I devised this recipe out of necessity: my toddler Charlie had all but stopped eating and if it wasn’t sweet, he wasn’t going to eat it. He wouldn’t eat fresh strawberries (or any fresh fruit for that matter) so I devised this granola recipe with dehydrated strawberries, which have a dense, sweet flavor.
This recipe relies solely on the fruit sugar of the strawberries. For younger babies, consider reducing the amount of dried strawberries in it and pulverize the granola completely. For older picky eaters, consider increasing the amount of strawberries to increase the sweetness. Exact measurements don’t really matter!
If you have an extreme picky eater 2 years or older, you could add white chocolate chips to the mixture before or after baking and rebrand this as “chocolate-strawberry granola”. Have them make it with you so they see that the chocolate goes in! Just be sure that the white chocolate chips are put into the food processor with the rest of the granola mixture so your child doesn’t pick out the chocolate chips and only eat those. (You want them to know that the chocolate chips are in the granola so they eat it but not be able to pick them out of the cereal.) Then, over time, decrease the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe until they are gone completely, at which point you’ll say “we were out of chocolate chips but we have strawberry granola.”
Sugar free and dense in nutrition, this recipe could be easily introduced as early as 6 months old if pulverized in the food processor completely, and if mixed with something easy to scoop, like Greek yogurt. But try to add fresh strawberries as well for exposure to the fresh, whole fruit.
Enjoy. xo Jenny
Makes about 8 cups
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups coconut chips (unsweetened)
- 1 ½ cups cashew, macadamia, or pistachio nut
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil
- 2 cups dehydrated strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 300 F. If the coconut oil is solidified, put the jar in a bowl of hot water so it liquefies.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, seeds, nuts and oil and stir well to coat.
- Spread the granola mixture on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is lightly browned and toasted.
- Pour the toasted mixture from one sheet into a large food processor and add 1 cup of the dehydrated strawberries and 1 cup of the coconut chips. Pulse until the nuts are completely pulverized. Repeat with the second tray of granola and the second cup of dehydrated strawberries and coconut chips.
- For babies, serve on top of yogurt and for picky eater toddlers and preschoolers, serve with cream or milk and let your child pour the cream/milk on top themselves. Store in the fridge for up to one month or in the freezer up to a year.