This happens every week when I pick up fresh produce: I pass shelves and shelves of granola bars and a variety of oatmeal just staring at my face with a “Make me!” expression. I calmly remind myself to make us a batch of granola, that healthy and delicious snack that should replace the junk food you resort to every evening.
I’m all for homemade granola, the last recipe I tried was with coconut and dried fruit. It quickly became a household favorite. This time I had my mind set on a recipe that contained hazelnuts and Cocoa Hazelnut Granola was exactly what I was look for. It took me all of ten minutes to put the whole thing together, apart from the baking and cooling time of course.
I chopped up the hazelnuts into smaller pieces. No. Wait. This was my favorite part, I took a rolling pin and beat them down. It makes for such a healthy and delicious snack (and it gives your biceps a work out too). You could switch the hazelnuts for almonds or walnuts and add chocolate shavings if you want to indulge a little, but do this only after it has cooled down. It tastes great with a couple of scoops of yogurt or when soaked in milk.
Over to the recipe: Toasted nuts, the sharpness of cocoa tossed with healthy oats loosely held together with maple making for the perfect go to snack!
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup canola or sunflower oil
- ½ cup maple syrup ( you can use cane syrup too)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the hazelnuts in a zip lock bag and give it a couple of whacks using a rolling pin. (You could leave them whole too)
- Line the coarsely chopped nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are slightly brown and fragrant. [See note 1]
- In a large mixing bowl, combine hazelnuts, cocoa, oats and sea salt. Toss it all together with your fingers or a spoon, just to help the cocoa powder coat everything else.
- Measure the oil out into a graduated 1-cup measure and swirl it around a little bit before pouring it into the mixing bowl. Then measure the maple syrup into the same, unwashed measuring cup. This will help you get a accurate measure while still getting the bulk of the sweetener into the granola.
- Toss everything together with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon or even a fork would work until the oil and syrup are evenly distributed.
- Spread the cereal out onto an ungreased baking sheet evenly using your spatula.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, to ensure even baking.
- When it well roasted, remove the baking sheet from the pan. Using a spatula, scoot the cereal together into the center of the baking sheet and press it down. Let it remain like this, undisturbed, until fully cool. This would ensure crunchy clusters.
- When the granola is totally cool, store in an airtight jar or container, to protect the crunch. In case its stuck, use a sturdy metal spatula to break up the granola and scrape it off the baking sheet.