Ah granola. There is something so comforting about granola.
Maybe it’s that whole cereal thing. The way that granola can be poured into a bowl, and covered with milk, sinking your spoon into it like you used to do with chocolate cocoa pops when you were a kid. That childhood kind of comfort.
Or maybe it is that satisfying crunch, those big lovely clusters filled with nuts and seeds, clumped together with a hint of sweetness and a bit of cinnamon and ginger. I remember when I was younger, and mum would buy boxes of granola for us for breakfast. I used to only love the clustery, crunchy bits, so I would secretly dig through the box when I would pour it into my bowl and only pick out the big clumps all stuck together. It’s why I was inspired to make these big granola clusters, reminiscent of that classic Honey Nut Cheerio flavor.
And this whole reminiscing granola thing is also partly what inspired me to make this new granola recipe. I was also inspired by the fact that lately I’ve been really into using the dehydrator and making dehydrated snacks. I’ve been making weekly apple chips and drying grapefruit, turning out veggie chips and playing around with crackers. And naturally, I had to try granola. I wanted to bring together that crispy, crunchy texture with the big pieces of dried apple and the clusters of nuts and seeds. Plus, I wanted to play around with tiger nuts and lupin flakes and pack a lot of nutrients all into one place.
What happened was this delicious chocolate granola made with nuts, seeds and fruit. It’s gluten free and yet packed with protein. Tiger nuts and lupin flakes are both a source of protein and iron as well as high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. They offer an incredibly crunchy texture to the granola, and combined with the chocolate flavor from the raw cacao, this stuff is a little bit magical. It’s like having a handful of your favourite naughty, sugar filled chocolate cereal, but it’s not even naughty at all.
I wasn’t satisfied to just have this granola be really crunchy though, I wanted it to be a nutrient powerhouse. Enter pumpkin seeds for zinc, sunflower seeds for Vitamin E (hello healthy skin) and dandelion root for boosting liver health. There’s comlex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat all in one go, making this stuff a perfect fill you up snack or breakfast. Or lunch or dinner.
And if I’m being completely honest, I was also being a little bit selfish, in that I just wanted chocolate! I love dark chocolate, and sometimes crave the rich, bitter flavor throughout the day, or when it comes to fuelling up post run. It’s not really the best idea to just reach for a piece of dark chocolate every time (although I definitely indulge in it daily!), so I wanted to make this the next best thing. Raw cacao does a perfect job of creating that flavor profile, and combined with the dandelion root, lends that real richness of flavor to the granola. Not to mention, the cacao is an excellent source of magnesium, fighting stress one chocolatey bite at a time!
Making this granola in the dehydrator allows it to become optimally crunchy, but you can also make it in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator – just watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn! In other words, between the nutrition profile and the fact that you can make this stuff using two different cooking methods, plus the fact that it’s chocolate, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be whipping this up right now.
After all, the weekend is here: bring on the granola!