So, I’ve been trying out different granola recipes lately and trying to figure out how to get the best clusters and crunch. The first few times I made it, I kept getting either dry and super separated oats, or too wet clusters, that never quite got that crunch. But, this one finally turned out great!
The main thing with granola is you need a good wet to dry mix ratio. Typically wet includes a fat (an oil or butter), and a liquid sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, or agave. Dry would be the oats (obvi) and anything like spices, nuts, and dried fruit. Another thing I’ve noticed is most granola recipes usually make SO MUCH GRANOLA…like I can’t eat that much in the 2 weeks, because it’s really high carb. I try to keep this around as a treat or use a little bit on my greek yogurt. I know some people eat this stuff like it’s cereal, which is great, but my stomach can’t handle all that, so I like that this is a small batch recipe.
ALSO, who doesn’t love chocolate? If you know me you probably know my obsession with all things chocolate and nut butter…this granola was bound to happen. Instead of oil, for the fat I used two types of nut butter, Crazy Richard’s Crunchy PB – which I love because it’s a natural peanut butter and has nothing extra added, just pure peanuts and it’s delicious. Also this great almond butter I found at Home Goods (typical) called NaturAlmond Maple Caramel – it’s like a sweet treat, with just roasted almonds, maple syrup, and sea salt. The sugar content is actually very low (zero for the peanut butter), which is why I felt it appropriate to use maple syrup in the wet ingredients, but you can always leave it out if you really want a sugar free option (and use an almond butter without any natural sweeteners).
I hope you all go try making this, it takes minimal ingredients and effort, and you can always keep for a couple weeks, or if you can’t use it all or decide to make multiple flavors of granola (which I recently have been) you can freeze it 😀
Cocoa Almond Granola
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 Tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (may leave whole, I chopped in half to get more almond crunch 🙂
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 300°F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl
Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl, heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds to thin out the mixture a bit. (No more than 15 seconds as you can change the texture of the nut butter)
Pour wet into dry and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture onto baking sheet and press into single layer about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through. It’s ok if the layer separates into larger sections and clusters. You’ll know it’s ready if you take out a small cluster, let cool, and it’s nice and dry and has some crunch.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top! Let air dry/cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Use as a topping for yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, or add to morning porridge/oatmeal! 🙂