Toasted Chocolate Hazelnut Granola, made with real cacao bits and balancing flavors such as hazelnuts and oats, coated with a generous layer of maple!
Have you ever toasted oats and nuts? Ohh, let me tell you -you are in for a treat!
The truth about GRANOLA
As far as I am concerned buying store bought granola is a mere convenience that we pay much extra for. It’s like buying cut-up veggies or fruit. Although at time it seems like the sensible thing to do, especially when we have company, are throwing a party or around the holidays. However, for the most part you are paying a lot more for the convenience.
Sure we’ve all been there, and for the sake of argument, nowadays stores carry an amazing selection of granola that’s totally worth the money (>>I will plug in my top favorites below, if you want to have some names of trusted brands that make amazing tasting granola<<) This post however is more inclined on teaching you how to make you own. Your very BEST own homemade granola!!
Granola is one of those things that are super flexible when it comes to ingredient selection and combination, which is exactly why it is a great idea to make granola at home.
When I make granola I try to keep it simple and never add to many flavors at once. But that’s a personal preference and it really doesn’t make it easier or harder to make granola with less or more ingredients.
One thing I always, ALWAYS start with is oats, which is the base to a good granola recipe, plus it taste fabulous! One ingredient I hadn’t yet used in my granola recipes but always will from this point, is cacao nibs!
Yes cacao nibs are raw, hard and bitter because they are the most unprocessed form of chocolate, but when toasted and coated with a high quality maple, (<<brand named one of Oprah favorite things in 2016!) it’s beyond amazing! Plus cacao is extremely healthy, high in antioxidant and mood enhancing nutrients. I mean, that stuff is magical!
To balance off the intensity of cacao nibs, I added hazelnuts, a pinch of sea salt and off course, the oats will do just that. All coated with a generous layer of maple and roasted to crunchiness perfection!
Toasted Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup hazelnuts roughly crushed
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees. Set aside a 12 x 17 sheet pan or two medium size sheet pans. The key is to bake the granola in a thin layer so it toasts evenly.
- In a large skillet toast the oats for about 3-4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly golden. Add in the hazelnut and cacao nibs and toast for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Then add the coconut oil and stir to coat the granola. Remove from stove and add maple, season with sea salt and fold to coat the granola evenly.
- Transfer to the sheet pan and spread it out to a thin layer. Bake for 12 minutes on the top rack (assuming the heat is coming from underneath).
- Remove from oven and allow it to cool off completely before storing in a mason jar.