Healthy “Chocolate” Granola
Oh granola….is it good for you… is it bad for you??
If you read the ingredients on the boxes of store-bought granola cereal or granola bars then you know there are loads of sugars in there! Even “healthy” granola bars have processed sugars. Welp… I have been making homemade granola for years and I find that you can make it with significantly fewer ingredients and add more things that are good for you!
So, how do you make “healthy” chocolate granola? This recipe is completely plant-based, it’s packed full of healthy seeds, it is sweetened with pure maple syrup (honey is a good option too), AND it has cacao powder in it. If you have not tried cacao then today is the day! I LOVE cacao’s rich, chocolatey flavor and I also love it’s health benefits.
A few tips for your Healthy “Chocolate” Granola
*Don’t overbake this! 16-18 minutes should be enough to make it crunchy and 12-15 will make it chewier
*Use an oven thermometer. If you do not have one then you don’t have an exact way of knowing if your oven is too hot or not hot enough.
*Wait until the granola has cooled to break it up! In order to have larger pieces. When it comes out of the oven it will not stick together until it cools.
Scroll down for the recipe
4 cups old fashion rolled oats
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds unsalted (is using salted ones then use less additional salt in the recipe)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup or organic honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees
*Combine the maple syrup and coconut oil in a pan over medium heat; allowing the coconut oil to melt together with the syrup
*Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and toss together
*When the oil has melted turn off the heat and add in the vanilla
*Pour the mixture over the ingredients and stir together using a rubber spatula
*Make sure all the ingredients are evenly coated with the coconut oil/syrup mixture
*Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly spread the oat mixture between the two
*Press together with the spatula so that the oats stick together; this creates the large “chunks” when you break it apart after baking; make sure the oats are all touching each other and packed tightly instead of loosely spread out around the sheet pan
*Bake for 12-14 minutes; until the ends start to brown slightly
*If you would like it to be extra crunchy you can let it bake for about 3-5 minutes longer; making sure it doesn’t brown too much
*Remove from oven and allow to cool completely
*Once cooled use your hands to break up the large piece and serve
*Store in an airtight container