At a glance, this bowl may look like the ultimate naughty treat. “Look away!”- may be a common thought or impulse- but fear not. I will deconstruct this bowl of dark chocolate goodness for you, and there’s nothing in it that’s innately “bad” or unhealthy- so to speak. Unlike most granola recipes which call for crunchy turbinado sugar, this one is refined sugar free. Relying solely on your choice of pure maple syrup or raw honey for sweetness, it’s not lacking on flavor, crunch, & nutrition. I love the taste some good quality maple syrup infuses to oat clusters, plus it serves as a really great binder, allowing for those thick “granola blobs” to form & harden. Yep, those granola blobs are always the first to go on my spoon. This granola is also gluten-free & there’s absolutely no dairy in my chocolate mixture. Just the bonus of pure, creamy raw cacao. ( I just wish I wasn’t writing this at 1:00 in the morning; the sight of the picture alone is calling my name…)
About that picture… You may have noticed that ahem.. the granola is sitting on a little mountain of rich, velvety chocolate. Well friends, that is my Chocolate-Avocado Mousse, & the recipe is already on the blog under desserts & breakfasts. I get it; most people would eat their granola over almond milk, or yogurt. But hell yes, I paired chocolate granola over chocolate mousse & I sprinkled it with hemp hearts- because that’s just how I roll. The chocolate mousse is also refined sugar free & you wouldn’t even know there’s avocado in it! But let’s not start talking about the chocolate avocado mousse, because this post is all about the granola! That joyful, rich, chocolate granola.
- 3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats (these are thicker & visibly larger oats & easily found anywhere)
- 1/2 cup of pecans (you could decide to roughly chop them up or not. I didn’t, but will do so next time!)
- 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup or raw honey (I’ve tried both & I really prefer the taste maple syrup brings)
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips or chunks ( I use 70% cacao)
- 1/2 cup of cacao powder
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & line a baking sheet with parchment paper & have it handy.
- Melt the coconut oil, vanilla extract, cacao powder, & maple syrup together while stirring often. Let it cool slightly.
- Pour the 3 cups of oats into a large bowl. Once cooled, pour the chocolate mixture over the bowl of oats & mix well (clumping on it) with clean hands to ensure an even coating.
- Transfer the oats to the baking sheet & bake for 30-35 minutes, while stirring/flipping every 10-12 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, sprinkle generously with coconut flakes, chocolate chips or chunks, pecans, & the pinch of salt. I like to do this while it’s still slightly warm, so that the chocolate melts into the oat clusters.
- Store in an airtight jar or tupperware. Let it stand & completely cool for at least 2-3 hours before storing.
Notes: On Step 5, ensure the granola has cooled slightly (yet is still somewhat warm) before adding the sprinkling of toppings. I didn’t wait long enough & some chocolate chips melted entirely into the clusters. This can be easily fixed by adding more chocolate chunks/chips when storing it. The taste however, was unbelievable. I could have this for breakfast, lunch & dinner on repeat… Just saying.