A few months ago I purchased an absolutely addictive, scrumptious bag of chocolate berry granola from the grocery store.
It was gone all too quickly and while I loved every last bite, I thought that I could surely make a better version homemade, so I set out to recreate a new, healthier version from scratch with all of my favorite flavors: dark chocolate, coconut, walnuts and berries.
I made several versions, all of which were pretty darned good, but this one is my favorite. I hope you like it too. As with all of my recipes, feel free to adapt it to your own tastes, adding or leaving out certain items to suit your palate and your dietary needs. Make sure you use organic, vegan ingredients whenever possible.
Chocolate Walnut Berry Granola
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup cacao nibs
½ cup shredded coconut (or more if you like coconut like I do)
1 scoop of your preferred protein powder, vanilla flavor
½ cup cocoa powder
2 heaping Tablespoons coconut oil
Dash of sea salt to taste
½ cup maple syrup (start with less and add until the mixture is sweet to your taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1 package freeze dried raspberries or strawberries (optional but they are really yummy and add a nice tartness that complements the chocolate).
In a large bowl combine the first six dry ingredients and toss to combine.
Add the next five ingredients to a small saucepan and warm slowly over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture resembles chocolate syrup. It doesn’t need to boil. It just needs to combine smoothly into a sauce. Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly. If it tastes flat, add a little more sea salt.
Pour the chocolate syrup over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly coat the dry ingredients with the chocolate mixture.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola mixture onto the parchment in an even layer.
Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the granola. Return the pan to the oven for five more minutes so the chocolate chips can melt.
Remove the granola from the oven and give it a stir. Let it cool to room temperature before adding the freeze dried berries. Stir again to break the granola apart and to combine the berries.
Store at room temperature in a sealed glass jar.
This chocolate granola is great eaten out of hand like trail mix, but it’s even more delectable served in a bowl and soaked in coconut milk, almond coconut milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Top with fresh berries and/ or sliced bananas for a decadent breakfast, dessert or bedtime snack.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Courtesy of Sondibruner.com