My favourite way to use dried cranberries is in granola! I love the contrast in texture that it brings - they're nice and chewy against the crunchy oat clusters. This Cranberry Chocolate Granola is packed with flavour. Oats, almonds.... coated in a luscious combination of melted dark chocolate and olive oil with juicy cranberries and dark chocolate chunks. It is so addictive with its sweet and salty flavour. I enjoy it on its own for that mega crunch factor and also with milk or plain yogurt for breakfast.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Healthy granola - there are plenty of good-for-you ingredients like nuts and seeds and bitter chocolate so it's super delicious and equally nutritious!
- Chocolate granola - melted dark chocolate is baked right into the oats and dark chocolate chunks are added in the mix after it cools.
- Cranberry granola - dried cranberries are soft and chewy which provides great contrast to all the crunchy textures.
- Crunchy granola clusters - the melted chocolate binds the oats together so you get these nice chunky clusters.
- Homemade chocolate milk! I love how the melted chocolate turns the milk chocolaty when you eat this granola like cereal. It's the best!
INGREDIENTS FOR CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE GRANOLA
- Rolled oats - regular large flake rolled oats are essential for this granola. Do not use quick oats because they are more finely ground and will absorb too much of the wet ingredients.
- Almonds - I roughly chop the almonds so they toast up nicely and get golden brown. The combination of chocolate and almond is so classic. I use raw unsalted almonds.
- Cacao nibs - these are optional. I love how the bitter crunch of cacao nibs complements the tart sweetness of the cranberries. They are also a mega source of antioxidants and fiber. You can replace them with pumpin seeds, more sunflower seeds or flax seeds, or you can leave them out entirely.
- Dark chocolate - I use this bittersweet chocolate for intense cocoa taste since there is already honey in the recipe that will sweeten it.
- Olive oil - I like the taste of olive oil with chocolate, but you can use any liquid oil such as sunflower oil or coconut oil.
- Honey - Honey provides majority of the sweetness for this recipe, but it is also the only source of moisture to help bind all of the ingredients together and let them stick to the oats.
- Dark chocolate chunks- For me, dark chocolate is not optional in granola - I’ve gotta have it. You need to add it after the mixture comes out of the oven and cools slightly otherwise it will melt and burn in the oven.
- Dried cranberries - make sure you add them in after the granola is baked, otherwise they will burn.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Homemade granola is so easy to make! You'll never need to get the store-bought version again!
- STEP 1). Preheat your oven to 325°F. Have ready a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper if you prefer (although it is not mandatory for this recipe).
- STEP 2). Combine the dry ingredients. Combine oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs in a large bowl. Mix to blend well.
- STEP 3). Combine wet ingredients. Combine melted chocolate, honey, brown sugar, olive oil or coconut oil and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until it is just smooth and evenly combined. Stir in salt.
- STEP 4). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Remove from heat and pour it into the bowl with the oats. Stir until all of the oats, nuts and seeds are evenly coated.
- STEP 5). Bake. Spread the mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until it feels dry and darkens in colour. Toss once halfway during baking.
- STEP 6). Cool. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top and let cool completely.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- If you prefer big clusters, do not toss the granola too much during baking. Just toss it once halfway through baking to make sure that the oats on the edges of the pan aren't burning. Then let it cool completely on the baking sheet without stirring before transferring to a container.
- Replace ¼ cup of rolled oats with quick-cooking or minute oats to get extra chunky clusters! Then, pat the mixture down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and do not stir during baking. If your oven has hot spots, then rotate the pan to prevent burning in any one spot. When completely cool, break it up into clusters.
- Let the granola cool completely before stirring in the chocolate chunks and dried cranberries so that the chocolate doesn't melt.
- Cool before storing. If you store it while still warm it will steam and lose it's crunchiness.
- Make sure you add the cranberries after the granola is baked. Dried cranberries will get hard and burnt if baked in a dry mixture like this granola.
- Do not over bake or it can burn easily since there is pure melted chocolate coating the oats (and chocolate burns easily). If your oven runs hot, then bake at 300 degrees F so it cooks evenly.
What type of chocolate can I use for this granola?
I prefer to use bittersweet chocolate with 70% cocoa solids since there is already honey and brown sugar in the recipe for sweetness. If you prefer to use semisweet chocolate, then I would recommend to cut the added brown sugar down by half. For the chunks that are added at the end, you can use any variety you like.
How do I store chocolate granola?
To store your granola, make sure it has cooled completely. Then store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
What other nuts can I use to make this granola?
This recipe works with any other type of nuts like cashews, pecans or hazelnuts. Actually, you can use a variety of nuts and it will be delicious.
Can I freeze chocolate granola?
I do not recommend freezing granola. There is no need to since it lasts for weeks in an airtight container.
If you love oats, check out these recipes!Small Batch Chocolate Chip Banana MuffinsChocolate Tahini GranolaThick & Chewy Breakfast Cookie RecipeGooey Almond Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (gf, df option)Spiced Fig Crumble Bars with Salted Caramel DrizzleChocolate Honey Nut Granola ClustersUltimate Monster Cookies
Cranberry Chocolate Granola
- 3 cups 300g regular rolled oats
- ¾ cup 100g whole raw almonds
- ¼ cup 35g sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup 80ml honey
- 2 tablespoon 30g packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon 45ml olive oil
- 3 oz 85g bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cacao nibs optional
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat your oven to 300°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds and sunflower seeds.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, brown sugar, chocolate and olive oil and stir until the sugar melts. Add vanilla and salt and stir until melted and smooth. Do not over-heat it or let it come to a boil - you just want it to be warm enough to melt the chocolate and dissolve some sugar.
- Pour the warm chocolaty mixture into the bowl with the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the bits are evenly coated. Stir in cacao nibs if you choose to use them.
- Spread the mixture out onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, tossing the granola every 10 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly. It will smell fragrant and feel soft and dry (not sticky), but it will not be crisp when ready. It will crisp up as it cools.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the granola cool completely without stirring. Once cooled, break it up into clusters and toss through dark chocolate chips or chunks and cranberries. Transfer it to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.