Well, I’m late for the first time on my Secret Recipe Club post… which I’ve now noticed was the last time I posted in the past month too! Yikes!!! It’s my first time being late and I owe a huge apology to Anne at Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy for not having this written and ready to post.
Good intentions and all that, you know. I have no excuse, especially since I made and photographed the recipe within a day of receiving my assignment! All I can say is that the past month has felt like I have been sleepwalking through my days and they are all one big blur. Today just absolutely snuck up on me.
Anyway, when I was going through Anne’s blog trying to decide what I would make I kept coming back to her recipe for Hot Chocolate Granola. I make a lot of granola at our house, but for some reason it hadn’t really sunk in that I could coat my granola with chocolatey goodness. ‘Nuff said.
I’m pretty sure that my modifications really chipped away at the healthy factor of the original recipe, so if you want a healthier version, then Anne’s version is the way to go. I was more looking for a treat style granola in this case that I could use to really dress up some parfaits. This chocolate filled, Nutella coated granola, sprinkled on some good vanilla yogurt and layered with fruit would be a great addition to your Mother’s Day plans and is easy and fun for kids to put together.
The original recipe is filled with oats, puffed cereals for bulking things up and some cocoa powder to get the chocolate effect. Anne’s family has to watch for nut allergies so my version ends up being a departure since we love nuts and love to bulk up our granola with them. I’m sure her original recipe is fantastic as is though so if you are looking for a nut free version, make sure you go and check it out!
I took the base and switched out a few things for what we usually have on hand and like in our granola. I increased the amount of rolled oats, added nuts, kept the flax but added some almond meal and quinoa flakes, increased the cocoa powder, used agave instead of honey, and added in a fair amount of slightly melted Nutella to coat everything. When it was all cooled I chopped a couple of bars of really good quality chocolate into chunks and tossed that in with the granola. This is a much more decadent version of the granola I usually make and I consider it to be more of a treat or dessert type of sweet than a daily breakfast kind of thing, but either way this is definitely the most chocolatey granola I’ve ever made. I can’t wait to experiment more!
Nutella Chocolate Chunk Granola
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup quinoa flakes or wheat germ
1 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup agave
1/2 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hot water
2 3-ounch bars good quality bittersweet chocolate with coca nibs (we like Scharffen Berger)
Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Place the coconut oil, agave, and Nutella in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat the ingredients in the microwave until warmed and the Nutella has ‘melted’. Whisk together well, add the vanilla and stir to combine. The mixture should be warm enough to be pourable, but doesn’t need to be hot. Whisk the cocoa powder together well in a small bowl with the hot water and stir it into the Nutella mixture. Pour the warmed chocolate and cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to coat.
Spread the mixture evenly over a well oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir well and bake 20 minutes more. Stir again. Bake 10-15 minutes more until the mixture is toasted and lightly golden where you can see the oats. The mixture should be fragrant, but will still seem slightly soft. It will get more crunchy as it cools. Baking time will be 50-60 minutes total. Remove from the oven, stir one more time and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
Add any extra mix-ins, like chopped chocolate or chocolate chips at this point. (Shown with 2 3-ounce bars of bittersweet chocolate with cocoa nibs, chopped coarsely and mixed in.)
Makes about 1/2 gallon of granola. For parfaits, simply layer granola with yogurt and fruit of your choice and enjoy. Also great sprinkled on ice cream or frozen yogurt!