Homemade granola is one of my favorite things to make. Mostly because I never measure, and just throw in whatever I can find that seems to be a good granola fit. A few almonds here, a few flaxseeds there. It’s easy to make, and let’s be honest: you get a nice sense of satisfaction from never having to buy overly priced, fancy granola at the store again. Seriously, if there is one food to stop purchasing and to start making at home, it’s granola.
But there’s another reason: oats are boring. No, really. When you think about it, a bowl of traditional granola leaves something to be desired. It’s always too oat heavy for me. Which is of course why I like making my own. Just because it’s granola, doesn’t meant it has to be heavy on the oats.
This year I committed to running 1,000 miles. No, no, not all at once. Let’s not be ridiculous. But over 2014, myself and two other friends have made it a goal to clock 1,000 miles total. Yes, it does sound better in kilometers: 1,609.34.
As I am often a morning runner, it’s tea and fruit before lacing up the shoes and heading out the door and by the time I get back I need a breakfast that’s going to be filling. But I don’t always have time to do a whole kale and eggs affair (wouldn’t it be nice if every day was Saturday…), so often granola and a dash of rice milk or yogurt is it. And a French press of course. For that, I want more than simple oats. I want a little sustenance.
Which is of course why this granola is loaded with seeds and nuts. And cocoa powder, because who doesn’t love an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast? I also don’t put any dried fruit in this granola, because I prefer topping it off with some chopped apple or pear.
It’s light, crunchy, and has a very “toasted” taste. Not boring at all.
Chocolate Seed & Nut Granola
1 cup oats (gluten-free certified if you need them to be)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and hazelnuts. Add in the salt, ginger, cinnamon and cocoa powder and stir together until all the ingredients are well blended.
Put the honey and olive oil in a small saucepan, and place on medium heat. Using a whisk or fork, whisk together until evenly blended. The goal here is that the honey is in liquid form.
Pour olive oil and honey mixture over the rest of the ingredients and stir together until ingredients are evenly coated.
Spread out an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 to 25 minutes. After about 10 or 15 minutes, stir the granola and put back in the oven. The hazelnuts should be well toasted but not burnt.