Mornings are not my favorite. I love my bed. I love my sleep. I love the quiet that I get when I’m in my bed and my kids don’t want to wake me. I lived in Venezuela for a year after college, and my roommates affectionately referred to me as the bunk master. Not much has changed since then! You likely won’t see me at morning drop off at our elementary school, and if you do, there’s a pretty good chance I may still be in my pajamas, so don’t look too close!
While I love breakfast foods so much… the pancakes, waffles, french toast, we eat those for dinner. Or maybe on a Saturday morning. When the kids or Ryan make them. I wish I was that mom who woke up bright and sunshiny and ready to conquer the day and feed everyone well, but that’s not me. I would probably still be eating Cap’n Crunch every morning if it weren’t for documentaries that told me that it’s not real food. But it’s the Cap’n… and I love him. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he and I haven’t had a date in years now, and we’ve modified our choices of quick and easy breakfasts that do include real food. Enter this granola.
I found this recipe at the height of my sacrifice of all that was easy and yummy and sugary and terrible for me and my family. It is so so good, and I’m so very sad when the container is empty. But guys, it has chocolate in it!! Chocolate for breakfast! And it’s dark chocolate, so we can justify eating it for breakfast because of all of it’s antioxidants!!
The chocolate makes up for the dried fruit, which I don’t generally love, but in this granola, everything is divine. Unless you ask my third-born, who is averse to the “white things” right now, though a few months ago he loved this granola. And *usually* all my kids love this granola so much that I had to start putting the measuring cup in the container so it would last a few days. Our serving size is ½ cup. With almond or coconut milk. So so good. And I can roll out of bed, grab it and go. Which I do.
Cherry Chocolate Granola
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup almonds coarsely chopped
- 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 6 tbsp coconut oil melted to liquid form
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups dried cherries
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
Place a large pan over medium heat. Add the coconut to the pan in an even layer and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer coconut to a bowl, and wipe out the pan. Return the pan to the heat, and add the chopped walnuts and almonds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the oats and coconut oil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the oat mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the honey, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and salt; mix until well combined. Spread out the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking.
Out of the oven, add the toasted coconut and dried cherries and stir to combine. Move the granola toward one side of the baking sheet and press gently into a thick slab. Let cool to room temperature. Break the dried and cooled granola into small clusters, mix in the chopped chocolate, and store in an airtight container.