This gorgeous chocolate granola breakfast tart is perfect for brunch or special occasions. It’s made with wholesome ingredients and is free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar!
Hey, friends! I know it has been a while since my last post. Shortly before taking a break from blogging, I posted about my struggle with burnout. It wasn’t something I talked about openly, but last year was a tough year for me. The blog was the busiest it has ever been and I was overwhelmed with freelance work. That’s normally a good thing, but I was having a hard time keeping up with it all. You see, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s early last year, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your thyroid gland. It wreaks all sorts of havoc on the body, causing issues like extreme fatigue, muscle pain, memory lapses, and depression, just to name a few.
Managing this health condition on top of everything else has been really difficult for me. I have this weird personality
disorder where I strive to be the best at everything I do. I want to be the best wife, the best mom, the best friend I can be, and I work hard to create superior work for my clients. But it’s difficult to give 100% to everything when your body can’t even function correctly. There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I didn’t feel like cooking, cleaning, or leaving the house, and the last thing I wanted to do was take pictures of food for hours on end.
I also had a reoccurring neck injury that was exacerbated by all of the photography work I was doing and I was in so much pain. I literally cried one day because I had a tight deadline on a job and I could barely move my neck. I finally listened to my body and shut everything down. No more work, no more social media, no more stress! I honestly had only planned to take a week or two off, but two weeks turned into a month, then two…three…time just kept passing and I wasn’t ready to get back to it. It took a while for my body to heal and although it’s not at a hundred percent just yet, I feel a lot better!
It was so refreshing to be totally free from work obligations. The holiday season is the busiest time of year for food bloggers and I’m usually so consumed with creating recipes, that I seldom get to fully enjoy the season myself. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was just to be a wife and mom for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I loved getting to spend lots of quality time with my family and I’m sure they enjoyed getting to eat food right away, instead of me having to run and take pictures of it beforehand. 🙈
I’m not trying to complain about my life or blogging, I just want to be open about my struggles. Social media gives us the ability to only show the good. To brag about our wins and post all of our successes so that others only see our “highlight reel,” where life is always awesome. We look at the lives of others and they seem to have everything figured out. They live in a beautiful house, wake up looking beautiful, wear beautiful things, eat beautiful food, visit beautiful places…it makes our “normal” lives pale in comparison. How can we be happy when our house looks like a tornado ran through it, we wake up looking like an escapee from a mental institution, the food we make ends up looking like the latest “nailed it” creation, and we haven’t been on a decent vacation in years.
But, that doesn’t mean we should feel the pressure to constantly give the impression that we have it all together. Think about the time and energy some people spend carefully crafting and curating their social media feeds to show this amazing life, which can sometimes be so far from reality. It’s sad that we can spend more time pretending to be happy than taking the proper steps to actually be happy.
During this break from social media, I thought a lot about what I want to do in the future. Do I go back to blogging or do I quit and do something else. What I’ve realized, is that sharing recipes makes me happy. It’s the reason I started several years ago and why I plan to get back to it now that I’m feeling better. It has also shown me the importance of being authentic. I don’t want to waste time pretending everything is hunky-dory when it’s not. I’d rather connect with real people by being open and honest. Hopefully this inspires you to do the same. 🙂
Anyway, getting to the recipe! This delicious granola tart, which is made with wholesome ingredients, is free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. It’s vegan friendly and would be perfect to serve for a special breakfast/brunch or as a healthy dessert! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend, friends!
- 2 cups rolled/old-fashioned oats (be sure to use gluten free oats, if needed)
- ⅔ almonds, roasted hazelnuts, or other nut of choice (I used sliced almonds)
- ⅓ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder (can omit for plain granola)
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or other liquid sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1–1½ cups yogurt of choice (I used unsweetened coconut yogurt)
- ¼ – ⅓ cup finely ground freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries, can use more or less to taste (optional, for flavor and color)
- 1–2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener of choice, can use more or less to taste (optional)
- 2–3 cups fresh fruit of choice (I used strawberries and raspberries)
- dark chocolate squares/shavings, optional
- Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly grease a 9–10" fluted tart pan and set aside. If you don't have a tart pan, you can use a springform pan or just shape the crust into a large circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place oats, nuts, coconut, cocoa powder, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, until mixture is blended. Pulse in oil, sweetener, and chia seeds, blending just until combined. Careful not to over-blend. Mixture should still be coarse and granola-like.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Place tart pan onto a baking sheet and then into the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, just until granola is lightly toasted and fragrant. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
- Mix together yogurt and ground dehydrated berries. Add sweetener (to taste) if necessary. You can also use a pre-mixed berry yogurt from the store.
- Once the granola crust is completely cooled, carefully remove from the pan. Slide an offset spatula under the crust to gently separate from the bottom of the pan and set onto the serving plate.
- Top with berry yogurt and fresh berries. You can also add chocolate chunks or shavings if desired. Tart is better when served right away.
- You can prepare the crust and yogurt ahead of time and assemble when needed. A fully cooled crust can be stored in an airtight container for several days.