Irresistible Chocolate Granola with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil

Sneak Peek: This Chocolate Granola with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil is a sweet and salty experience that deserves to be your new breakfast habit or afternoon snack. It makes the BEST yogurt topping.

Ready-to-eat Chocolate Granola spilling out of a jar.
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Do you find store-bought granola disappointing? When I tear open a package of storebought granola, I like to see whole pieces. So please don’t give me a bunch of powdery and dry crumbs. It’s a sad way to start the day.

May I suggest this simple recipe for homemade chocolate-flavored granola? Not only is it FRESH, but each ingredient is identifiable, crunchy, and irresistibly tasty. Don’t miss my hint for making big chunks of granola if that’s the way you like it.

Although I eat granola mostly with homemade yogurt, that’s not the only way.

Seven ways to eat chocolate granola (besides with yogurt):

  1. Treat it like cereal–pour it into a bowl and add milk. Call it breakfast.
  2. Sprinkle it on a peeled banana.
  3. Scatter it over ice cream.
  4. Use it to garnish a cup or dish of pudding.
  5. Add to cookie, brownie, or bread dough.
  6. Sprinkle on top of toast slathered with peanut butter or Nutella.
  7. Roll a dessert cream cheese ball in crushed chocolate granola and serve with fresh fruit, butter crackers, or thin shortbread.

granola sprinkled over jars of fruit and yogurtPin

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Recipe inspiration:

Have you ever made granola? It’s not hard at all. All you need is a large bowl and a big spoon. But be warned. Once you make it, the texture will cause will spoil you against the grocery store variety.

My favorite granola recipe was introduced to me by Orangette and slightly adapted from Nekisia Davis’ Early Bird Granola and Food 52. I added cocoa to make this chocolate version.


Ingredients and substitutions:

  • OATMEAL: This recipe is written for old-fashioned rolled oats. Instant oats are thinner, so the baking time would be different. Steel-cut oats are a completely different animal. Save those for another recipe.
  • OLIVE OIL: Extra-virgin olive oil that smells fruity will set this granola apart from the average. You could substitute avocado, grapeseed, or coconut oil.
  • BROWN SUGAR: Brown sugar adds a butterscotch flavor that plays well with maple syrup. If you use artificial brown sugar as a substitute, watch your granola carefully in the oven. It has a tendency to brown faster than real brown sugar. Read the package for the specific amount recommended to replace regular brown sugar.
  • DARK COCOA POWDER: My favorite for this recipe is Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dark chocolate granola. You can substitute regular cocoa for Dutch-process cocoa. However, the finished product will not look or taste as chocolatey.

    You can also leave the cocoa out completely for delicious olive oil granola.
  • MAPLE SYRUP: Maple syrup is a distinctive feature of this recipe. Honey or molasses are thicker than maple syrup, so they would not be a 1:1 replacement. Read more about how to substitute for maple syrup.
  • NUTS: When it comes to nuts, I play fast and loose. Substitute unroasted cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, pinenuts, sliced almonds, etc.
  • SEEDS: Use raw seeds such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) since you will add them before baking your granola. Chia seeds and flax seeds can be added after baking.
  • COCONUT: Coconut flakes (shaved coconut) are my favorite ingredient. Of course, you could substitute shreds, but coconut lovers will appreciate the bigger pieces of coconut. It’s fun to pick them out of the mix and eat those toasty babies individually when no one is looking.

If you want to keep your granola lean and mean (sans chocolate), check out my recipe for Skinny Granola. That name may be an oxymoron, but it’s leaner than this recipe.

How do you make homemade chocolate granola?

mixing granola in a bowlPin

Combine the first seven ingredients (all the oatmeal, nuts, shredded coconut, and seeds) in a large mixing bowl.

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Add brown sugar and dark cocoa. Stir well.

adding maple syrupPin

Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Combine to coat all ingredients.

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Transfer to foil-covered cookie sheets–it works better if the pan has sides. Smooth the granola into an even layer.

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Bake at 300˚F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

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If you want clumps or small clusters, pat it down with a spoon after stirring granola the second time. When finished baking, let the granola cool without stirring.

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Let the granola cool completely before storing it.


FAQ about making homemade granola:

Does granola need to be refrigerated?

No. Refrigeration will cause granola to lose its crispiness eventually. If your granola loses its crispiness, put it in the oven for a few minutes until it turns crunchy again.

Can I freeze chocolate granola?

Yes, Wrap granola securely in a freezer-weight zippered plastic bag.

How do you get granola to clump?

Only stir it once while baking. When done, press the granola onto the tray with a spatula or your hand. Let it cool completely before you break it up.

Can I add dried fruit to the granola?

Yes. Try dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, mangoes, etc.

Wait until after the granola is baked before you add any dried fruit. Otherwise, it can turn hard when it cools, as in hard enough to break a tooth.

How long will granola stay fresh?

Granola can be stored in the pantry for approximately one to two months. Store in a Mason jar or zippered plastic bag. Prolong the storage period by vacuum-sealing your granola into a Mason jar like I do lettuce.

What else can I do with oatmeal?

If you are looking for a fun project in the kitchen for your kids or grandkids, try these Homemade Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-Tarts. If you are a bread baker, check out these Honey-Oatmeal Dinner Rolls or this Bread Machine Sunflower-Oatmeal Bread.

A Granola Riddle:

Question: How is granola like an oatmeal cookie?

Answer: Both are delicious and taste similar. Both contain heart-healthy oatmeal, some sugar, and fat, and should be eaten in small quantities. (Speaking for myself here.) Want to test this for yourself? Try these chocolate oatmeal cookies.

Question: How is granola different from oatmeal cookies?

Answer: Oatmeal cookies usually contain flour and eggs. Granola does not. That means it is gluten-free. (This recipe happens to be dairy-free, too.)

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite vices.


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! 

chocolate granola with fruit and yogurt on the sidePin

Chocolate Granola Recipe with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil

Paula Rhodes
This Chocolate Granola recipe is sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup. Olive oil makes it crispy and adds a subtle fruity flavor. Good for breakfast. Even better with yogurt.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 20 servings
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats - not instant or quick
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2-3 tablespoons dark Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300˚F.
  • Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a large spoon or your hands.
  • Pour maple syrup and olive oil over oatmeal mixture and continue mixing.
  • Spread in a thin layer on a greased full-sheet cookie tray. Or, cover your tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet for easier clean-up.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Add dried fruit as you take the granola out of the oven the last time. Allow to cool completely before storing in glass jars or plastic bags.
  • Makes 1/2 gallon plus one pint.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword chocolate granola, dark chocolate, maple syrup, olive oil granola
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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. christine says:

    5 stars
    I have been making this granola for years and it truly is perfection! I’ve tried it with many subs with different seeds/nuts to different amounts of brown sugar, maple syrup, and oil, but I always return to the original. Once you make this you will never buy granola again. It’s the BEST. Thanks Paula!?

  2. 5 stars
    My husband loves yogurt and even more so with this yummy granola. Have used almonds when I was out of pecans and occasionally omit the coconut as it is not one of my favorite items. Also, I use sugar free syrup. You would never know the difference! Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

    1. It’s like eating cookie crumbles. Right?

  3. 5 stars
    This is very much like the recipe that my mother used to make minus the chocolate. I don’t have her exact recipe any more, but I remember her mixing all the ingredients with maple syrup (maybe it was corn syrup, not sure) and oil. There were five of us so she made it in large batches and we had it as toppings for cereal. I’m going to try this recipe to see if it is my mother’s. Thanks.

    1. Hey Stephen,
      I made this for years without the chocolate. Whenever, I discovered chocolate granola, I never went back.

      1. 5 stars
        We now have 12 of the 13 grandchildren with us and I have been making your granola recipe almost non-stop. They have with their cereal, with ice cream, with jam, and sometimes just out of the bin as a snack. We even have a gluten=free version using flax and almond flour in place of the oats. Everyone thanks you especially me. This time I’ve added the chocolate.

        1. You are obviously having so much fun!! Happy to hear that your grands love the granola. Kudos to you for coming up with a gluten-free version!