Granola is something I’ve always liked the idea of but every time I made it, it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I say I liked the idea, meaning I liked to think of myself as someone who would hike on a trail with a backpack while eating handfuls of granola. And I did that. Once. But generally speaking, I am not that person. However, when I saw this granola it turned me into a granola eater rather than just a liker of the whole granola concept.
Heather and I were both a little hesitant about trying this because we had both made granola disappointments in the past. She likes granola that had chunks and little clusters in it. My beef with it was mainly that it had dried fruit in it, which I typically don’t care for. Both of our opinions of those subjects have since changed. This granola isn’t chunky, at least not the way we made it. There are maybe some clusters but mostly it’s just a bunch of tiny pieces of stuff. Heather likes it despite that. I challenged myself and decided to try dried cherries and actually found myself enjoying them.
When all else fails, it has chocolate in it. That’s a huge plus for me and most of the people I’ve ever met. I also really like the toasted coconut that somehow makes it into every single spoonful. I never really liked cereal that much but I enjoy eating this granola over milk like cereal. I’ve also heard of people eating it in yogurt and that would probably be good too if that’s your thing.
I have to tell you, I made a half batch of this the first time because the recipe yields approximately 14 cups. I ate it so much, though, that it was gone in no time. That was a pretty nice problem to have! I keep it around the house almost always now so I’m sure to have a healthy breakfast or snack any time I want it on the ready!
Cherry Chocolate Granola
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened but we used sweetened)
⅔ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
⅔ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
6 tbsp canola oil
1 cup honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups dried cherries
8 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped (we used chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 325˚ and line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and stir frequently until it is toasted and golden brown. Pour coconut into a bowl to cool and set aside. Return skillet to heat.
- Add chopped almonds and walnuts to skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add oats and canola oil to the pan and stir until thoroughly mixed. Cook until oats are slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the toasted oat mixture to a large bowl and mix in honey, cinnamon and salt.
- Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet into an even layer and cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 15 minutes or until the granola is beginning to slightly brown.
- Stir in the coconut and dried cherries. Let cool to room temperature and add in chocolate pieces. Store in an air tight container.
Source: Barely adapted from Annie’s Eats