They keep saying that chocolate is good for you, and I’m gonna keep believing them. Whoever they are…
One thing I can say for sure, though – this Dark Cocoa Superfood Granola certainly is good for you. I mentioned yesterday that I was going to share some recipes this week for packing in the protein with Greek yogurt. Now, this isn’t a recipe with Greek yogurt in it, like yesterday’s Funky Monkey Smoothie, but it is certainly something I love to put ON my Chobani.
The folks at California Walnuts contacted me about sampling some of their delicious nuts, and I was happy to take a bag off their hands and have a little fun.
These walnuts are huge and fresh and delicious. And sooo good for you – all those good fatty acids and omega-3s. These would be delicious on a salad, or mixed into my Maple Pumpkin Spice or Banana Nut Bread Granola Bars. Or even into my Maple Nutty Granola. And I know we are talking healthy here, but heck, throw them in some Snowball Cookies.
But as soon as I received these, I knew I wanted to make a new kind of granola. One that would make the most of all the nutritional benefits of the walnuts, especially when combined them with every other superfood I could find in my pantry. You know, like chocolate (in the form of dark cocoa powder)…
But I also added other goodness to truly make it a Dark Cocoa SUPERFOOD Granola. Things like oats, quinoa, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pistachios, almonds, dried cranberries and blueberries, coconut oil, raw honey. Since I am pregnant, getting the most nutrition out of every bite I take is so key. That was my goal in making this granola – just keep packing in all the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein I could. And with these delicious California walnuts to start with, I knew it would turn out fabulous.
Sure, you can buy tons of fancy granola in the store… and pay an arm and a leg for it. But often it is mostly oats or rice puffs or wheat flakes, loaded with unnecessary fat and sugar, and maybe you just don’t like raisins or peanuts, or some other ingredient. When you make it at home, you can control the quantity, quality, and types of ingredients. Like me – I love lots of nuts, and don’t want any wheat products in it, due to my allergy. So I wrote the recipe in a very flexible way. I’ll tell you what I did, but you can easily mix it up base don what you love. Or just what you can dig out of your kitchen cabinets.
And while I often have this for dessert with my Chobani Greek yogurt (and oftentimes just by the handful), I can even feel good about letting The Bug eat something chocolaty for breakfast!
What is your favorite way to enjoy walnuts? In salads, granola, or just by the handful?
- ¼ c dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder)
- ¼ c water
- ¼ c coconut oil, melted and cooled (or use olive or even walnut oil)
- ½ c honey (preferably raw, local honey), or for strict vegans, agave nectae or maple syrup
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 t kosher salt
- 2 c old fashioned oats
- 1 c uncooked quinoa
- ½ c ground flax seeds
- ½ c seeds (I used ¼ c each chia seeds and sesame seeds)
- 3 c chopped nuts (I used 1 c each walnuts, pistachios, and almonds)
- 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1-1½ c dried fruit (I used ⅓ c each dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, and pomegranate juice infused cranberries)
- Preheat your oven to 250°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- In a small bowl, combine the Wet Mixture Ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the Dry Mixture Ingredients, EXCEPT the dried fruit.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and toss until it is evenly distributed and moistened.
- Bake for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring every 20 minutes, or until dry.
- Toss the dried fruits in with the granola mixture.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
Disclaimer: The author received samples of California Walnuts for recipe development and review purposes. All opinions are my own.