Sarah’s ‘Chocolate Crunch Granola’ from FriedDandelions.com – March’s 2016 Nut Butter Blast entry!

 

So many of you already know Sarah from Fried Dandelions.com but today she’s posting here on Canned Time as the March entry for my 2016 Nut Butter Bash.  

This Chocolate Granola makes my heart sing.

Check it out:

Chocolate Crunch Granola

I’m so excited to be participating in Angela’s Nut and Seed Butter Bash! Each year she hosts a series of guest posts over on her blog Canned Time about a given topic/ingredient/subject, and this year the theme is recipes that use nut or seed butters. I chose to use tahini—one of my regular go to “butters” now that we are nut free. To see more of this year’s Nut and Seed Butter Bash click HERE (this list will be updated all year long!)

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

I love cereal.  I just really love it.  Especially sweet cereal.  As a kid I lived for the weekends when my parents would surprise us with a pack of the mini boxes of cereals, and always fought (successfully—oldest kid here) for the Froot Loops, Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes, or Apple Jacks.  I’m pretty sure we always left the Raisin Bran for my mom and dad.

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

Then for a year in my early 20s I lived in Spokane, WA—away from my family and friends, and at a job I really hated.  I felt kind of exiled.  And since it was just me, myself, and I, I would “prepare” myself one bowl each of Froot Loops and Corn Pops for my pity party that I held nightly.  At the time I rationalized this as a healthy choice because it was low fat.  Some days I really want to go back and shake some sense into the 20-something me!

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

Now that I’m older and wiser, emphasis on the older part, I really enjoy making my own granola.  I eat it for breakfast, snacks, and even desserts.  To me, the sensation of eating a cold bowl or cereal is right up there with eating a bowl of ice cream.  Chocolate, sweet dates, fruit, coconut, chocolate chips—definitely dessert worthy, and yet still healthy enough for breakfast!

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

^^^ “Mom?  Do you want a smile in this picture?”

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

Ever since I watched That Sugar Film I’ve tried to be more aware of my sugar intake.  And by aware, I mean that I know how much sugar is in something and I eat it anyway—I seriously need to watch this movie once a month to keep me motivated!  So for this granola I’m being “good” and sweetening it entirely with dates.  I process dates and tahini—the star of this nut and seed butter showdown—with cocoa powder to make a smooth chocolate sauce.  Then I use that to coat the oats in chocolate goodness!  I do add chocolate chips which are sugar sweetened, but you could leave them out if you are very strict about your sugar intake (and kudos to you!).

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

I’m going to give you two different versions here—take your pick, or make both!  They’re equally delicious!  The first has freeze dried strawberries and raspberries in it and looks so pretty!  In the second I use freeze dried bananas, and switch the tahini for peanut butter (though you could still do the tahini, or any other nut or seed butter—we have to stick with the tahini or a soy based Wow Butter due to Jonathan’s allergies).  Which one will you make first?  Be sure to take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag it with #frieddandelions!

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

Chocolate Berry Crunch, makes 8-10 servings
1/3 c tahini
8 dates + 6 T soaking water, see below (OR sub 1T of maple syrup and use 5T soaking water)
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 t espresso powder (optional)
1 t vanilla
1/8 t salt

4 c rolled oats (choose certified gluten free if you need to)
1 c shredded coconut

Soak the dates in a small bowl with water for 10-30 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Without draining the water, pull out the dates with your fingers and place them into the food processor.  Add the tahini, 6T of date soaking water (taste it—it’s unbelievably sweet!), cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla and salt.  Process until smooth, scraping down several times.

In a large bowl (much larger than you think you need), mix the oats and shredded coconut.  Add the chocolate sauce and mix with oats and coconut until completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto the prepared pan.  Bake at 350°, turning several times, for 30-35 minutes.  Edges crisp up faster, so mix well.  Once it has cooked let cool completely—it will get crispier as it sits.

Once it has cooled add:

1/2 c mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life) (optional if you are avoiding sugar)
1 c freeze dried strawberries*
1/2 c freeze dried raspberries*
*Freeze dried is much crispier than regular dried, but still in the dried fruit section (I get them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods).  You could of course sub something else if you can’t find them.

Mix well and store in an air tight container for up to a week or so.  Enjoy!

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

Monkey Crunch, makes 8-10 servings
1/3 c peanut butter (or sub any other nut or seed butter that works for you)
8 dates + 6 T soaking water, see below (OR sub 1T of maple syrup and use 5T soaking water)
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 t espresso powder (optional)
1 t vanilla
1/8 t salt

4 c rolled oats (choose certified gluten free if you need to)
1 c shredded coconut

Soak the dates in a small bowl with water for 10-30 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Without draining the water, pull out the dates with your fingers and place them into the food processor.  Add the tahini, 6T of date soaking water (taste it—it’s unbelievably sweet!), cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla and salt.  Process until smooth, scraping down several times.

In a large bowl (much larger than you think you need), mix the oats and shredded coconut.  Add the chocolate sauce and mix with oats and coconut until completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto the prepared pan.  Bake at 350°, turning several times, for 30-35 minutes.  Edges crisp up faster, so mix well.  Once it has cooked let cool completely—it will get crispier as it sits.

Once it has cooled add:

1/2 c mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life) (optional if you are avoiding sugar)
1 c freeze dried bananas, chopped into chunks
*Freeze dried is much crispier than regular dried, but still in the dried fruit section (I get them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods).  You could of course sub something else if you can’t find them.

Mix well and store in an air tight container for up to a week or so.  Enjoy!

fried dandelions // chocolate crunch granola

^^^ Kid approved—my kids love my Chocolate Crunch Granola and you will too!

Thanks so much Sarah!

Find Sarah around the web:        FriedDandelions.com     Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram

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5 thoughts on “Sarah’s ‘Chocolate Crunch Granola’ from FriedDandelions.com – March’s 2016 Nut Butter Blast entry!

  1. Terri Cole

    Oh my gosh! It’s a healthier version of Love Crunch!!! I have been unsuccessful at making oil-free granola that is actually crunchy. I can see how tahini (or another nut/seed butter) would do the trick. I need to get some chocolate chips and freeze dried berries fast so I can try this.

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