Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola
Defining moments of adulthood: realizing that you can buy a box of Cocoa Puffs cereal whenever you want; admitting that what you should be buying is Grape Nuts. Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola offers the best of both breakfasts—big chocolate taste with a feel-good healthy boost.
One of the fun parts of being an adult is that no one can stop you from making potentially imprudent, positively satisfying eating decisions. Craving Captain Crunch for all three meals today? Opt for the peanut butter flavor at breakfast (protein), then Crunch Berries at lunch and dinner (two servings of fruit), and you just dominated the food pyramid. Mom isn’t here to judge—or to correct your logic.
Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola gives me the happy sensation of eating chocolate for breakfast, without a smidge of regret. Despite its rich taste, Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola is 100% whole grain, lower in sugar than most granola recipes, and is made with heart-healthy olive oil. Its flavor reminds me of a less sweet, breakfast-appropriate version of an Almond Joy (the candy bar that once drove me to crime and resulted in complete office embarrassment.)
If you haven’t used olive oil to make granola before, it’s lovely. It gives the granola a light, crispy texture and mild, fruity flavor. I adore this granola recipe for the way the nutty olive oil pairs with the dark cocoa, tart dried cherries, sweet coconut, and toasty almonds.
If you haven’t made granola before, period, I can’t imagine a better recipe with which to begin. This Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola beats the pants off of anything store bought for its taste and texture, plus its far more cost effective and you know exactly what is in it. The recipe makes a large batch, but it saves for 2-3 weeks at room temperature and up to one month in the fridge. (For the record, my batch lasted 10 days. This chocolate almond cherry granola business is addictive.)
Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Granola
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder — plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil — (light and fruity)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cherries
Place rack in center upper third of oven and preheat to 300 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil, light brown sugar, and honey. Stir over medium heat, until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the warm olive oil mixture over the oat mixture. With a wooden spoon, gently scoop and fold, coating the oats and nuts, until fairly evenly moistened. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared backing sheet, press down gently with the back of a wooden spoon, then place in oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, removing from oven and stirring once every 10 minutes. When finished baking, granola will be slightly toasted around the edges and smell amazing.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Stir in dried cherries.
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