I think I’ve officially entered my chocolate phase for 2015. I don’t know how or when it happened, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I can’t stop thinking about eating chocolate. And I don’t want to even imagine waiting until dessert to eat it, I want to kick start my day with it. I’ve made breads, muffins, mochi brownies and this week I migrated to granola. It was definitely worth the time it took to discover this type of dessert-fast recipe.
There are no rules. Why can’t breakfast be sweet and delicious? Years ago, Rosa poignantly stated, dessert is best for breakfast because then you have the whole day to work it off! And that has stuck with me. I’ve made it my own mantra.
It’s a word that just stands on its own. Chocolate and I have quite a history. Chocolate was one of the things I was allergic to during the first part of my life. As a child I was the misfit kid at the birthday party that couldn’t eat the chocolate cupcakes or ice cream. Yes, I did say misfit – divorced parents (when that wasn’t really a thing), chubby (which was never a thing), self conscious, dyslexic and allergic to a bazillion foods amongst which included garlic, berries, seafood, dairy and oh yeah, that last food group- CHOCOLATE!
Eventually, and thankfully, I grew out of most of my food allergies. And fortunately for me, by the age of eight I was able to eat chocolate. The other food allergies took quite a bit longer, but we can save that diatribe for another day.
Before you whip up a batch of this dessert-like breakfast themed chocolate granola, imagine sinking your chops into a moist and chewy chocolate oatmeal cookie. The cocoa powder and chocolate chips create the ‘mega’ chocolate effect. The gooey factor is a key texture element in this version of dessert-fast granola and whole almonds provide a great crunch that gives this recipe that ying yang texture.
Mega Chocolate Ying Yang Granola
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup finely ground coconut
½ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
kosher salt, dash
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a pot melt maple syrup, honey and vanilla. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, flax seeds, coconut and sunflower seeds. Mix well. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and stir with spatula until mixture is fully combined.
Using non-stick cooking spray coat a high-sided cookie sheet and then transfer granola mixture to the pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Shake or stir the pan as needed; clusters will prevail if stirring is kept to a minimum. After 25 more minutes add the chocolate chips and sprinkle with kosher salt to create a savory and sweet flavor. Return granola to oven and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
Allow granola to cool for 1-2 hours. Store in an airtight container, being careful to gently transfer the granola to preserve the large clusters.