A Little Bit Granola Happy

How about some Chocolate Granola? I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive. I mean granola is supposed to be healthy. The very word 'granola' has taken on a world of meaning - plain, wholesome, natural, earthy - while 'chocolate' conjures up luxury, excess, passion. Could it be right?   At first chocolate granola just seems wrong, more like CocoPuffs than something I can get behind for breakfast but after you try it (and make it) you'll see that it is actually a pretty good choice (or perhaps you will just want to justify....) One of my favorite boxed cereals in Japan is a kind of chocolate granola and so this week when I was faced with the need to make a lot of granola for something I remembered how fantastic it is. Thinking it can't be that hard to make I gave it a shot and it's not! But it is super-yummy. 

Needing still more of the stuff (and hating to make too much of even this good thing or Grandy's Noga) I remembered hearing about Peanut Butter Granola. That sounds a little bit closer to the earthy, wholesome granola concept. I know the idea is not original to me (a google search will show the evidence of that) but I like my version. And it's easy.  So here are two more granola recipes, in case you were craving some - or just maybe thinking it might be good (for you). 

Chocolate-Cranberry Granola

6 cups large flake rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup milled flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 cup chopped pecans*
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup good quality cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup honey
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (2 squares)
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Melt the coconut oil, add the honey,agave nectar and vanilla. Heat to warm and add the chocolate. Let it sit a few minutes until the chocolate is melted and stir thoroughly. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir very thoroughly. (I can't over-emphasis the stir thoroughly. If the liquid isn't very well distributed you will have hot spots where the granola will cook faster -read burn - so stir past the point that you think you need to.) Bake in two large parchment lined baking sheets at 325 F. for 30 minutes - stirring halfway through. Cool and add the chocolate chips and dried cranberries if desired.

Peanut Butter Granola

8 cups large flake rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
3/4 cups wheat germ
1/4 cup milled flaxseed
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped pecans*
1/4 cup chia seed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups honey
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 cups peanut butter chips (or chocolate)

Stir dry ingredients together, mixing well. Heat the honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Stir to mix well. Add the vanilla and pour over the dry ingredients. Again, mix very well. Bake in 2 large parchment lined baking sheets at 325 F. for 25 minutes (or until golden) - stirring halfway through. Cool and add peanut butter chips if desired. Or chocolate chips ;)

*I always use pecans in recipes because I am allergic to walnuts (nasty, itchy hives) but feel free to use walnuts instead. I wish I could. Both or either would be delicious.

I had a blast making all this granola, and then making labels, and bagging it. More "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" I guess. But it sure was fun.

And I highly recommend the Chocolate Granola. It is not super sweet so it really isn't like CocoPuffs. 


Sonja said...


You are amazing!

Sonja, xo

Cheri said...

No I'm not. But I love granola! and thanks.

Cassia said...

That looks amazing! And where did you get those bags?

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!! Can you send some my way?!!! I will take one of each!! OK, maybe two chocolates!!
love, DeEtte

Shan said...

ok, if you have made a whole bunch of bags, I would like to know why there is not one sitting in my house waiting for me to eat it?

Cheri said...

Cassia, I got the bags at Creative Packaging. They have lots of great stuff there.

Shan, if you can eat this (gluten-free enough) there is a bag for you!

brenda said...

I made up a batch today and had to put them in the cute bags I bought before I ate it all. I gave them out to my book club - they all loved it as well (what was left anyways). Thank you so much - truly a keeper recipe.
Thanks so much for your help in making my night a success! Brenda