Perhaps not as clean as a bowl of bran flakes or as green as a plate of lettuce, but let’s be real. We both know you wouldn’t be reading if that is the kind of stuff you found around these parts.
When it comes to healthier recipes, sometimes you just have to bring out the big guns: chocolate.
Granola, while boring to some, is actually one of my favorite things to munch on. So many textures, so much crunch, the flavor possibilities are endless, dried fruit, nuts, the whole shebang. Eaten for breakfast, as a snack, pre-workout, post-workout, midnight munchie, or sitting at my desk – I never tire of this stuff!
The only downside to granola? it.is.so.addicting.
But I can think of worse problems.
I like to make my own granola. Not only is it SO easy to throw together, but it is incredibly cheaper (and healthier!) than buying it at the store. I do not understand how a 3 cup bag of granola (aka sugar) can market for over $7 when it costs pennies to make the same amount, in a healthier way, at home?! Silly business if you ask me.
And you know what? Take one look at all of my wholesome homemade granola recipes (peanut butter cup! PB&J! NUTELLA!) and I assure you that I can convert you into a granola-making-fiend just like me. You’ll thank me later.
The ingredient list for my latest granola recipe is quite short. Nothing crazy, nothing you can’t pronounce… just simple, wholesome ingredients. And, of course, that includes the appearance of chocolate three times. Yep. A triple threat of the good stuff.
Starting with melted coconut oil, add your unsweetened cocoa powder, and a touch of brown sugar. This can all be mixed by hand in a small bowl. Stir in some honey (or agave or maple syrup) to make it all stick together; don’t skimp on this binding agent. These four ingredients combined – the coconut oil, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and honey – will make a liquidy paste to drench over your oats and create crunchy chocolate clusters as the oats bake.
For the add-ins, I didn’t get too crazy here. A simple mix of chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins is added to the granola after it bakes – to avoid burning any chocolate. While the granola is still warm, add in the chocolate chips and give them a nice stir. The warm granola will melt the chocoalte chips creating large sticky chocolate clusters. The best part. I mixed in the chocolate covered raisins after the granola cooled, so they held their shape - feel free to add them in when the granola is warm though.
For the chocolate covered raisins, I used Dark Chocolate Raisinets. My favorite candy ever, I kid you not. Disclaimer: I am mildly obsessed with raisins in any form, I don’t care how old or boring that makes me seem!
If you prefer, feel free to replace the dark chocolate raisins with other add-ins: nuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, white chocolate chips, toasted coconut, etc. Keep in mind that chocolate must be present three times since you know… this IS triple chocolate granola.
Just kidding… sorta.
The chewy dark chocolate raisins provided the perfect texture contrast to the crunchy clusters – I love a good texture profile when I can find one.
While I prefer my cookies to be soft, I like my granola extra crunchy. Super-crunch-style, even after a few days. This granola lasted about 1 week and was plenty crunchy – even MORE crunchy by day 5 and 6. And, when sitting in a breakfast bowl of milk, the granola clusters STILL remained crunchy. Oh yeah. We’re beating the crunch test with flying colors here today.
About that coconut oil. No, your granola will not taste like coconut. From the cocoa powder and the melty chocolate chips, you’ll find no remanence of coconut taste dancing around your tastebuds. I strongly suggest you use coconut oil here (and in any granola recipe calling for oil), but if you cannot get your hands on any, canola oil will work just fine.
Quick, straightforward, and easy. Not to mention… cheaper than anything you’ll find in the store AND made without any preservatives or weird gunk you can’t pronounce.
Customize it how you prefer with different add-ins or any suggestions I provide below. Just don’t skimp on the triple chocolate ordeal – I mean, when else is it OK to have chocolate for breakfast?! And for a snack? And pre-workout fuel? Post-workout recovery? Midnight munchie? Yep, you just found your new favorite healthy treat.
PLUS – how fun would this be to give away to friends this holiday season? I nice healthy, yet incredible decadent tasting munchie that would be beautifully wrapped up in a mason jar or Christmas tin. Your friends may thank you for saving their diets. Just sayin’.
makes about 3.5 cups
- 3 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup, or agave)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup dark chocolate covered raisins
- optional additional add-ins like nuts, seeds, or dried fruit
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Pour oats into a large bowl, set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and dark brown sugar until combined. Add honey and salt and mix until a liguid-y paste forms. Pour over oats and mix until all oats are moistened. Add more honey if needed.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring + flipping every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips while the granola is still warm. Stir. The chocolate chips will melt, creating larger clusters of granola. Once cooled, add in chocolate covered raisins and any additional add-ins you prefer. Store covered at room temperature for up to three weeks.
Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
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