Start the morning with Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola. Gluten free, vegan and low sugar, this granola makes a tasty breakfast or snack. Toss rolled oats and pecans in unsweetened cocoa powder, then coat in a mixture of maple syrup and water before baking. When crisp, let the granola come to room temperature, then add the dried tart cherries. Enjoy by the handful, over yogurt, with milk or whatever suits your fancy.
Recently, Lady Baby has been o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with granola.
It started when her best friend – yes, my toddler has a best friend – and his mom brought some over to our home because the granola bites they found at the store, which were essentially crushed up granola bars, were an easy snack.
We purchased some the same week.
She’s since gobbled her way through the giant bag.
So this weekend, I decided it was time to jump back on the homemade granola train.
I made homemade granola religiously for about a year, making a batch once a month to sprinkle on top of my yogurt or in a bowl of milk.
Then my lactose intolerance reared its ugly head. While I could still enjoy a little dairy, a glass of milk or a bowl of yogurt was out.
I should also mention that our child was recently introduced to chocolate, as well. She’s also a huge fan of dried tart cherries. Hence this granola flavor that’s lower in sugar than the store-bought kind.
This gluten free and vegan granola is sweetened by pure maple syrup. And while the dried tart cherries add a little sugar into the mix, they’re not nearly as sweet as some dried fruits. (Lookin’ at you, cranberries and raisins.)
If you’re feeling decadent, throw in a handful of dark chocolate or cocoa nibs once the granola has cooled.
If you’re like me, just enjoy it as-is by the handful. The chocolate-y flavor of this granola, given by the cocoa powder, pairs so beautifully with the tart cherries, that I have put a measuring cup into the jar so I don’t overindulge. #realtalk
Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola
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Now who’s ready for some granola?
Here is how I made it:
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Combine the oats, pecans and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Toss together until the cocoa powder coats all the ingredients.
- In a smaller bowl, stir the warm water and maple syrup together.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix using a rubber spatula until every piece is coated.
- Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading out the granola evenly.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off oven and allow to cook/crisp for another 30 minutes. (This might take longer, depending on how old your oven is. I baked mine for 30, set another timer for 30, and the granola was still soft, so it sat in the warm oven for an additional hour.)
- Once granola is crisp, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When the granola has cooled, add the dried tart cherries, and mix well.
- Store in an airtight container, and enjoy ¼ cup of granola at a time!