How to Freeze Granola

 

Let’s stock the freezer and freeze granola for future breakfasts!
How to Freeze Granola // Savvy Eats

Welcome to 2015! I’ve spent most of the past two weeks celebrating the season with my family and high school friends who came home for the holidays, unpacking the most important parts of our house (kitchen tools, clothes, office essentials and of course, board games) and getting back into my cooking groove.

Now that we’re feeling a little more settled in our new space, I’m ready to dive back into work. Since Baby G’s due date is in nine short weeks (WHAT?), I’m going to spend much of the next few months focusing on food storage how-to posts and freezer-friendly recipes. I’ll still mix in a few preserves and recipes that use them, but because most of my cooking time is going towards stocking our chest freezer, you can expect to see a whole lot of freezing tips in the near future.

Let’s start with granola. Granola is so simple to make, and even easier to freeze. It doubles as a breakfast or a snack. It can be served with yogurt or milk, or if you’re really in a rush or only have one hand free, it can be eaten by the handful on-the-go.

Freezing Granola // Savvy Eats

I tested two things when looking into how to freeze granola:

1. Whether or not it was best to freeze it with or without the dried fruit.

2. If it was better to defrost the granola in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Here’s what I found:

HOW TO FREEZE GRANOLA

There is no need to leave out the dried fruit. Go ahead and mix it in as your recipe directs.

Allow the granola to cool completely, then pack it into glass jars or other airtight freezer-safe containers. Gently press down on the granola so that there aren’t large air pockets in the jar, which could lead to freezer burn. Leave about 1/4″ headspace at the top. Freeze. 

DEFROSTING INSTRUCTIONS

Set the jars on the counter overnight to defrost at room temperature. If you allow it to defrost in the refrigerator, it will take much longer and the dried fruit will be tougher.

Granolas pictured: Raisin nut granola and almond joy granola (via The Lemon Bowl).

P.S. Looking for more granola recipes? Check out my nutty granola and my apple spice granola.

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Psst: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. 

Working from home can be a lonely business. Day in and day out, I’m home alone with nobody to talk to but the dog. To give myself some time around real people (not to mention a change of scenery), I try to go work in a coffee shop once or twice a week. I’m usually there between meals, and after a few hours of writing, my stomach is usually rumbling. I could buy a pastry, but they’re so packed with butter and sugar that it doesn’t seem wise to indulge twice a week. So instead, I buy another chai or coffee, and break out a homemade snack, like these chewy coconut granola bars.

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

I’m not the only one loving these granola bars. Since Dan is constantly on-the-go at work, he likes to keep some of these in his office for those brief moments when he can sit down at his desk. They’re an afternoon snack that the whole family can love!

And when you make your own granola bars, you can have total control over the ingredients. This mean no artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup and a whole lot less saturated fat. Here, coconut oil provides the binding fat in place of butter.  Instead of high fructose corn syrup or loads of white sugar, these bars call for honey and just a little brown sugar. Plus, in addition to the usual oats, I’ve added flax and chia seeds o provide a little extra boost of fiber, omega-3s and antioxidants.

Coconut Oat Granola Bars

They’re super easy to freeze, too, which means you don’t have to worry about eating them all before they go stale. Here’s how to do it.

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

Yield: 12 bars

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

These chewy granola bars make a great afternoon snack for nearly anyone, kids or adults alike! If you don't have any rye flakes, you can substitute in another cup of oats.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup rye flakes (see headnote)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaky coconut
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper with a little oil or butter.
  2. Stir together the oats, rye flakes, walnuts, coconut, flax seeds and chia seeds.
  3. Heat the honey, almond butter, coconut oil and brown sugar together in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey just begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until all the dry ingredients are completely coated. This will take a minute or two.
  5. Press the granola into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Lay another piece of parchment paper over the top, pressing down to solidify the bars. It helps if you can weigh the bars down with another baking pan, to really help them stick together.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing.

Make Ahead and Storage

http://www.savvyeat.com/chewy-coconut-granola-bars-sundaysupper-choosedreams/

ChooseDreams

Want to see more family favorite recipes turned healthy? The Sunday Supper Movement has teamed up with American Family Insurance to bring you a whole host of healthy family recipes. Find more recipes on the “Family Favorite Recipes” Pinterest board, and follow American Family Insurance on their website, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

 

Check out the recipes my fellow contributors made, too!

Savory

Angel Hair & Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce by Ruffles & Truffles

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere

Beef Stroganoff by Country Girl in the Village

Buffalo Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Corn and Crab Chowder by The Dinner-Mom

Crab Cake Salad by Family Foodie

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms On Red Pepper Slaw with Cucumber Dressing by Seduction In The Kitchen

Healthy Chicken Salad by Run DMT

Lighter Beef Tacos by Alida’s Kitchen

Meatballs with Vegetable Noodles and Fresh Tomato Sauce by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Superfood Pancakes by girlichef

Tex Mex Enchilada Skillet Lasagna by Neighborfood

Zucchini Meat Lasagna by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Sweet

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars by Savvy Eats

Enlightened Southern Banana Puddings by The Weekend Gourmet

Mom’s Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days

Strawberry Vanilla Canapés by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

Zucchini Carrot Snack Cake by The Foodie Army Wife

Sunday-SupperJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement Psst: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.