While thumbing through the latest Forks Over Knives magazine for ideas, I came across easy oil-free granola and one, Vegan Cherry-Chocolate Granola, caught my eye. I love granola a lot and I do have a go-to recipe that my family loves. But I’m always looking for new recipes to mix it up. And who doesn’t enjoy chocolate in the morning? I know I do. Especially in the morning. OK, I enjoy chocolate anytime.
Vegan Cherry-Chocolate Granola
With a whole food plant-based diet like what Forks Over Knives suggests, the ingredients are simple and fresh for this recipe. The granola is exactly that using old-fashioned oats, pitted dates, nuts, dried fruit, unsweetened cocoa powder, and flaxseed meal with some salt and vanilla extract.
I like this granola. It is not overly sweet. I like that as it has flavor without overwhelming sweetness. You taste the chocolate, nuts, and dried cherries. Every bite is different. Serve with non-dairy yogurt or plant-based milk with some fresh fruit making it a great way to start off the day. And a cup of tea, of course. At least in our house, tea is how we start our day.
Looking for other breakfast option? Go here.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups thick-cut rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 dried cherries
- 1. Preheat oven to 300F.
- 2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 3. Place dates, flaxseed meal, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder in a food processor.
- 4. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the top.
- 5. Let stand for 15 minutes to soften the dates.
- 6. Blend until smooth.
- 7. Transfer blended date mixture to a large bowl containing oats and almonds
- 8. Spread mixture on the baking sheet and place in oven.
- 9. Bake 10 minutes and stir breaking up into pieces then bake another 10 minutes more. Bake another 10 minutes and turn off the oven allowing the granola cool.
- 10. Stir dried fruit.
Years ago, a friend made me granola. It was amazing and she shared the recipe. I made it a lot then life got busy and it had quite a few ingredients. I just couldn’t keep up with keeping the ingredients in the kitchen and making it. I abandoned it.
Fast forward a decade or so, I am sitting a Girl Scout Women of Distinction breakfast in Providence, Rhode Island. The breakfast starter was granola, plain Greek yogurt, blueberries, and honey. It was divine! It got me thinking about granola again. What a nice change for breakfast would it be outside of my usual of Wasa crispbread and cheese or homemade bread and cheese. I went to the grocery store looking for granola. While there was a huge selection, none of them seem to work for me. I don’t know if it was all the ingredients with some I could not pronounce or the sugar or fat content, but I walked away empty handed. Off to the Internet, I went to seek out an easy simple granola recipe. I found it on The Live Fit Girls blog.
Granola Made Simple
The recipe was super easy and quick. Only six ingredients needed to make this recipe and you can make it in about 30 minutes. The key to this recipe is the quality of ingredients. I used organic and local products. They are worth seeking out especially the honey. That said if you can not find organic and local then buy what you can. I couldn’t find raw local honey, but I did buy some organic at the grocery store. As for my rolled oats, I went with Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Whole Grain. Bob’s Red Mill products are always good quality. And they haven’t paid me to say so.
The preparation could not have been easier. Chop almonds and mix with oats then toast in the oven. While the oats mixture is toasting, you mix the wet ingredients. Once the oats are done then drizzle the honey mixture over the oats then pop by in the oven. The important step is in the toasting. You toast first at 350F then complete the toasting with the oven off. It makes the granola less likely to burn.
I made this recipe at night after a crazy day. Only took me 30 minutes. I let the granola cool overnight and it was ready for breakfast the next day. Recently I have been making this once a week and when I make my bread. Trying to use my time efficiently. Plus the house smells amazing… the sweet smell of toasted oats, almonds, and honey then the next day the house smells of freshly baked bread. Good to live in my house.
This recipe is really a winner at my house especially with my son who is not a breakfast eater and he loves this granola. It is fresh, flavorful, and you can pronounce all of the ingredients. We have it with blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, and local honey. It will keep you going the whole day. It even tastes yummy with just milk if you run out of yogurt. As for yogurt, use a good Greek yogurt. I’d recommend Fage or Chobai and I buy the fat-free versions.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients in a glass baking dish and toast them in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the oats are toasting, combine the wet ingredients.
- After the oats are toasted (they should be very aromatic), drizzle the honey mixture over the oats. Stir until well combined.
- On a baking sheet lined with wax paper form a single layer of the oat mixture.
- Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn the over OFF. This will allow the granola to finish toasting without burning. Let it sit in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.