Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

They say good things doesn’t last for long. It is so true with the fall colors. As the temperature drops, the trees start revealing their inner beauty. To welcome the festive season they clad in Red, Orange, Yellow and pink. It feels as though a colorful explosion has occurred all over the state which rejuvenates me instantly. This is something everyone must experience atleast once in their lifetime.

Vermont Fall Foliage

I have been secretly wishing to visit Vermont in Autumn ever since I came to this country and my dream was fulfilled this year. From Albany, we drove to Manchester, a scenic, charming and a historic town in Southern Vermont. OMG, it was love at first sight. Snow patches on mountains, colorful valleys, friendly people, houses with well, cows, bright orange pumpkins, apple trees, pottery stores and I witnessed everything a typical country side could have.

Princeton NJ Fall Foliage

Though I grew in  a  super busy city I always had a soft corner for the country lifestyle especially like the movie ones where there are mountains, rivers, lush green fields etc etc. Vermont perfectly matched to my dreams and expectations. From Manchester we drove to Bennington through the Scenic Route 7 apparently this is the only road that connects these cities. We drove through the beautiful and colorful valleys of the great green mountains. I am so happy that we could enjoy the fall foliage at its peak.

Vermont Fall Foliage

It has been long since I cooked or baked anything. V wanted me to rest for sometime after a crazy and super hectic trip.  Moreover with in-laws at home I hardly have an opportunity to venture in  my kitchen. My mother-in-law prepares our everyday meal. So this could give you an insight why I haven’t posted anything on my blog lately. And yes, I  will update you about my Chennai trip pretty soon.

But my hands were itching without touching those oven mitts and wooden ladles.  I wanted to kick start my cooking expedition with something simple like Granola. This makes a healthy and crunchy breakfast and  a  scrumptious snack. You can even get more creative and  add them in your salads or use as a topping on your ice-cream. I was little skeptical when I added apple sauce in granola. But I was not sorry. It really did not taste anything applish rather it enhanced the taste of Granola. Do try this chocolaty and healthy version of Granola and give us a shout if you love it.

Chocolate Granola

How it tasted?

Our home was smelling cocoa and cinnamon with the fragrance of toasted nuts. I just couldn’t wait to pull the tray out of the oven. When I had the first bite I felt gratified instantly. It was yummy, crunchy and chocolaty (not that sweet thou) .  Honey and Agave nectar imparted the mild sweetness and all the ingredients blended so really well.

Source: Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate and peanut granola

Ingredients

  • Oats – 4 1/2 cup
  • Almonds – 1 cup, sliced
  • Pecans – 1/2 cup (crushed)
  • Walnut – 1/2 cup (crushed)
  • Sunflower seeds – 1 cup
  • Black Currant – 4 tbsp
  • Dry Figs – 5, chopped
  • Dates – 8 pitted, chopped
  • Sesame Seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Wheat Germ – 3 tbsp
  • Honey – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Agave Nectar – 1 1/4 cup
  • Cocoa – 1/4 cup
  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce – 1/2 cup
  • Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp

Tools you may need

  • Large cookie tray/jelly pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Huge mixing bowl
  • Wooden spatula
  • Pestle n Mortar or a Blender to crush walnut and pecans

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Line the cookie tray with parchment paper.
  • Crush walnut and pecans in to small chunks using a pestle n mortar or a Blender. You can also chop them.
  • In a huge mixing bowl add the above ingredients in the order up to Wheat Germ. Give it a stir to mix them up.
  • Then add honey, agave nectar, apple sauce, salt, canola oil, cocoa, cinnamon and mix it well using a spatula.
  • Take the granola mix and spread it on the cookie tray. Do not crowd them. Slip it into the oven and let it stay there for 40 minutes. Half way through turn them around using a spatula. Don’t forget your oven mitts when you pull them out :)
  • I divided them in to 3 batches and baked them separately as I had only one jelly pan.
  • After 40 minutes, pull the tray out of the oven and allow it to cool. Store them in airtight container.

Notes

  • You might find that the granola mix is still little wet after 40 minutes. Allow it to cool and viola you will have some crunchy and yummy Granola.
  • You can use any nuts or ingredients of your choice.
  • If you don’t have Agave nectar replace it with honey or maple syrup  or brown sugar or even sugar. Adjust their quantities as per your taste buds. I prefer less sweet in my granola.

Chocolate Granola

A glimpse from my kitchen

  • Crush walnut and pecans in to small chunks using a pestle n mortar or a Blender. You can also chop them. In a huge mixing bowl add the above ingredients in the order up to Wheat Germ. Give it a stir to mix them up.

Oats and Nuts for Granola

  • Then add honey, agave nectar, apple sauce, salt, canola oil, cocoa, cinnamon and mix it well using a spatula.

  • Take the granola mix and spread it on the cookie tray. Do not crowd them. Slip it into the oven and let it stay there for 40 minutes. Half way through turn them around using a spatula. Don’t forget your oven mitts when you pull them out :)

Chocolate Granola spread on the cookie tray

  • After 40 minutes, pull the tray out of the oven and allow it to cool. Store them in airtight container.

Chocolate Granola

Bon Appetit! Enjoy this healthy and chocolaty Granola with fresh fruits or milk. Is there a better way to start your day :)

Chocolate Granola

Events: This warm and chocolaty granola is being send to Madhu of  Cook Curry Nook with lots of love and wishes for her first blog anniversary.

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