The BEST Chocolate Granola

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OK, kids.  It’s baking time!!!!  This gal, McKel Hill over at Nutrition Stripped gave me a challenge.  In her book, there is a recipe titled “The Best Chocolate Granola” and merely because of the title, I HAD TO TRY IT OUT!  Will it truly live up to it’s name?  We are setting out to find out!

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Start by pulling all the ingredients out on the counter.  Measure out all those delicious oats, nuts, hemp seeds and cacao nibs. (remember my new favorite ingredient in my morning chocolate smoothie?!  Mmmm, love me some cacao nibs!)  Did I mention we need to chop those nuts a little?  We want them not too big and not too small but Goldie Lox “just right”!

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Now I have pretty adventurous kids when it comes to food but they are not huge fans of multiple nut varieties, such as hazelnuts or walnuts.  The verdict is still out on if the chocolate will mask the different nuts enough for them to really like this granola. I have faith though!  We’ll see tomorrow morning… 🙂

IMG_4229 Be sure to measure out all the dry ingredients, put them in a large bowl and set aside.

Next comes the chocolaty goodness!  In a small sauce pan, heat up the coconut oil, maple syrup adding cocoa, vanilla and spices.  Heat till all ingredients are incorporated and the coconut oil is melted.IMG_4230

Pour the chocolate mixture over the awaiting nuts and oats mixture. (Don’t add the cacao nibs–those come in later).

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Mix it all together and spread all in 2 baking sheets with a lip.  Bake at 350 for 7 minutes.  Stir, switch sheets from top to bottom and bake 7 more minutes.  Stir again and check for doneness.  If nuts don’t taste toasted, bake another 5-7 minutes (for a total of 19-21 minutes) then pull the pans out of the oven to cool.  Sprinkle cacao nibs over the cooled granola and you are done!  Store in a glass airtight container and dish up as you wish.

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Who’s coming over for breakfast?!!!!

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What I learned:

  • The chocolate came together quickly–don’t let it boil. :/
  • Put sheet pans on top and middle racks of your oven.  I put one in middle and one on bottom and the one on the bottom started to burn on the edges within the first 7 minutes of being in the oven.  Oops!
  • I might try substituting toasted almonds next time instead of the walnuts.  I love almonds and so do my kids!
  • I might also try using honey vs. maple syrup.  I think it will make the texture a little more “candy coated” after cooling.
  • This stuff is pretty darn tasty!  Is it the BEST chocolate granola ever?  Well…that is a big title to live up to.  I can say that it is really good and I will definitely be adding it to my ever-growing go-to homemade granola recipes.

Thanks McKel!  This recipe is definitely a keeper!

xo, Melissa

 

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