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.
Besides a great topping for your favorite soups, salads or desserts, a batch of granola or toasted nuts are a super healthy snack that can improve your diet dramatically.
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
- ½ cup cacao nibs
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ 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.
Katie speicher says
I tried this recipe, and after just 6 minutes in the over mine completely burned. Any thoughts on this?
Silvia Ribas says
Oh nooo, this should not have happened! First we know that the temperature if different ovens vary, even when set to the same temperature. I also noticed in my own experience that depending on the brand, cooking sheets (or sheet pan) can cook things faster or slower than others. I use several brands and have noticed this in my cooking. Also, you could have place the sheet pan too close to the heat source. These are a few thoughts I had, but of course they are only suggestions as it is hard for me to pinpoint what really went wrong. I hope this clarify things. Maybe next time you try at a lower temperature to start... and definitely make sure the sheet pan is placed further from the heat. Please let me know if this make sense, if they are helpful at all to you.
Same happened to me 🙁 the cacao nibs were all burnt. I know my oven is strong so maybe next time I should reduce the temp and time. Will try it again.
Silvia Ribas says
thanks for letting me know Emilia. I will make a note to re-test this recipe, although I have made it a few times with good results. I will keep you posted
What a mess! I only cooked mine for 10 minutes and when I opened the oven, the granola was black and the oven was full of smoke. I don't know if it needs to cook waaaay less time or if the temperature needs to be lower, but this turned into a disaster and I had to throw out the entire batch.