Today, I’d like to talk about unrequited love. I really like sugar. A lot. To my dismay, sugar doesn’t so much dig me. I have a sweet tooth the size of Africa, and am constantly reminding myself to limit sweets. Now, I know there is a lot of talk whether natural sugars such as honey and maple syrup are in fact better for you than plain ol’ white sugar, and I’m not here to defend either side of the debate. However, I find that when I use honey, I need less of it than sugar. Either way, calories can really pile up in the morning.
The problem I find is that most sugary breakfasts (such as my childhood obsession with Reese Puffs and Oreo O’s) aren’t high in protein, nutrients, or other energy boosting ingredients my body needs (and don’t worry- mom only let me have those cereals once in a blue moon). This recipe calls for 1 cup of honey, which seems like a lot, but it makes a big batch of granola. Per serving, it’s not as bad as other sugary breakfasts, and contains protein from the nuts, nutrition from the wheat germ, and other health benefits from the coconut oil. Overall, I feel better about eating this for breakfast. And hey, it’s CHOCOLATE!
The chocolate and hazelnut flavors make this granola taste similar to Nutella. It’s a great snack with chopped dried fruit, sprinkled atop fat free frozen greek yogurt, or on its own for a late night chocolate craving. Warning: It’s addicting. Although it is healthier than some snacks, portion control is still advised.
The dry ingredients in this recipe give the granola a nice roasted flavor and satisfying crunch.
The combination of coconut oil, vanilla extract, and honey really adds that sweet flavor that makes me come back for more. I love baking with coconut oil. It adds nutritional value to food with just a hint of coconut flavor.
Simply mix the crunchy dry ingredients and sweet gooey ingredients together and spread on a silicone baking mat. Baking the granola will roast the hazelnuts and really marry all the flavors together.
Store this granola in an airtight container and keep in the fridge to maximize freshness. It will stay fresh for about a week, but if your house is anything like ours, it probably won’t last that long!
Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 30 min.
3 cups oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and toss until well combined.
Spread granola evenly on a silicone baking mat atop a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, moving the granola around on the baking mat every 10 minutes.
Cool completely on the silicone mat and enjoy.
Makes 12 cups