworks is packed with as much soluble fiber as two bowls of oatmeal, has loads of vitamins and minerals, and is naturally sweet, smooth and delicious. You also get all those oatmeal benefits that I bullet-pointed earlier!

Choose from three not-at-all lumpy flavors —Strawberry-Banana , Pomegranate-Blueberry or Peach-Mango. If you can’t find these smoothie drinks at your market, you can stock up on Amazon. Or, you may be my lucky winner who will receive 6 bottles (3 each flavor) of OatWorks Oat-Powered Natural Smoothies.

To enter, just enter through the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway