Sneak 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.
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Do you find storebought 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 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):
- 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 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 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.
How to make Chocolate Granola:
Combine the first seven ingredients (all the oatmeal, nuts, coconut, and seeds) into a large mixing bowl.
Add brown sugar and dark cocoa. Stir well.
Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Combine to coat all ingredients.
Transfer to two foil-covered cookies sheets–it works better if the pans have sides.
Bake at 300˚F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
If you want clumps: After stirring granola the second time, pat it down with a spoon. When finished baking, let the granola cool without stirring.
Let the granola cool completely before storing.
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 the granol down onto the tray with a spatula or you hand. Let it cool completely before you break it up.
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 hard when it cools, as in hard enough to break a tooth.
More Recipes for Oatmeal Lovers
Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, leave a rating 🤩 inside the recipe below. No comment required. If you have any questions or suggestions, email me privately: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula
Chocolate Granola Recipe with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats - not instant or quick
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 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
- 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.