After our homemade maple syrup granola for breakfast, I needed to make another healthy granola for our serious chocolate fans in the family. Make way for this chocolate granola with coconut, cranberries, toasted brazil nuts, seeds – all wrapped in maple syrup with melted clusters of dark chocolate.
Healthy Chocolate Coconut Granola
No Added Sugar
This started out as a basis of a recipe I saw in a French magazine years ago. However, it was unnecessarily overloaded with sugar. You may know I have a sweet tooth – but not THAT sweet. Too much sugar can totally kill a dessert or a macaron filling overloaded with it. Likewise, for breakfast, the family prefer sugar kept to the minimum. There’s NO added sugar in this!
When it comes to granola, the beauty of making homemade is you can control this. By adding natural sugars via healthy, dried fruits and maple syrup, there is NO ADDED SUGAR. Add the dried fruits after baking so that the juicy fruit retains all of its healthy nutrients.
Gluten Free Homemade Granola
If you follow a strict diet or you are Celiac, please do ensure that your oats are specifically labelled as being GLUTEN FREE.
Is Coconut Oil Good or Bad?
Coconut oil is basically a good saturated fat oil. Ensure, however, you check the label when buying that it’s both cold-pressed and unrefined.
When is Granola NOT Vegan?
Making this for somebody following a strictly vegan diet and worried about granola being 100% vegan?
Granola is not vegan when honey or milk chocolate is used – it’s as simple as that. Also ensure that there are no milk additives in your cocoa powder.
Chocolate Coconut Granola for Vegans
If you are following a strict vegan diet, use vegan dark chocolate for the recipe. Good quality chocolate chips are good, as are dark chocolate chips. If you’re not following a vegan diet, however, you may prefer to use milk chocolate which will work well.
Quality Chocolate – Best Tips for Baking Chocolate Granola
How do you bake a good quality chocolate granola? The the best tip I have for you is adding the chocolate AFTER baking. Bake it together in the oven and the chocolate will be burnt – who wants that? Burnt chocolate is incredibly bitter and what a waste of your best chocolate! Instead, melt it gently and give it the respect it deserves.
Either wait until your granola cools down completely and add chocolate chips or, my favourite method, as soon as it comes out of the oven, scatter over your chocolate chips, drops or grated dark chocolate and leave it to melt into the hot cereal. As soon as the chocolate melts, stir the granola around again to mix it well together. Leave to cool (even quicker if 15 minutes in the fridge) and voilà – a gourmet chocolate coconut granola is ready for you to fill a cookie jar!
Healthy Nuts & Seeds
Brazil nuts are particularly good for selenium (great for memory). Just 2 brazil nuts a day will have you covered – just don’t forget to buy them!
Sesame seeds (poppy seeds or flaxseeds) are good natural sources of calcium. All this makes for a HEALTHY THYROID too – and, if you’re like me without a thyroid, it’s a great way to keep a daily healthy supply of essential nuts and seeds.
Healthy Homemade Granola Variations
To vary the flavours, try with a mixture of almonds like in this plain Maple Granola without the chocolate or with a hint of warm spices such as cinnamon, gingerbread spice or pumpkin spice for a spiced festive granola version for the holidays. Don’t forget to serve with the freshest of berries too, like raspberries or blueberries.
Looking for more healthy homemade breakfast cereals?
Try my friend, Christina’s simple Alpen copycat recipe with half the sugar of the regular popular muesli.
Chocolate Granola Recipe with Coconut
- 300 g (10.5oz/3 cups) jumbo oats (if on a strict GF diet, ensure they're labelled gluten free)
- 100 g (3.5oz/1 cup) brazil nuts roughly chopped (or mix with walnuts)
- 50 g (2oz/1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
- 25 g (2 tbsp) sesame seeds (or flax seeds)
- 50 g (2oz) dessicated coconut
- pinch salt (fleur de sel)
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten)
- 75 g (3 tbsp) coconut oil, melted (unrefined/cold-pressed) or neutral oil
- 75 g (5 tbsp) maple syrup
To add after baking:
- 100 g (3.5oz/3/4 cup) dried plump cranberries (or golden raisins)
- 125 g (4.5oz) dark chocolate chips, drops, or grated chocolate (Vegan if necessary)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F (Gas 4).
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the chocolate and dried fruits. Mix well until completely coated in the coconut oil and maple syrup.
- Cover a baking tray with baking paper (or a silicone mat). Spread out the oat mixture evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turn over the mixture and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.
- As soon as out of the oven, immediately sprinkle over the chocolate chips/drops/grated chocolate and the dried fruits over the hot granola (see note*). After about 5 minutes, turn over the granola to mix in the melted chocolate and dried fruits. Leave to cool for the chocolate to set either on the counter at room temperature or for 15 minutes in the fridge. Transfer to a sealed container when cool.
Otherwise, if it doesn't need to be vegan, enjoy with yoghurt, milk or Skyr (we're seeing this appearing from Iceland in French supermarkets) See the short Video Demonstration here.