Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

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.

dark chocolate granola in a bowl with yogurt

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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.

Other granola-y recipes you might enjoy for breakfast: No Bake Grape Nut Granola BarsHomemade Maple Nut Granola 

dark chocolate granola in a bowl with a spoon

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.

dark chocolate cherry granola in a baking sheet

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

hand putting granola on yogurt

Recommended Tools/Products for Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

Get the look!

granola spilling out of a jar

Now who’s ready for some granola?

Scroll on down to learn how I made it…

Bowl of Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola on top of yogurt

hand putting granola on yogurt
Yield: 17 servings

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Combine the oats, pecans and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Toss together until the cocoa powder coats all the ingredients.
  3. In a smaller bowl, stir the warm water and maple syrup together.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix using a rubber spatula until every piece is coated.
  5. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading out the granola evenly.
  6. 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.)
  7. Once granola is crisp, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  8. When the granola has cooled, add the dried tart cherries, and mix well.
  9. Store in an airtight container, and enjoy ¼ cup of granola at a time!

Notes

If you want more chocolate in your granola, add a handful of dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs once it's cooled along with the cherries. While I think this granola is chocolatey enough with the cocoa powder, I can respect wanting more for a decadent breakfast. Just be aware if this is added, there will be more sugar, and the calories per serving will go up.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

17

Serving Size:

1 ¼ cup serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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7 Comments

  1. I’m all for being organized for breakfast and I love being able to just have on hand home-made goodies like this granola. So much better than store-bought.

    1. Thanks, Mark! Being organized in the morning is the best thing… especially when you’ve got delicious homemade granola. It really is SO much better. Enjoy!

  2. Yum! I have never made chocolate granola before, but I do love making homemade granola. My toddler has a best friend too. It’s amazing how early they start isn’t it?

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