I discovered that if I eat peanut butter too often, puffiness occurs. While I am not allergic to peanuts, apparently, they do bother me some. I decided that my chocolate-pb granola was out, sadly. With a few modifications to that recipe, however, I quickly fell even more in love with this one instead.
When I first created it, I didn’t add the coconut oil, but something was definitely missing. I accidentally left it out in my last batch, and I will try never to do that again. It just isn’t as good. I realize I gave a wide option for how much oil to add, but measuring it accurately before you melt it can be a lazy woman’s challenge. I mean, who wants another measuring cup to wash? I happen to love my glass Pyrex liquid measuring cups and I use them carefully for everything, even dry items, but it does keep you from having that even measure in the smaller plastic ones that you scrape off the excess with a knife edge. So, don’t fret it too much and see how much you get after you melt it in the microwave in a glass measuring cup. Use what you have as long as it is at least 2 tablespoons. I’ve used as much as 1/3 c. before and still had excellent results.
This is wonderful with chopped berries or banana slices, walnut pieces, cacao nibs, or mini chocolate chips. It also is good on non-dairy yogurt or smoothies, or just by the handful as a snack.
Dark Chocolate Maple-Almond Granola
- 6 c. organic rolled oats
- 3/4 c. organic almond butter
- 1 c. maple syrup
- 2-6 T. melted organic virgin coconut oil
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp stevia extract powder (with no other additives)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. organic, unsweetened cocoa powder (the better the brand, the tastier the end product)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a large 17” cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper. (If you don’t have one this large, maybe spread it between 2 smaller ones and bake it for less time – 10 minutes each round in the oven – and see how that works. I used an enormous pan one time, which spread the mix thin, and baked it for the two 15-minute rounds and it burned the edge pieces despite stirring, so it definitely needed less time when spread thin.)
Place the oats in a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt, stevia, and vanilla. Sift the cocoa powder through a wire mesh strainer into the almond butter mixture and whisk. With a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, fold the chocolate mixture into the oats, making sure they are thoroughly mixed.
Spread the oat mixture evenly on the cookie sheet, making sure to not leave the ends thinner than the middle, or they will burn.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the granola (I use a metal spatula/pancake turner, flipping it over so that what was against the bottom of the pan isn’t anymore.) Evenly distribute on the pan again, and bake for another 15 minutes.
At this point, if you prefer chewy granola, place the pan on a cooling rack to completely come to room temperature. If you prefer crispier granola, turn the oven off, stir the granola one last time, and return the pan to the oven for 10-15 minutes. (You can test the texture of the granola after the second 15-minute bake by taking a piece and setting it on the counter while you are stirring the rest of it. Taste it and see if you like the texture.)
Place in a glass jar, crock, or other non-plastic container with an air-tight lid to keep moisture out. This will make around half a gallon or so.