|Keto Friendly Double Chocolate Chunky Granola!|
(This post is sponsored by Ancient Nutrition. All opinions are my own.)
Y'all, I am on a SERIOUS chocolate kick over here...apparently! I just realized that my previous two posts were also aaaalll about that chocolate, but I'm definitely not mad about it, and I hope y'all aren't either!
I've shared a few granola recipes on the LL Balanced blog over the years, such as my Easiest Cinnamon Raisin Granola, my Grain Free Orange Cinnamon Granola and my Soft Baked Maple Pecan Almond Butter Granola.
HOWEVER, I have never created or shared 1) a sugar-free/ket0-friendly granola 2) a chocolate granola! So it feels totally appropriate to cover those bases, now that I'm on a lower-carb kick.
Plus, I've been looking for any excuse possible to use my Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Protein (MCP) flavors. If y'all have been around this community for a while, you know I'm a huge fan of powdered hydrolyzed collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows. Taking it consistently (at least 1 scoop per day for a year and a half) has made me feeling AMAZING, and I have seen a positive difference in my skin, nails and hair. If you want to read more about the science-backed benefits of consuming collagen, I highly recommend THIS article, by Dr Josh Axe.
Dr Axe, who I have followed and respected for years, recently came out with his own line of collagen for his brand Ancient Nutrition. Ancient Nutrition sent me a variety of their Multi-Collagen Protein flavors to try, and after 3-4 weeks of using it, I was smitten! Firstly, Ancient Nutrition MCP is named to reflect the fact that it contains FIVE different types of collagen from FOUR food sources: beef, chicken, fish and egg membrane. As far as I have seen, this complex and comprehensive collagen mixture is unique to Ancient Nutrition.
Secondly (and almost as importantly), the flavors are absolutely delicious! The Strawberry Lemonade and Cucumber Lime are fabulous in my daily Morning Elixir, and I've been blending their Vanilla or Chocolate flavor into my coffee or smoothie every morning. All of the flavors have just the right amount of sweetness, and although they are stevia-sweetened, they don't the aftertaste that sometimes comes with non-nutritive (low glycemic and sugar-free) sweeteners. P.S. they also have a fantastic original unsweetened collagen, if that's your preference!
I knew that the Chocolate MCP would be an absolute dream in a chunky, chocolatey granola, as well as offer a lovely nutritional boost. The trickier part was making this granola keto-friendly.
If you're not familiar with the ketogenic diet, I want to say first: I am NOT an expert, nor am I on the ketogenic diet. I have simply taken some of the concepts and principals and applied them to my food choices in the last few months.
To explain what "keto" means in a basic overview, I'll turn again to Dr Axe as the true expert, with an excerpt from this post:
What is the keto diet? Rather than relying on counting calories, limiting portion sizes, resorting to extreme exercise or requiring lots of willpower, this low-carb diet takes an entirely different approach to weight loss and health improvements. It works because it changes the very “fuel source” that the body uses to stay energized: namely, from burning glucose (or sugar) to dietary fat, courtesy of keto diet recipes and the keto diet food list items, including high-fat, low-carb foods.
Making that switch will place your body in a state of “ketosis,” when your body becomes a fat burner rather than a sugar burner. Fortunately, if you’re new to this type of eating plan, a keto diet for beginners, or keto basics, is surprising simple to follow. Here’s how to do the keto diet:
Reduce one’s carb intake.
Increase your consumption of healthy fats, which help create satiety.
Without glucose coursing through your body, it’s now forced to burn fat and produce ketones instead.
Once the blood levels of ketones rise to a certain point, you officially reach ketosis.
This state results in consistent, fairly quick weight loss until your body reaches a healthy and stable weight.
Thank you, Dr Axe!
Please also know, y'all, that I am not promoting keto over vegan or paleo or all-the-things etc. I am simply offering recipes for people who have chosen to follow a ketogenic or other low-carb lifestyle. This is no different than my offering recipes for my plant-based eaters.
I also want to caution you against taking the phrase "keto-friendly" and translating it to "I can eat the whole batch". Just because this granola (or ANY recipe/dish/food) can fit into a ketogenic lifestyle doesn't mean you should eat it with utter abandon. Of course, food is neither good or bad, right or wrong, and I'm the first person to respect occasional indulgence. BUT, the deal with keto is that you have to have some cognizance of your overall macronutrient intake, in order for your body to start producing ketones. Simply a caveat to keep in mind, if this is a lifestyle you want to take on!
ALL OF THIS SAID, if you don't care about the low-carb/sugar-free/keto-ness of this recipe, that's ok!!! It's still freaking incredible! The chunks are a little crispy around the edges, soft in the middle and every bite is studded with chocolate. I love enjoying a bowl of this granola topped with a generous drizzle of almond or peanut butter and unsweetened vanilla macadamia nut milk.
If you do give this recipe a try, please please tag me @lauraleabalanced and @ancientnutrition on IG so we can see your creations!
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