I go through this love/hate thing with granola. Either I have three different types of granola in my pantry, and basically subsist on mixtures of granola, yogurt, honey and fruit for breakfast and snacks. Or, the idea of granola does nothing for me, and little bags of it go stale in the pantry.
Currently, I’m in love.
This dark chocolate, coconut and almond granola reignited my love when I stumbled across the recipe in my archives. I mean, how can you not like something that involves dark chocolate, coconut and almonds, not to mention vanilla, banana, and maple syrup?
I’ve been eating this granola for breakfast every morning with my newest obsession - Oatly milk. Not sponsored, I just love it. It’s so creamy, and I’m not gonna lie, the packaging gets me too. I’ve also been snacking on
If you’re wondering about the quinoa, I like to add it to granola for crunch. Plus, the little specks look pretty in there. No need to cook it. The raw quinoa toasts up in the oven and adds a nice nutty flavor to this granola.
To sweeten this granola, I used a mixture of maple syrup and mashed banana. The mashed banana is a fun way to add sweetness, nutrients, and a mild banana flavor. Now, here’s where I want to talk a bit about using fruit as a sweetener. Diet culture does quite a bit of fear mongering about sugar, when in reality, there’s no research to suggest eating moderate amounts of sugar is harmful. If you’re using fruit as a sweetener out of a fear of sugar, then it’s probably actually healthier for you to just eat the regular sugar and try to make peace with it.
Personally, I like to use a variety of sweeteners in my cooking - table sugar, honey, maple syrup, and yes, sometimes fruit. When choosing what sweetener I want to use, I think of culinary characteristics first. For example, I love how the floral flavors of honey (and olive oil!) give these honey pistachio pear muffins an almost Mediterranean vibe, or how regular table sugar makes these fudgy coconut brownies super moist and gooey. If I think about nutrition, I think about that second, which may involve reducing the added sugars slightly, using fruit, or adding other ingredients to boost flavor. If making a change to boost nutrition feels like NBD, that’s cool, but if it triggers a feeling of restriction or deprivation, then it’s probably not the healthiest choice for you.
This recipe was originally posted February 2015. Recipe, text and images have been updated to give you the best possible content.
Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Granola
Makes about 5 cups
2 large very ripe bananas (should have some black spots)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or avocado oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
5 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash the banana, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and salt together in a medium bowl until well combined.
In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, quinoa, and coconut. Stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Spread granola evenly on a large parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake 15 minutes. Stir gently to move edges towards the center while keeping clusters intact. Place back in oven and bake 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Once room temperature, stir in dark chocolate. Store granola at room temperature in a lidded container.
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