Chocolate Granola

This post is essentially going to be an homage to Angela Liddon and her fabulous cookbook The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out.  So, skip ahead to the recipe if the idea of chocolate granola has you salivating, but if you really want to drool, read on!

My sister put me on to the Oh She Glows website a while back, but I never really dug around too deeply, sort of filtering it out because it has a plant-based focus and, while I can appreciate different eating styles, I am not vegan by any stretch of the imagination.  However, when I was visiting said sister last summer, I was charged with making snacks for the kids one morning and the selection was one of Angela’s “glo bars”.  And, there you have it folks, I was sold.img_7214

And the flood gates opened

When we got home, I ordered the the cookbook and made each of the “glo bars” many, many times.  Then I started branching out and trying the rest of her baking and sweets:

  • “mother nature’s apple crumble” is such a fresh take on apple crisp or crumble, whatever!  It’s also relatively healthy and low in sugar so you can eat leftovers the next morning with a large dollop of plain, full-fat yogourt and feel as though you’ve had a decent breakfast.
  • “beat the heat frozen dessert pizza” a friend made for my birthday.  Who knew?  Somehow I had totally missed out on the whole frozen banana ice cream craze, but now I know.  This was just awesome.  The kids helped to decorate which meant, of course, some very unhealthy (but gorgeous) rainbow sprinkles on top.
  • “magical chia seed jam” is fabulous, especially in the spring if you’ve run out of your regular homemade preserves but the fresh berries haven’t made it to market, yet.
  • “apple pie oatmeal”, I just really, really like!

Then came the savories and smoothies:

  • “immunity-boosting tomato sauce with mushrooms”, such a nice change, even if you just serve it on regular noodles, instead of spiralized zucchini.
  • “cheerful chocolate smoothie”, don’t even try to recreate it: you must get the cookbook to try this recipe.  It was the first thing that I made with our Vitamix and my eldest daughter was disappointed with every smoothie thereafter for about a week!
  • “gym rat smoothie”, is the first nut butter smoothie that I liked and now I love it, especially when made with PB.
  • “out-the-door chia power doughtnuts”, my mum makes these for us when we visit and they’re a treat, especially if you go the extra mile and make the suggested Coconut-Lemon Whipped Cream for dipping.

I could go on and on, but really, snag yourself a copy of this book if you haven’t already (it’s been out since 2014) and keep your eyes peeled for Angela’s upcoming cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, coming out 6 Sept 2016 according to amazon.ca.  It’s rare that I say this, yet it’s true: everything that I have made from her first cookbook so far is delicious; even for a non-vegan, I can certainly appreciate this excellent food.

Granola

We arrived at my mum’s place a few weekends ago and she has just made a batch of “ultimate nutty granola clusters” and the four of us ate the whole jar before my mum even got a bowlful of it, I think.  So, needless to say, I came home and made it, too!

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It is so satisfying for breakfast, with milk or yogourt, fresh BC blueberries are an awesome addition, too.  If you break it into chunks, as opposed to clusters, it is fantastic as a hiking snack!  The recipe is on the saltier side, in my opinion, so great for helping maintain your electrolytes when you are sweating lots, and it just has the right combo of chewy, crunchy, salty, sweet.

After a few batches of it, I really wanted to switch up a few things to personalize it a bit.  I have started loving the almost tartness of cocoa in my granola, combined with sweet and chewy dried fruit; although I used to love walnuts, I find myself more of a pecan girl of late, and I seem to reliably just have raisins in the house, so that’s our dried fruit of choice to use.  One other little time saving trick I now use is halving the amount of whole almonds and substituting the other half with pre-made almond flour/meal.  I find it all sticks together a bit better this way, too, which works well with our snacking tendencies.  I also like to double it, so that’s how it is here.

Chocolate Granola Chunks

Makes about 12 cups
Time: ~60 mins
Difficulty: easy
Rad snacking or breakfast granola.
Lightly adapted from Angela Liddon’s Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (Penguin, 2014)

  • 1 c whole almonds
  • 1 c pecans
  • 1 c almond flour/meal
  • 1 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1 c buckwheat groats (or extra rolled oats)
  • 1 1/3 c raisins
  • 1 c pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 c unsweetened coconut
  • 2 T cocoa
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/2 c coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 275F.  Get out two cookie sheets and line each with parchment.
  2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor or chop by hand.
  3. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients in a 2 c liquid measure or small bowl.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix well.
  6. Divide the mixture equally over the two baking sheets and press it down.
  7. Bake 20 minutes.
  8. Switch racks and turn the sheets and bake another 15-18 minutes.  If your granola appears loose at the beginning of this step, feel free to smoosh it down a bit more with the back of a spatula.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes, completely is best if you’re patient enough!
  10. Break into desired sized chunks.  Bigger is better for snacking; smaller is better for cereal.  (I leave them bigger to break smaller later, if desired.)
  11. When completely cool, place in jars.  Leave one jar out for eating and put the rest in the freezer until the night before you are ready to eat the next jar, at which point you can thaw it and repeat.  Enjoy!

Extra notes: Don’t completely skip the buckwheat groats.  They can be found in the bulk food section of most natural food grocery stores and add a great crunch to the mix.  And, don’t be fooled about cocoa in cereal.  It’s not chocolate chips nor cocoa puffs and actually not sweet, at all!  Try it, you’ll see.  As for coconut oil, I’m usual partial to the deodorized varieties, but the coconut-y ones work just great here.

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