baked Rolled oats tossed in coffee, vanilla, agave, and cinnamon mixed with crunchy peanuts, vegan dark chocolate, chia and flax.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE:
Rolled Oats: Rolled oats are great source of protein and fiber. They are a great way to bulk up breakfast or snacks in a simple and easy way. They take on any flavor so the flavor combinations are limitless!
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds add extra crunch to the granola. Avoid baking them in the oven or they can start to lose their nutritional value.
Peanuts: Peanuts add a familiar nutty flavor and it works great with dark chocolate. Any kind of nuts you have on hand can be used. Try this recipe out with almonds, walnuts or pecans.
Vegan Dark Chocolate: Vegan dark chocolate doesn’t have the milk solid regular chocolate does. Use any chocolate you have on hand. Toss in a handful of m&ms instead if you’re really feeling crazy.
Coffee: Tossing the oats in coffee helps give them a subtle coffee taste. The added moisture keeps the oats from burning. The toasted nutty oats and the warm coffee are the perfect combination. Too much moisture can cause the oats to start to soften and thicken.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds add fiber and nutty crunch. Treat it like the chia seeds.
Sweetener: Liquid sweeteners are the best for granola since its easier to distribute. It’s a key contributor for keeping the granola stuck together. If you like super sticky granola add more sweetener. Honey or agave work best in this recipe.
Fat: To help the oats toast a little fat goes a long way. In a harder granola fat is used to stiffen and tighten the granola here is for flavor and toasting the oats. I find coconut oil works best for this.
Spice: I prefer to spice my granola like i would oatmeal. A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger powder all work great. A splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt are absolute musts.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST DARK CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT OAT CLUSTERS
baking the oats: spread the oats out thin when it’s time to bake. that makes it less likely for soft oatmeal like spots when its time for the oats to cool.
want a stickier mix: sticky granola tends to be drenched in sweeteners and fats. since i tend to use homemade clusters for trail mix or over yogurt i don’t need them totally stuck together. if you like a sweeter clustered add in 1/4c of sweetener to the mix.
mixing: make sure to stir and mix the coffee before adding it into the oats to make sure all the added ingredients are thoroughly combined and not separated from the oil. when pouring the coffee over the oats spread it from the outside in so that it doesn’t just absorb into one spot.
cooling: before the oats are removed from the oven makes sure there are no soft spots. the oats will additionally harden once cooled. add the chocolate and peanuts over the top of the oats to slightly melt and toast in the residual heat of the oven. after ten minutes remove completely from the oven and allow to continue to cool on the counter.
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