A delicious, easy-to-make, healthy, homemade salted dark chocolate granola which is perfect for breakfast or snacks.
If there’s one thing I love aside from chocolate, it’s chocolate in granola!
And this salted dark chocolate granola does not disappoint at all. I have been making granola for more than a year now and it’s a game changer. Not only is it healthy for you, but you can also play around with ingredients and flavors and turn into something really, really delicious.
So what makes a delicious one-of-a-kind granola? Let’s do a rundown of the basic ingredients:
OATS. I would typically pick traditional rolled oats, and not the instant flaky oats you find in sachets. This gives your granola a cluster-like finish with lots of crunch and texture.
WHOLE NUTS. This is where you can go nuts (pun intended)! In this recipe, I used slivered almonds, pecans, pine nuts and cashews. You can also add walnuts, macadamia, or hazelnuts. Make sure to pick the raw, natural, unsalted, unprocessed kind as we will be adding sweetener and salt when we make our granola.
SEEDS. Another key ingredient in a granola are seeds which not just adds to the texture and flavor, but also give you lots of nutrients, fiber and minerals. My top picks are sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. I also love to use chia and flaxseeds, although not in this recipe.
NATURAL SWEETENER. The great thing with homemade granola is you can skip the refined sugar and go for natural sweeteners making it super healthy for you and your kids too. My faves are pure honey and pure maple syrup. Make sure to read the labels and go for those which only has 100% honey or maple in it. It may cost a tad more, but the benefits and the flavor make up for it!
SPICES & AROMATICS. I always add cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Other spices you can use are nutmeg, turmeric, ground ginger, paprika, and raw cacao for that chocolatey taste. And of course, don’t forget the sea salt.
ADD-ONS. Now this is where the fun begins! You can pretty much add anything you love actually. From dark chocolate to shredded coconut, coconut flakes, to dried fruits like cranberries, sultanas, apricots, dates. Think of flavors from sweet to sour to salty and add ingredients that you love. Your options are endless!
NOTES ON HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE GRANOLA:
MIX ALL INGREDIENTS WELL in a bowl. Better to do it by hand so the flavors get soaked up by all the ingredients then transfer to a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and bake. It’s that simple. Skip the chocolate and dried fruits prior baking as you would want to add this after the granola is cooked.
PRESS IT DOWN THE BAKING SHEET. I recently tried doing this by using a flat spatula and pressing down the granola mix onto the baking sheet before baking and boy did it make a HUGE difference! This makes the granola cluster up and come out even crunchier. Yummm! Half-way through baking (around 12 minutes), flip the granola and continue baking for another 10-12 minutes. And voila, you’ll have the perfect, crunchy, granola clusters. Better than store-bought ones, I promise!
DON’T OVERBAKE IT. Burnt granola is like burnt popcorn. It’s bitter and you certainly don’t want to eat that. The sweet spot for me is at 20-25 minutes, at 180 degrees Celsius. Again, it depends on your oven so you may have to do a bit of trial-and-error at the start. Just keep an eye on your oven and check halfway through.
STORAGE. I normally use a glass jar with an air-tight lid. Make sure it’s clean and dry as moisture can spoil the granola and take out the crunch. And store it in a cool, dry spot in your pantry. I usually store it in my fridge as I find that it’s crunchier that way. It should last you up to six months if stored properly.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup cashews, raw and unsalted
- 1/3 cup pecans, raw and unsalted
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, or raw almonds (roughly chopped)
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2-3 tablespoons pure honey or pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare a baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
- In a large bowl, mix your oats, whole nuts, seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon. Add your coconut oil, pure honey or maple, vanilla, and sea salt. Mix with a large spoon or by hand. Transfer granola on to the baking tray and using a spatula, press down the granola against the tray so this crisps it up nicely.
- Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes. Halfway through (after 10 minutes), take out the tray and flip the granola using a flat spatula and press it down again. This helps the granola to cook evenly and crisps up into clusters.
- Once cooked, take out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes without stirring. Again, this will let it continue to cook and create clusters and more crunch.
- Lastly, add your chopped chocolate, and another sprinkle of sea salt. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!
- This can last up to a month in your pantry if stored in a cool, dry place. Otherwise you can also store in your fridge.
To enjoy your granolas, you can top it on to your yogurts, smoothies like in my DETOXING SMOOTHIE or just eat it on its own. I also love adding some HOMEMADE CASHEW MILK with it for a quick breakfast or snack.
So, how about we make some granola now?
If you make this recipe, let me know in comments below and don’t forget to take a photo! Tag me in instagram @tara_fitfoodiemommy so I can give you a shoutout.