I like a bowl of cereal as much as the next person but most of the brands sold in stores are loaded with sugar and low on nutrients. The artisanal granolas sold at fancy health food shops cost an arm and a leg. Therefore I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon this recipe for a homemade chocolate-hazelnut granola. My roommate liked the results so much that it became her default breakfast, while her previously purchased boxes of cereal went stale in our cupboards. I make a big batch of this whenever I travel and take it with me on the plane which saves me from having to fork over all my savings for an airport cardboard sandwich.
This granola is barely sweetened - pretty much the only sweetness comes from the small amount of chocolate. It contains plenty of nutritious protein and fiber. The hazelnuts and coconut develop an addictive toasty, nutty aroma as they bake in the oven and they will make your house smell divine. Plus, I figure eating chocolate for breakfast in the morning means my day will have at least one bright moment!
Chocolate - Hazelnut Granola
I halved the original recipe, except for the coconut which I adore, and omitted the fruit puree. My amount makes enough for breakfast for one person for 5-6 days. You can use chopped good quality chocolate as the original recipe says. I use mini chocolate chips for convenience sake. Don't pick bittersweet chocolate chips as they won't add enough sweetness to the granola. Don't use the sweetened coconut from the baking aisle. The chocolate must be incorporated after the baked granola has cooled down completely or else it will melt.
2.5 cups rolled oats (not the quick-cooking kind)
3/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/4 cup semisweet or milk mini chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp neutral oil such as canola or vegetable
4 tbsp honey
1) Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Line an oven tray or baking sheet with foil. On the prepared tray stir together the oats, hazelnuts, coconut and salt.
2) Microwave the honey and oil for 30 seconds until the honey is melted. Careful, the bowl will get very hot! Alternatively heat the liquids in a small pan on the stove.
3) Mix the liquids into the dry ingredients. Stir so that everything is a little moistened. Some dry patches may remain, that's all right.
4) Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after the first 15 min.
5) Let cool completely before stirring in the chocolate and store in an airtight container.