The best part about this granola happens when you pour some almond milk over it and you get to drink the yummy chocolate milk after your last spoonful of granola. It’s magical. The granola itself has a rich chocolate flavor, chunky cashew clusters, and crispy + toasty oats. It’s oil free and sweetened with maple syrup. Oh yea, and it’s delicious!
If you’re a granola lover do me a favor and don’t ever buy granola again. Granola can be a healthy treat without all the oil and sugar that comes in pretty much every store bought version. Make your own. For one, it tastes so much better. More importantly, you control the sugar and fat. I have recently started using applesauce instead of oil in my granola. It totally works. The granola still turns out crispy and you save a couple hundred calories without the oil. Check out my previous post Oil Free Almond Granola for some more tips on making homemade granola.
Cacao NOT Cocoa
Good news. Chocolate actually is good for you. Bad news. Im not talking about a Hershey Bar or M&M’s. Raw cacao and cocoa are nutritionally very different. The fruit of the cacao tree contains a small bean from which chocolate is made. Cacao powder is made from these beans, as well as cacao butter and nibs. Cacao powder is just not the same as cocoa powder though. They look and smell the same. The difference is way more than just the spelling. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted beans which keeps the living enzymes and removes the fat. Cocoa power is roasted at high temperatures which reduces the enzyme content and lowers the nutritional value.
Cacao really is a superfood and has so many benefits
- one of the best sources of magnesium you can find in nature
- contains calcium, zinc, iron, copper, potassium
- has alkaloids, proteins, and beta-carotene
- mood booster
- potent antioxidant
- reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
It is very important to get certified organic raw cacao to ensure you’re getting the most nutrition. Standard practices in growing cacao beans allow for a lot of chemicals from irradiation and pesticides. It will cost you a little more to get high quality cacao, but it’s so worth it. This is the brand I prefer. I just order it on Amazon.
I do enjoy this granola for breakfast sometimes, it can be a little decadent though. I tend to prefer more savory breakfast on a daily basis. It makes a nice treat some mornings though. It is a great snack when you are on the go or need a pick me up snack. It is delicious sprinkled on yogurt. I also love to roast pears and sprinkle this on top. The chocolate and pear are quite perfect for each other.
I hope you will try this granola and love it as much as I do. May you never eat store bought granola again!
Eat Yourself Healthy
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw whole cashews
- 3 TBS raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl
- Spread mixture out in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Press firmly with back of large spoon until mixture is compact and even
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from oven, stir and flip granola trying to keep any chunks intact
- Place back in oven for 20-25 more minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes until toasty and fragrant
- The dark color can make it hard to tell when it is done, so go by smell as well
- You can also tell by tasting a cashew, it should taste nutty and roasted, not at all burnt
- Dont be deceived by the texture when you think it is done and appears toasty
- Since there is no oil, it may seem like it is not crispy enough
- Remove from oven, let cool, the mixture will crisp up as it cools