Two chocolate granolas
I know, you need another granola recipe like you need a hole in the head. That said, I'm still going to share these with you because one is a very good basic granola that allows for a lot of spring-boarding. It's also excellent as is with milk or yogurt (methinks fruited yogurt is a bit much for this granola, but go with what you and your kids like). Or eat it plain in a bag in the car on the way to school/work. The second is unusual, but equally as tasty. It takes a little bit more work, but not much, and is really a tasty breakfast treat. And, it has beans in it. I know, right?!
Chocolate Granola #1 -
This granola isn't especially sweet. It is quite nice and toasty, though, and I think you and your kids will like it. It's good for lunch boxes, breakfast, and snack time. For the chocolate, you’ll want something that’s bittersweet, but not too bittersweet. I think Trader Joe’s bittersweet Pound Plus bar - the big one with the brown wrapper - has the perfect flavor for this recipe: dark, yet still slightly sweet. (Let it be noted that I am sharing my TJ's chocolate. I should get an award for that!) Whatever you use, feel free to chop it to your desired size. I like mine finely chopped, as indicated below, in bits roughly the size of a pencil eraser. But you could go larger or smaller, if you like. If you're feeling really pressed for time, just use bittersweet chocolate chips.
Oh, and consider doubling this recipe. Really. We’re plowing through it over here.
3 cups rolled oats
½ cup raw almonds, chopped
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp. mild honey
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ cup, or more, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (see above)
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend.
In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, whisking occasionally – watch out! the oil will want to splash - until the honey is loose. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.
Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely. That said, if you like a chunkier granola, don't stir it. Instead, break it into chunks after it has cooled.
When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate, and stir (or shake, if using a jar or bag) to mix. The more you mix/shake, the smaller your chunks will be.
Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 5 cups
Chocolate (and chickpeas!) Granola #2 - Based on a recipe I found at Pulses.org
Dried fruit would also be a nice addition to this granola. If you opt to add it, do so at the end when you add the chickpeas and chocolate chunks.
FOR THE ROASTED CHICKPEAS: 2 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (15 oz per can) 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
FOR THE GRANOLA: 3 cups rolled oats 1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup flax meal, optional 1 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 cup coconut oil 1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks Directions: For the Roasted Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rinse chickpeas under warm water to remove any residue. Then, let drain thoroughly to remove as much water as possible. Then, place chickpeas on a baking sheet topped with parchment and roast at 400ºF for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss in maple syrup and cinnamon and bake for another 30 - 45 minutes longer or until crunchy. You'll have to keep checking it towards the end of the time.
For the Granola: Preheat oven to 330ºF. In a large bowl, mix together rolled oats, slivered almonds, flax, unsweetened flaked coconut, sea salt, coconut oil, cinnamon and maple syrup. Spread evenly on baking sheet topped with a sheet of parchment and bake at 330ºF for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir gently. Place back in and bake for an additional 15 -25 minutes, checking frequently at the end of the period. You want it to be nice and browned. Let cool completely before adding roasted chickpeas and dark chocolate chunks.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 8 cups