Granola is a huge favourite in my house. Often times my husband and I just eat it by the handfuls — of course, we also eat it in a bowl with milk or yogurt just like other (civilised) humans. When we lived in Europe we had our favourite brand of granola (and muesli) that we always purchased. More times than not we bought the chocolate flavoured one. The morsels were brown like chocolate and it had chunks of chocolate throughout the mix — it was chocolate heaven! It also had these huge clumps of granola that were so hard that if it didn’t first softened in milk,it felt like your molars might crumble. Not that that stopped us from eating it out of the bag — and happy to report we never had to rush to the Dentist.
Needless to say we miss that chocolate granola. I’ve been experimenting with homemade granola recipes to try to recreate that one from Prague. Though I’m not ready to share that recipe yet, as it needs a couple of more test batches; I do however want to share another version granola that I created and was inspired by some local ingredients. Of course it has dark chocolate chips, then there are bits of walnuts, whole pepitas (or pumpkin seeds), chunks of dried apricots, specks of chia seeds, and the sweetness of brown sugar and apples.
This recipe is so super simple, and it does make a smallish batch so that you can test it out and see if it’s to your liking. You’ll also notice that the granola is loose, so no risk of breaking a molar. (Haha) Go on, check out the recipe right down there.
- 3 cups of oats
- 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
- ¼ cup of crushed walnuts (meaning broken into pieces)
- ¼ cups of pepitas (not salted or seasoned)
- ¼ or ⅓ cup of muscovado sugar
- ½ cup of 100% natural apple juice (you need one without artificial flavours or sweeteners)
- 1.5 tablespoon of coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
- ¼ cup of dried apricots, sliced into small pieces
- ¼ to ⅓ cup of dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375F and lightly brush the baking sheet(s) with (melted) coconut oil — just to coat them. Mix the apple juice, coconut oil and the salt until the salt is dissolved and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the oats with the chia seeds, walnuts, pepitas and the sugar, try to mix the ingredients as best as possible. Next pour the juice, coconut oil, and salt mixture over the oats, mix until well combined as best as possible.
- Spoon an even layer of the mixture onto the baking sheet(s) — but make sure not to pile it up and try to not crowd the oats. Place in the oven to cook. After 15 minutes check on the granola and stir it, then spread it out into an even layer and place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes, again give it a mix and check to see how crispy or toasted it is. Place back in the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes or just until the oats are a golden colour and feel crispy. It is very important to keep a close eye on the granola and not let it burn.
- Once the oats are crunchy, remove from the oven and allow to cool. While it is cooling you can add the slices of dried apricot, make sure to mix as best as possible. Allow to cool completely.
- Only once the granola is completely cooled down, mix in the chocolate chips then pour the finished muesli into an airtight container for storing.