Last weekend, I joined my five best childhood friends for a girls trip and reunion in Washington, D.C., where two currently live. We all grew up spending our summers at Camp Mystic in the Texas hill country together, and we’ve been a part of each others’ lives since elementary school.
Though the years have passed and we now spend our summers in grad school or working, we all gathered from Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth for a much needed weekend to catch up. As you know, I can’t help but whip up some sort of special treat for any and every occasion, and this trip was so exception.
“Tweety Cookies,” the “secret” recipe of the camp’s owners, are one of camp’s longstanding traditions. The nights that these glorious treats were offered for dessert were celebrated for good reason–these cookies are absolutely incredible.
After getting my hands on the original recipe my last summer at camp, I realized that whipping up a batch was much easier than I had imagined. These cookies are simply oatmeal chocolate chip, even though they seemed extra special due to the magic that Mystic sprinkled into everything.
While I’d love (and hope) to make a healthy version of these delicious treats soon, for this trip I made an inspired recipe that would also travel well from Austin. Since I knew that we would be looking for a little snack throughout the weekend, I thought that this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Granola would be just the trick!
For this recipe, you can use any gluten-free rolled oats that you have on hand, but I’ve been loving The Soulfull Project’s Hearty Grains & Seeds Hot Cereal for added nutrition. While traditional rolled oats work perfectly, this blend includes red quinoa, flax and chia seeds for more nutrients, fiber and healthy fats.
Not only are The Soulfull Project’s products healthy and delicious, but they also serve a higher cause. You can read more about the company’s mission, which is extraordinary, in my Raspberry Cacao Protein Ball post.
Likewise, in much of my baking where chocolate is required, I always turn to Lily’s Semi Sweet Baking Chips. These gems are stevia-sweetened, free from GMOs, gluten-free and fair trade certified. Yet you’d never guess that this tasty, chocolatey addition doesn’t include any additional sugar.
If you’re looking for more recipes to put that bag of Lily’s to good use, check out my Pantry Muffin Top Cookies, Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookie Dough, and Fudgey Walnut Black Bean Brownies. They’re all favorites in my book!
While the ingredients in Tweety Cookies are relatively simple, I wanted to add a little extra crunch to this granola, and almonds are the best nuts to do just that. Plus, it’s another great way to easily add a healthy twist to any recipe.
Almonds are my favorite protein-filled snack that also bring a dose of antioxidants and vitamins to control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Not only are they great to grab by the handful for a pick-me-up any time of day, but they’re also a wonderful addition to any dessert.
I surprised my friends with a little bag of this granola to take home with them, but I made sure that there was plenty left over for us to snack on all weekend long. And while Tweety Cookies have a special place in each of our hearts, I believe that oatmeal chocolate chip itself is a favorite across the board.
Despite the fact that this recipe is cookie-inspired, it’s packed with nutritious ingredients for a crunchy addition to your morning yogurt or a guilt-free midnight snack. For us, this granola goodness was both nourishing and nostalgic all at the same time .
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
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