ohhhk. I am seriously bursting at the seams.
With joy, I mean. With joy. Granola joy and dog joy.
There are two really happy things going on in my life right now –>
#1 – The dog. We have a dog! We have had our puppy for almost a week now, and she’s not really a puppy, she’s an medium-old-ish dog from a rescue, but I am set on calling her a puppy for at least our first month together. She deserves it AKA we want it AKA who even cares tho because we are so totally in love with her.
A few nights ago we took her to the dog park and it was like heaven on earth for her. But actually, also for us, because we got so much laughter and joy out of seeing her jump in mud puddles, run wild through the sand, and chase her new friends like Jesus the hooded-vest-wearing Chihuahua. I thought it would take us at least a few months to become “those dog people” but oh no, my friends. Two hours into our new life with the pup and we are THERE.
HOW TO MAKE OUR CHOCOLATE GRANOLA (50 SEC):
#2 – This chocolate granola. It’s too obvious, but I still have to say it anyways: it’s so good like seriously need more nowwwwww even though I just ate some before I sat down to write this post.
It has a nice healthy base of oats, almonds, and unsweetened coconut flakes, and then things start to get a tiny bit desserty, if you can handle that, with the addition of cocoa powder and maple syrup and coconut oil and chocolate chips melted all up into the clusters. And then? Everything gets sprinkled with that crunchy turbinado sugar and flakes of sea salt.
And then it’s lunchtime and you’re a food blogger with leftover recipes filling your fridge but the only thing you can think of for lunch is fistfuls of granola straight out of the jar. I don’t even know, okay? Just… leave me alone.
Actually though, I’m not even exaggerating when I say that as of this morning, I’ve now eaten The Ultimate Chocolate Granola as 4 of my last 7 meals. It’s not like I’m proud of myself, eating those crunchy chocolate clusters with chocolate chips all day, it’s just that I feel I need to be upfront with you about my deep-seated love for things with crunchy sugar and sea salt exteriors.
If you’re like me and you love those kinds of textural, salty-sweet things, this is your granola.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1¼ cups sliced raw almonds
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup turbinado sugar
- ⅔ cup melted coconut oil (measured in liquid form)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- 1½ cups chocolate chips
- sea salt for finishing
- Make: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the oats, almonds, coconut, cocoa, salt, and ⅓ cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together. Set aside. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spread the granola into two large jelly roll pans in an even layer.
- Bake: for 50 minutes total, stopping about halfway through to check the granola and shake or stir the pan if needed. After 50 minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the granola, return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until chocolate chips are very soft. Sprinkle with the remaining turbinado sugar and coarse sea salt to taste. The added sugar and salt should stick the outside of the chocolate chips. *YES*
- Store: Let the granola stand for 1-2 hours. Gently scoop the granola into jars or an airtight container for storing. The advantage of doing this when the chocolate chips are still soft (at the 1-2 hour mark) is that it makes for great texture once it cools - the chocolate chips will sort of melt their way into the clusters and harden within each individual granola cluster. SO GOOD. You can also leave the granola out overnight or for several hours until the chocolate chips are fully cooled and hardened if you want to preserve the shape of the individual chocolate chip pieces in the granola.
Gentle handling of the granola is key for preserving the clusters. When you remove it from the oven, don't stir it. If it's not over browning during baking, don't stir it. The more you can leave it alone, the more it will cluster.
Note: For anyone who might be watching their weight or looking for guidelines with portion control, I find it really helpful to divide this recipe into four jars and then just mentally remind myself that each jar is 4 servings. I don’t measure each time I eat it, but I do try to keep an eye on how much I’m eating based on that rule of thumb. And if I end up eating one jar as three servings instead of four… oh well. Happy times.
A heads up: tomorrow I’m going to do a proper post to introduce our fur baby. (UPDATE: here it is.) I’m sort of INSANELY EXCITED to share her with you, and she’s wagging her tail next to me right now so I think that means she’s ready for her debut as a Blog Dog.
Until then: MORE CHOCOLATE GRANOLA, extra sea salt and crunchy sugar. Please and thank you!