Preview: 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.
Do you find store-bought granola disappointing? When I tear open a package of storebought granola, I like to see whole pieces. 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 granola? Not only is it FRESH, but each ingredient will be clearly 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):
- Pour it into a bowl and add milk. Call it breakfast.
- Sprinkle it on a peeled banana.
- Scatter it over ice cream.
- Use it to garnish a cup or dish of pudding.
- Add to cookie, brownie, or bread batter.
- Sprinkle on top of a peanut butter or Nutella-slathered piece of toast.
- Roll a dessert cream cheese ball in crushed chocolate granola and serve with fresh fruit, butter crackers or thin shortbread.
If you have any other ideas, please share them in the comments.
A Granola Riddle:
Question: How is granola like an oatmeal cookie?
Answer: Both are delicious and taste similar. Both contain heart-healthy oatmeal, some form of sugar and fat, and should probably 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 granola most likely has fewer calories (depending on the recipe) and is gluten-free.
Have you ever made your own 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, you’ll never want to go back to the grocery-store variety.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- OATMEAL: This recipe is written for old-fashioned oats. Instant oats are thinner so the bake 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 the 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. You can substitute regular cocoa for the Dutch-process cocoa. However, the finished product will not look or taste as chocolatey.
You can also leave the cocoa out completely for a delicious olive oil granola.
- MAPLE SYRUP: Maple syrup is a distinctive feature of this recipe. Honey or molasses are both 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.
- 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.
FAQ about making homemade granola:
No. Refrigeration will cause granola to eventually lose its crispiness. If your granola somehow loses its crispiness, put it in the oven for a few minutes till it turns crunchy again.
Yes. Wrap granola securely in a freezer-weight zippered plastic bag.
Only stir it once while baking. When done, press granola down onto the tray with a spatula or your hand (good use for exam gloves). Let it cool completely before you break it up.
Since I eat most of my granola with yogurt, I prefer the granola broken up into smaller pieces. Otherwise, I eat too much.
Yes. Try dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, or mangoes, etc.
Let me caution you to wait until after the granola is baked before you add any dried fruit. Otherwise, it can turn really hard when it cools, as in hard enough to break a tooth.
How to make Chocolate Granola:
More Recipes for Oatmeal Lovers
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.