This cherry chocolate granola is an excellent excuse to start your morning off with chocolate! Rich and chocolatey without being overly sweet – what a fantastic breakfast treat!Jump to Recipe
Let’s Have Chocolate for Breakfast
I used to run mid-morning, after breakfast settled in my stomach, when I needed a break outside of the house. But now it is 100 degrees outside. I must run by 7 am otherwise sweat will be dripping into my eyeballs and I will be scanning the neighborhoods for possible sprinklers to run through. And then I get weird looks, like my sprinkler habit is not appreciated. I get home sweaty and starving so the last thing I want to do is sit around over a hot stove waiting for steel cut oats to finally become soft enough to eat. I would much rather reach for a cold breakfast. Summer granola replaced my bowl of oatmeal, soy yogurt replaced warm soy milk, and iced coffees replaced steaming hot ones. This cherry chocolate granola has become my go-to post workout meal, my favorite summer breakfast, and sometimes even dessert!
I know, chocolate for breakfast does not exactly sound healthy. It makes me think of chocolate croissants and ridiculous sugary cereals. But this granola is made with cocoa powder and sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, making it rich but not overly sweet. To add some extra sweetness, I have added dried cherries. Dried cherries give you a little burst of sour/sweet fruit mixed in with the rich, nutty chocolatey goodness. I often eat this granola with extra fresh fruit, such as a banana, fresh cherries, or strawberries. This gives it more natural sweetness and is much better from a nutrition standpoint.
So let’s get started on making this easy breakfast treat!
Baking the Chocolate Granola
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup chopped almonds, ½ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ cup maple syrup, and ¼ cup melted coconut oil. One of the delights of warm weather is that my coconut oil is always fully melted in the jar, so I do not need to melt it on the stove. Ah, summer.
Mix until the oats are fully coated and the cocoa powder is evenly distributed. Then sprinkle the granola over a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and let the granola rest until cool. This helps it crisp up and become crunchy – just leave it be, if you eat it right away it will be chewy. Mix in ½ cup dried cherries and ¼ tsp kosher salt when the granola is cooled off. Store the granola in an airtight container.
Extra Cherries, Extra Chocolate, Extra Tasty
I highly recommend eating this with your favorite vegan milk or yogurt, and topping with strawberries, bananas, or extra fresh cherries! If I am eating this for dessert (or breakfast, who am I kidding…) I like to throw in a small handful of vegan chocolate chunks!
Cherry Chocolate Granola
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Mix the oats, chopped almonds, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl.
- Spread the granola evenly across a baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Allow the granola to completely cool so it becomes crunchier.
- Mix in the dried cherries and kosher salt when the granola is cooled.
- Serve with your favorite vegan milk or yogurt. Add fresh fruit for extra sweetness!