Until recently, the idea of making granola always sounded so intimidating to me. I don't know what it was but now that I've perfected my ratios, I am kind of on a roll with the stuff - I even made a batch to feed 70 for a local community even last month. I think I say this every time but this is seriously the best recipe I've ever come up with. CHOCOLATE + COCONUT + GRANOLA = I'M IN! I had every intention of making this in the afternoon and leaving it overnight but I ate it for dinner - FOR DINNER. It's that good - crunchy, toasty, sweet and best of all chocolate-y! If you loved those chocolate flavored cereals as a kid you are doing to do backflips for this because the flavor is remarkably similar - but you can know that now your repeated bowl-fulls of crunchy goodness are actually good for you.
Cacao for antioxidants, quinoa and buckwheat for protein, oats and chia for fiber, coconut flakes and oil for healthy fats - this stuff packs a healthy punch! It's also gluten free (if you use gluten free oats that is) and uses no processed sugars! Most cereals and granolas in the stores are loaded with junk-oil, processed sugar and a bunch of other garbage - even the expensive 'good-for-you' stuff is deceivingly loaded with crap. It is so easy to make your own and you get to taste test the entire time, which makes it totally worth it to me! The recipe below makes enough to put those puny ten dollar artisan bags to shame using inexpensive ingredients you probably already have at home.
I love how nutty and toasted this recipe is - if you're like me, theres nothing like those burnt little bits at the edges. It's great with a plant-based milk of choice, or with tangy coconut yogurt and fruit - I've also enjoyed sprinkling it over smoothies and gobbling handfuls straight out of the jar. You can of course customize here as well - tossing in cacao nibs, vegan chocolate chips, almonds, goji berries, hazelnuts, whatever you wish once the granola is out of the oven.
Let me know if you give this one a try, and what you mix-in to make it your own!
Serves: 10-12 1/2 cup servings • Prep Time: 5 min • Bake Time: 45 min
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
I always have cooked quinoa on hand in the fridge as it is my go-to "grain" ( fun fact: quinoa is actually a seed) but if you don't want to go through the trouble of cooking and cooling quinoa, it's no biggie, just replace with more oats or buckwheat groats.
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes (large or small, doesn't matter)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Don't leave these out! The chia seeds sort of stick together and make the most enjoyable clusters - OMG yum!
- 1/2 cup cacao/cocoa powder
Using conventional cocoa powder is GREAT here and will yield the same taste result as cacao powder - you are baking the whole thing anyway, thus killing off many of the beneficial raw properties of cacao (WOMP, WOMP) so don't worry about using "the good stuff" here if you don't want to.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. pink salt
1. Preheat your oven to 400* F and prepare a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, buckwheat, coconut flakes and chia seeds. Toss with your hands to fully integrate the ingredients.
3. In a sauce pan, combine maple syrup, coconut oil and cacao powder. Turn on low heat and whisk until the cacao powder is fully incorporated and the coconut oil has melted. This will only take a few seconds. Turn off the heat and add in the salt and vanilla.
4. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to make sure all ingredients are fully coated in the chocolate-maple-oil mixture.
5. Dump the granola onto a sheet pan and use your spatula or hands to press it into a firm, even layer (this will ensure you get some bigger clusters in there.)
6. Set your ovens timer for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, come in with your spatula and toss the mixture to ensure even roasting. Do this again at the 30 minute mark and watch your granola carefully for the last 15 minutes you may have some burnt bits around the edges but in my opinion, thats kinda the best part. It will not be totally set up when you remove it from the oven but will firm up as it cools.
7. Allow your granola to fully cool before putting it into glass jars for storage - lasts up to four weeks!