Monday, May 19, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Granola

Quite simply, this granola is awesome and to answer your first question - no, it's not healthy;)  It's addictively delicious though and it makes a fabulous treat.  And, if you break down the nutrition profile, it's probably much healthier than you think and a better choice than other desserts or snacks.  It's so tasty on ice cream, in yogurt, with milk or just plain.  Another great thing about this granola is that it's vegan and although I use peanut butter, you can easily replace it with sunbutter (a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds) making it nut free as well.  Usually granola contains nuts but instead of using nuts, I replaced them with banana chips to give it that good crunch.  Also, the sour cherries give it the perfect amount of tart sweetness.  Mason and Gabby love this - it makes a great little snack and it can be prepared in less than an hour.  I love easy and delicious!  

Combine the rolled oats, banana chips, dried sour cherries, dark chocolate chunks, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Mix with peanut butter or sunbutter mixture and spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

La Recette:

3 cups gluten free rolled oats (if you don't need GF oats, regular oats work too) - I use Bob's Red Mill
1 cup dark chocolate chunks - I  use the Enjoy Life brand for this recipe
1 cup dried sour cherries
1 cup banana chips - roughly chopped
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter or sunbutter - if you use peanut butter buy unsweetened 
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small saucepan
1 medium bowl
1 sheet tray 
Parchment paper
1 spatula
1 wooden spoon
Measuring cups
1 teaspoon
Chef's knife

-Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
-In a medium sized bowl, combine the rolled oats, chocolate chunks, sour cherries, banana chips, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well and set aside.
-In a small saucepan combine the peanut butter or sun butter, maple syrup, agave nectar, brown sugar, water and vanilla.  Simmer on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring well until everything is combined.
-Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet tray
-Let the peanut butter/sunbutter mixture cool for 10 minutes.  Mix well and pour it into the rolled oats.  
-Mix the rolled oats really well making sure there are no dry spots and the peanut butter / sunbutter mixture is evenly distributed.
-Dump the rolled oats on the sheet tray and spread out evenly.
-Place the sheet tray on the middle rack in the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Mix the granola twice in the oven to prevent any pieces from getting too dark.
-Remove from the oven and let the granola cool for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

*Serves 4-6.

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