As a child, one of my favorite special treats was the little packets of chocolate-covered cherries or almonds they used to sell at Starbucks. I would get a bag once a week with my mom, and it was never hard to decide whether to get the dark chocolate or milk chocolate versions, because I alternated week by week on an organized schedule.
It turns out, all the elements of that favorite treat are at least somewhat healthy: almonds are packed with fiber and healthy fat, dried fruit is great for the digestive system, and dark chocolate has been found to contain antioxidants, plus chocolate just puts a smile on your face and there’s nothing wrong with a little dopamine as part of your balanced breakfast routine. That’s why it was a no-brainer to toss all of these things together in a nutritious granola! Crunchy oats kissed with chocolate, mixed with chocolatey almonds and flavorful cherries, and enhanced with a hint of coconut, this granola will win over even those most skeptical of health food. A sprinkle of coconut flakes adds extra sweetness and makes it look even more attractive in the pictures!
What are you waiting for? Get baking so all the chocolate lovers around you can get munching!
Chocolate Almond Cherry Granola
makes about 2 1/2 cups
- 1 cup old fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal)
- 2 tbls sliced almonds
- 2 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- dash cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Barney Butter brand Cocoa and Coconut Almond Butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbls dried cherries
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbls sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine oats, almond slices, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder. Toss together.
Microwave the almond butter to soften it, then add to the dry mixture along with vanilla. Mix well.
Spread mixture evenly over prepared baking sheet. Bake in 350 Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes or until crunchy, stirring every 10.
When granola is done baking and has cooled slightly, add dried cherries, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes.
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