Chocolate Crunch is the perfect combination of toasty oats, nuts and chocolate.
Granola. What do you think of when you hear granola? Overly sweet oats and nuts that try to pass themselves off as a health food? A snack food to bring on camping trips and long hikes to give you energy?
Granola has come a long way from the hippie food of the 1970’s. Today it is mainstream and takes up major real estate in the breakfast food aisle. Mississippi Market, the natural foods co-op in my neighborhood, has bins upon bins of every flavor combination imaginable in their bulk food section.
I was never a granola fan until I made Chocolate Crunch. Marketers try to pass granola off as a health food, but one look at the ingredient list on a package of granola will prove otherwise. There have been great improvements in recent years in being able to find healthier granola options. But I still prefer to make my own.
I have tried other granola recipes but this is the one I keep coming back to. It has the perfect combination of chewy, crunchy, nutty, sweet and tart. I would not call this a health food by any means, but given the other choices available, it is healthier than most, and you have control of how sweet to make it and know exactly what is in it. And I will take chocolate for breakfast any way I can get it. 🙂
It tastes great as a mix in with yogurt. I always like to leave some big clusters to nibble on as a snack. And you will have a hard time not nibbling as it cools in the pan. I keep sneaking more bites. It is totally irresistible. And all mine. 🙂 I have not been able to convince Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet of the goodness that Chocolate Crunch is. They haven’t expanded their palate beyond the Pecan Praline granola from Trader Joe’s. If anyone has a copy cat version of this recipe, please share. I would love to be able to make a homemade version for them.
Whatever your granola consumption preference is; if you are looking for something a little bit decadent, a little bit healthy and a whole lot of delicious, Chocolate Crunch is calling your name.
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300º.
- Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or baking mat.
- In a large bowl mix together oats, rice cereal, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans.
- In a small saucepan combine honey and canola oil and cook over low heat until just bubbling. Remove from the burner and add the chocolate and vanilla, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the oat mixture and mix until everything is evenly coated.
- Dump the oat mixture onto your prepared jelly roll pan and spread out.
- Bake the granola mixture in the 300º oven for ten minutes and then stir. Bake for another ten minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Add the dried cranberries.
- I use regular rolled oats, not the quick cooking or instant variety.
- Use what chocolate you have available. I have made it with semi sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate. It's all good.
- I like to stir the granola as its cooling. I leave some bigger clusters for snacking and break some up for adding to yogurt.
- Makes about 8 cups.
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