Chocolate for breakfast? Why the heck not? This week I’m sharing my recipe for easy, oil-free chocolate granola. It’s full of crunchy, clustery goodness with that irresistible hint of chocolate. Plus, it’s made from real food ingredients without all that stuff you don’t want. What’s not to love? So, grab that shopping list, because you’re going to want to try this one ASAP. Let’s get to it!
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have hungry kids! My sweet girls are growing fast and seem to be at that stage where they are always on the hunt for something to eat. Being a mom that is passionate about healthy food, I’m always looking for nutritious snacks that I can keep around for them when their hunger strikes. Recently, my youngest daughter spied some chocolate granola on a shopping trip. Since she tends to be a little picky in her food choices, we grabbed it for her to try (thinking I could make a cleaner version if she liked it). Well, it turned out both of my kids love granola.
I, however, was not loving the refined sugar and oil used in the store-bought version. So, it was time to get to work making a version that was completely whole food plant-based (WFPB). A couple of test batches later we arrived at a version that disappeared quickly. That’s always my clue that we’ve found a keeper and a recipe worth sharing with you.
This WFPB chocolate granola is made from simple ingredients and comes together quickly.
It’s also oil-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free and vegan. The perfect healthy snack to pack in a school lunch, or munch on whenever.
You will need:
Old fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick oats or instant oats)
Pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Flax meal (ground flax seeds)
Cacao (or cocoa) powder
Dairy-free chocolate chips
Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Make sure to use old fashioned rolled oats. They are a little thicker than quick oats or instant oats. The thinner oats will just absorb the liquid from the chocolate mixture and get kind of mushy. This does not make for good granola. Old fashioned rolled oats don’t do this, so stick with those.
Making Chocolate Granola
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, add rolled oats and pumpkin seeds. Give them a little mix and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, add the applesauce, date syrup, flax meal, cacao (or cocoa) powder and salt (optional). Mix well, until cacao powder is well incorporated.
Scrape the chocolate mixture into the larger bowl and mix well, until all oats appear to be covered.
Transfer the contents of your bowl onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the mixture out evenly across the entire pan.
Put your baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Then take the baking sheet out and turn the granola to ensure even baking.
Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the granola is nice and toasted. It will crisp up a little further as it cools.
Allow to cool and then mix in any of the optional add-ins. My kids love dairy-free chocolate chips in theirs. Shredded coconut or dried fruit also works really well. Once fully cooled, transfer to an air-tight container for storage. You can store at room temperature for a couple of weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Next time you find yourself eyeing packaged granola, try this version instead. It’s every bit as delicious, easy to whip up, and so much healthier.
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant oats)
- 3/4 cup pepitas
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup date syrup
- 3 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1 tbsp flax meal (ground flax seeds)
- 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- In a large bowl, add rolled oats and pumpkin seeds. Give them a little mix and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the applesauce, date syrup, flax meal, cacao powder and salt (optional). Mix well, until cacao powder is well incorporated.
- Scrape the contents of the chocolate mixture into the large bowl. Mix well until all the oats are coated.
- Transfer the contents of the bowl to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread out in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the granola to ensure even baking.
- Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the granola is nice and toasted. It will crisp up a little further as it cools.
- Allow it to cool before adding any of the optional add-ins.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Don't use quick or instant oats for this granola. They will absorb the moisture from the mixture and won't crisp up as well.
Made this recipe? Tag me on Instagram (@mentalforlentils) and use my hashtag (#mentalforlentils). I love to see what you’re whipping up in your kitchen.