I’ve never been a huge breakfast person. I usually just stick to coffee and stave off my hunger until lunch. I know that for your metabolism’s sake, that’s one of the worst things you can do. In an effort to try to be a bit healthier this year, I’ve been trying to do the breakfast thing more often. When there is something like this delicious granola to look forward to, it’s certainly made the transition a lot easier.
Chocolate. Dried tart cherries. Sweet toasted coconut. I think the ground flaxseed really adds a depth of flavor and texture as well. It was great on yogurt, with milk as a cereal, and just by the handful for snacking. It made a HUGE batch, but none went to waste. If you have a smaller crowd, I’d suggest halving the recipe. This was my first time making granola, and it’s something I’m looking forward to making again already.
Chocolate Cherry Coconut Granola
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup honey
¼ cup ground flaxseed (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups dried cherries
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut to the pan in an even layer and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add the chopped walnuts and almonds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the oats and canola oil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl and stir in the honey, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, stirring every few minutes, until the granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the toasted coconut and dried cherries. Move the granola to one side of the baking sheet and press gently into a thick slab. Let cool to room temperature. Break the dried and cooled granola into small clusters, mix in the chopped chocolate, and store in an airtight container.