This granola immediately became my favorite and I keep making it every week. It's vegan and it has no refined sugar, so you can enjoy it guilt-free. If you're a Pecan nuts lover, you're going to love this combo with chocolate in addition to the crunchiness of oats. You only need 6 ingredients and less than a half-hour to enjoy this delicious granola!
To be honest, up until recently, I despised oats. I tried porridge when I was in London and I hated it. I tried several oat cookies and always hated them. To me, oats tasted like clumps of raw flour. Tasteless, mealy, and just yucky.
The switch happened last year when I bought a chocolate granola box out of curiosity. I found out that I actually loved those granola clumps and ate it in yogurt, in milk, or just out of the box. Chocolate makes everything better.
I even decided to try oat cookies with a layer of chocolate on top. This defeats the healthy side of oat cookies but I actually really like them now!
How to make chunky granola
The thing I (and almost everyone else) love the most about granola are those big crunchy clumps. When you find the biggest clump of granola on your spoon is almost as satisfying as finding an accidental curly fry among regular fries (raise your hand if you get the reference).
In some recipes, I saw the addition of egg whites or other ingredients to make clumps, but there is actually a way easier trick which doesn't need the addition of any other ingredient.
After you spread your chocolate granola on the sheet pan, use a spoon or a spatula to press it down. Make sure it's compact and pressed, this way it will stick together while baking.
When the granola has finished baking, let it cool down completely. Then with a tablespoon gently scrape the granola. It will break in big chunks which you can then break in smaller ones with the spoon if you want.
Is Granola Healthy?
I'm always careful when using the word "healthy" because it's quite ambiguous and could be for me something different than you. If you follow a low-fat diet you would tend to consider healthier the food with low fat, while if you focus on a low-carb diet, you would add only low-carb recipes in your portfolio.
I don't follow any particular diet at the moment and I'm not a healthy food blogger (that's why this is the first recipe with the "healthy" label on this blog). But I'm trying to eat as less sugar as possible and that's why I focused on Granola recipes without refined sugar.
Let's have a closer look on the ingredients of this recipe:
- Oats. Oats are whole grain and are a great source of thiamine, iron, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They are naturally gluten-free but they may get contaminated with gluten in the process; so if you're celiac, make sure you check in the package if it's certified gluten-free. You can find more information on oats on this link.
- Cocoa. Cocoa powder is the healthier brother of chocolate and we love it just the same. It helps reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attacks. Plus, it’s thought that cocoa may help by regulating the use of energy, reducing appetite and inflammation, so it can help with weight loss.
- Pecan Nuts. Pecan nuts help decrease the bad cholesterol and increase the good one (yay). They are full of fibers so they help with digestion and bowel movement. Pecans are anti-inflammatory, boost immunity defenses, and are full of vitamins.
- Coconut Oil. Like any other oil, there have been many discussions on its "healthy-ness", so let's stick to only the facts. Coconut oil largely consists of saturated fat (80% to 90%) which is quite bad if consumed in large quantities. It can help with weight loss and helps to increase the good HDL cholesterol but remember to consume it moderately.
- Maple Syrup. Pure maple syrup is a great substitute for sugar and sweeteners because it's completely natural, it has fewer calories, and doesn't have the side effects that artificial sweeteners may have. It contains zinc and manganese which help the immune system.
If you like this recipe, try also these over breakfast recipes:
Healthy Chocolate Pecan Granola
- 2 cups Rolled Oats
- ¾ cup Pecan Nuts
- 2 tablespoon Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
- ⅓ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Add the oats, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Roughly chop the Pecan nuts and add them to the bowl as well. Mix well.
- Melt the coconut oil and add it to the oats, then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- With a wooden spoon or spatula mix well all the ingredients, then spread them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Compact them and press them well with a spoon. They should cover the whole surface of the baking sheet, so the layer shouldn't be too thick. but also not too thin otherwise you won't get clumps.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Let it cool completely, then transfer to a jar with a spoon.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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