My kids are carb addicts. They love snacks that are sweet and crunchy. I want their snacks to be nutritious (even more than I want to be the fun mom who gives into their sugary demands). One snack we agree on is Chocolate Covered Pretzel Granola Clusters. The granola recipe has enough sweetness to please kids, but is packed full of healthy ingredients such as whole oats, wheat germ, flax seed and coconut oil.
I love having healthy snacks in our pantry. Unfortunately they often lack the “excitement” that processed snacks possess. Especially when kids are comparing lunches at school. My kids understand which foods are healthy, but that doesn’t reduce the desire of a 12-year-old to eat Ding-dongs, Cheetos and soda for lunch if that's what the other kids are eating.
I’ve found that making my own creative snacks with interesting ingredients can help to tempt their taste buds and satisfy their need for “desirable” lunch box items. Chocolate chip granola bars are a kid pleaser, but get a little boring. Pretzels seem to suffer the same fate, they start off interesting but halfway through the bag the kids are done.
The kids love helping me make granola bars and I love making my own granola. We also enjoy Kind Granola Clusters. These ideas call came together when I read Lovely little Kitchen’s Pretzel Granola recipe and Cookies and Cups’ secret ingredient for making “clumpy” granola clusters.
I modified our favorite granola bars ingredients and came up with this delicious recipe for Chocolate Covered Pretzel Granola Clusters. It’s an easy recipe that makes a great snack for kids and adults. A ½ cup serving contains 268 calories, 4.3 g fiber and 6.2 g protein.
I hope you try making this granola recipe. It's a snack your whole family can enjoy and you can feel good about making.
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups puffed rice cereal I use Rice Krispies
- 1 cups pretzels crushed
- 1 1/2 cups pretzels broken into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 3/4 tbsp flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt optional
- 1 egg white beaten until foamy
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 320°
- Line a large (approx 12 in x19 in ) baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Crush pretzels. You can use a rolling pin and a plastic bag to make the job easier.
- Mix oats, puffed rice cereal, pretzels (crushed and broken), wheat germ, and flax seed in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
- Pour coconut oil mixture over oat mixture.
- Mix until evenly combined. It can help to toss the mixture with two spoons like you are making a salad.
- Beat the egg white with a whisk until very frothy.
- Spoon half over the oat mixture and toss to combine. Spoon remaining egg white over oat mixture and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle salt over oats and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet and spread to evenly distribute.
- Press the mixture down lightly.
- Bake the granola for 20 minutes, do not stir.
- Remove granola pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.
- Return pan to oven and immediately turn off the oven. Leave the pan in the oven and allow it to cool completely.
- Once the granola is cool (you should be able to pick up the pan with your bare hands) place it on your counter top and allow the chocolate chips to harden.
- Use a small spatula or table knife to break the granola into half dollar size pieces.
- Store the granola in an air tight container and use in 10 days.