I have a problem.
The other day I was going to the shopping centre and I was thinking about how I hadn't bought anything I didn't need in ages. I live next door to the biggest shopping centre in Queensland so Ive had to stop impulsively buying stuff whenever I see a shop. Ever since I decided to go to America I've been trying so hard to save money. Let's just say that hasn't happened. I bought -
- The four seasons of Merlin
- Matt Smith's two Doctor Who seasons
- Tickets to the Brisbane Writers Festival
- Tickets to Ed Sheeran
- The Hunger Games
- An insane amount of chocolate covered blueberries
- Travel Wallet
- Gym membership
Yeaaaahhhh. Not so great at the whole saving money thing.
So, this granola. Another chocolate recipe! When I first made this granola, it didn't taste great when hot. But then, after it had cooled properly, I realised how amazing it truly was. I especially love the crunch of the almonds and the walnuts. The dried fruit is also pretty amazing, with a slight chocolate coating. Also, when you open the container to pour out the granola, there is a delicious cocoa smell. You just can't beat that.
Level of Difficulty: Very easy. It’s essentially throwing stuff together.
Average Cost: $
Main Ingredients: cocoa powder, oats, variety of nuts and dried fruits
Menu Options: This is one of those completely interchangeable recipes. I used my favourite dried fruits and nuts, but you could really use whatever fruits and nuts you please. The honey can be changed for maple syrup, and you can use regular milk chocolate chips if you want. I have this with yoghurt and fruit, or just with almond milk – it tastes like crunchy chocolate milk!
Makes 8 cups. Nutritional value is based on cup serving size. However, I wouldn't eat one cup of this granola at once - at most I would eat half a cup, with yoghurt or almond milk, so I would half the calorie count in most cases. Value calculated without optional chocolate chips – but I put them in, as it’s just great. Also I wouldn’t worry about the nutritional value – I used sugar-free dried fruit and the nuts are healthy fats.
What you need:
- 4 cups oats, preferably traditional oats not instant
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds, thinly sliced. To be honest, if I were to redo this, I would double the amount and use flaked almonds instead of whole almonds - they were a little too big and crunchy for my taste.
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. This means everything until the honey. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Over medium heat, melt the honey and cocoa together, stirring well and frequently until the mixture is thin and dark brown. Make sure the honey has melted and is not as thick as usual.
Pour the honey and cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon until most of the nuts are covered in the mixture. This is hard to do, I admit, so if not all the nuts are covered it’s ok. Add the other 2 tbsp cocoa to the bowl and make sure it covers the granola mixture.
Pour the granola onto a well-greased flat ovenproof tray making sure the granola is spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Using a wooden spoon turn the granola so the mixture on the bottom is now on the top. This also helps to spread the honey mixture through the granola. Bake for another 15 - 20 minutes, stirring as necessary. I stirred the mixture every couple of minutes.
Once the granola is done cooking, the mixture will be a dark brown from the cocoa.
Once the granola is completely cool, and I mean completely cool, add the remaining chocolate chips if you wish. The granola must be cool or these chips will melt into the mixture and not remain whole.
Serve with yoghurt or almond milk for best results. Or eat straight from the container.