My roommates and I have been on a real granola kick lately. For some reason, I thought making it would be hard or tedious or something (stupid, right?) so it took me forever to get around to actually making it for the first time. We use granola for all sorts of things; we all top our yogurt with a generous handful, sometimes we eat it with cereal in the morning, I heat it up with milk to make a crunchy oatmeal, I top berries with granola and a drizzle of honey and Shelley makes this weird little concoction of granola, Nutella and peanut butter.

So yeah, we love granola.

I’ve made three different varieties so far, none of them fancy at all. I do this mainly to make the granola more of a base for other things – I can add raisins and chopped almonds to mine while Kayla can keep hers plain, etc. Also, we don’t own pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or wheat germ….so simple is good. Out of the three kinds I’ve made (honey, maple, and chocolate), chocolate has definitely been the favorite. I never thought of cocoa powder and granola together, but it was DELICIOUS. The apartment smelled like a brownie when it was baking in the oven, which is ALWAYS a good thing. For the chocolate granola, I kind of put two different recipes together: one I use for all the granola I make, and the other was specifically for chocolate. So I’ll just give you my version.

Chocolate Granola
Serves a lot.

– 3 cups old fashioned oats
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp cocoa (only if you want chocolate granola – if you do, keep the honey to make the granola sweet)

Additional adds (after baking) can include: raisins, cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, seeds, small candies.

Preheat your oven to 325. To make the granola, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (starting with the oats), then add the oil and honey. Stir until all of the oats are coated and the whole mixture is sticky. Pour the granola onto a baking sheet, making sure there are no HUGE clumps (I like my granola to be a little clumpy, though) and bake for twenty minutes, flipping the granola with a spatula halfway through. If you want to add nuts/seeds, add them to the granola at the fifteen minute point.

Let the granola cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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