Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest Post: Chocolate Granola

Jerimi Ann Walker a math professor living in the Chicago area and founder of Math Bootcamps. When not doing math, she enjoys trying to put new and hopefully healthier spins on common recipes.

My husband and I love finding ways to satisfy our collective sweet tooth without eating food that's over-the-top sweet or too heavily processed. Last year, this lead us to experiment with recipes for different type of granola. Eventually, we decided that any old granola wouldn’t do. We had to find a recipe for chocolate granola. I mean, think about it - the best of all worlds!

After a couple of duds (okay - way more than a couple of duds), we finally found a recipe that has become a staple of our household. Just a few simple and easy-to-find ingredients makes an amazing sweet and salty mixture that always has our friends asking us when the next batch will be ready. Compared to granola from the store, which is expensive and often comes in small packages, this turns out to be a great deal. When we are being selfish and keeping it for ourselves, it can easily last a week.

Before I present the recipe, I do want to make two comments:

1) You really have to try it with the sea salt. I know it seems strange and even I was skeptical of the thought at first, but now I won't eat this granola without it. It will work with regular table salt as well, but the sea salt is a step up.

2) Don't expect granola bars. This will come out more like the granola in a cereal, with some large and some small pieces.

With that said, here's the recipe!


If this looks good, you'll love:

Chocolate Granola
Serves 4

2 1/4 cups of oats
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup CRUNCHY peanut butter (Note: I do not think natural peanut butter would work here.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
You will also need a 9x9 casserole dish, a large mixing bowl, and a pot for melting the butter.

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter the casserole dish.

2) Mix the oats, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, and salt together in large mixing bowl.

3) Place the butter and peanut butter in a medium sized pot on the stove and melt both together over low heat. Once they have melted, remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar.

4) Pour the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

5) Take mixture and put into baking dish pressing it down and flat. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned on top. Once you remove it from the oven, allow it to cool COMPLETELY for the best results. In fact, we will often let it cool a bit then put in the freezer for about 15 minutes to really set it.

After it cools, it is ready to go, simply use a spoon to break it into pieces and eat by itself in a bowl, or even with milk or ice cream (I need to try this!). You will find that it is not only really good – but also VERY
filling for a snack!

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Angela said...

Golly, is this ever good! Forgive me, I did modify it:
- substituting coconut oil for butter;
- substituting cashew butter (with roasted, chopped cashews) for peanut butter.
Served with premium organic, vanilla ice cream.
WOW!!!!!!!!! And THANK YOU!

ilikecoffee said...

So, I'm pregnant and had to have this immediately upon reading the recipe despite not having all the ingredients. I used half a cup chopped almonds instead of the sesame seeds and natural creamy pb instead of chunky. I wasn't sure if you meant nestle cocoa powder or unsweetened baking powder, but I didn't want to err on the side of not sweet enough so I went with nestle. :) It's heaven, exactly what I wanted. I like the salt, too. Delicious! Thanks!

Angela said...

In retrospect, I'm wondering if by "sea salt" you meant a coarse sea salt?

To further simplify preparation in the future, I'll melt the coconut oil and almond butter (butter and peanut butter in the original recipe) in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.

Anonymous said...

This looked great until I analyzed the recipe. It has 800 calories per serving, if the recipe makes 4 servings.

Anonymous said...

My math comes out even higher, I'm getting 928 calories per serving. Nutritious maybe, but healthy it certainly isn't.

Here's my calorie math:
2 1/4 cups of oats 1366
3/4 cup sesame seeds 619
1/4 cup cocoa powder 49
1 teaspoon sea salt 0
5 tablespoons butter 500
1/2 cup CRUNCHY pb 760
1/2 cup brown sugar 418

Total: 3712 / 4 = 928 per serving

Kristine said...

The calories you have listed for oats is about twice the normally accepted amount. I think the 800 cal/serving is about right. Very sad, since it sounds so good.

Jerimi Ann said...

To those checking the calorie count - while I completely agree this is certainly not a light dish, do realize that if this was 4 servings it would be 4 VERY BIG servings!

My husband and I will usually get many bowls of granola out of this, so maybe I should have said more servings than 4. It sits heavy and eating more than about a cup (small bowl) is tough - you're full much before that.

Even with that said, I would see this as a occasional treat more than a regular thing.

Also loving the modifications Angela - will have to try that! I did use coarse sea salt btw.

Anonymous said...

These sound a lot like no bake cookies. An example of this recipe can be found here: