I like to have dark chocolate every day, but I do believe in moderation. So many sweet chocolate recipes are packed with sugar and fat that I don’t need or want on a daily basis. I have seen chocolate granola recipes that were very sweet and much more dessert-like and I thought, why not take advantage of the health benefits that cacao nibs and cocoa offer and create a chocolate granola that would satisfy a craving while being virtuous enough for a breakfast? I keep a jar of this around to satisfy sweet cravings, without the guilt.
Image: Peter Muka
- 2½ cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds, blanched or natural
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- ½ cup rice syrup, maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup sifted Dutch cocoa
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- ¾ cup chopped dried apricots
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Toss oats, almonds, coconut and nibs together in a large bowl; set aside.
- Whisk together the sweetener of choice, cocoa and coconut oil in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking often, until ingredients are combined and smooth. Pour over dry mix and use a large rubber spatula to combine thoroughly. Fold in extracts, if using. Spread granola in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake granola for about 30 to 35 minutes or until beginning to dry to the touch, tossing once during baking time. Toss in apricots upon removal from oven. Cool pan on rack. Store granola at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- In lieu of apricots, this granola is fabulous with tart dried cherries – or both! The image below shows a cherry version with some extra large coconut shavings tossed in.
Image: Dédé Wilson
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