I have a terrible store-bought granola habit I’m trying to break. I’ve tried almost every brand at Whole Foods at this point and they’re all just kind of so-so. Sufficient enough as a snack but a far cry from the crunchy goodness of the homemade variety. Early morning to mid afternoons have been so busy for us lately that I often don’t get to eat breakfast or lunch until late. If I get the time in the morning, I’ll have a bowl of yogurt drizzled with almond butter and topped with granola. The lackluster store-bought granola can make this snack feel like a chore to eat. Yet out of sheer laziness, I keep going back to them. Finally this week, I put my foot down. No more crappy expensive granola! I wanted to make my dream granola. The perfect combination of all the things I love.
I like my granola clumpy, crunchy and a bit on the sweet side. For most of my life I’ve not been much of a chocolate person but I seem to have a taste for it lately. I had a leftover box of Valrhona cocoa powder left over from a Christmas baking project that was itching to be used for something special. I was a little hesitant to use such a luxurious baking product for something as humble as granola, but in the end the sacrifice was totally worth it. There had to be coconut, too. I can never get enough coconut (hence coconut oil and flakes). I decided on both slivered and whole almonds for maximum crunch factor and it paid off. This truly is the best granola I’ve ever had and I highly recommend baking up a batch for yourself this weekend. Jeff and I cannot stop eating this granola by the handful, so I may be making another batch too!
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup whole almonds, unsalted
1 1/2 cups large flake coconut
1/2 cup roughly chopped dried figs
Scant 1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup coconut sugar
(you can sub turbinado sugar)
1/2 cup Verona cocoa powder
(you can use regular, but Verona
gives this granola it’s chocolatey intensity)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup coconut oil in liquid form
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Combine oats, almonds, coconut flakes, figs, dates, cocoa and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix in vanilla and coconut oil and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Line two baking sheets with parchment and spread the granola mixture out evenly. Bake in oven for 50 minutes, checking halfway through.
Remove granola to cool on pan for 1-2 hours.
Transfer to storage containers and enjoy!