CocoaliciousGranola

Granola, with a Side of Satisfaction: Cocoalicious Granola with Chia Seeds

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

There is something wonderfully satisfying about making granola. Each time I make a batch, I feel like I’ve accomplished something significant for the day. Maybe it’s because those tasty little pre-made bags are so expensive and I just whipped up a batch for less than half the price. Maybe it’s that I know I’m not loading mine up with heavy sugar binders so I can feel a little more self-righteous when I eat it. Or, maybe it’s that the last time I told a guy I make my own granola he asked, “Seriously? Are you married?”

I can always use a little more satisfaction in my life so the truth is I’ve become a bit addicted to making my own granola. Flavor combos float through my dreams at night, ingredients dance on the supermarket shelves, and nothing seems too wild right now (wasabi, anyone?).

With that in mind, I was thrilled when Bob’s Red Mill threw some chia seeds my way and challenged me to whip up something new. It didn’t take long for me to know where those tiny omega-3 packed seeds where headed — into a batch of granola. Chocolately, lightly sweetened, and with just a kick of heat, this granola has become an instant hit amongst my taste-testers/friends/neighbors/doormen. I hope you’ll find it, and the process of making it, deliciously satisfying, too.

Cocoalicious Granola with Chia Seeds

You will need:

Cooking Instructions:

1)     Preheat oven to 350°.

2)     In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil and agave nectar.

3)     Stir in cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine.

4)     Add chia seeds and stir to combine.

5)     Add the rolled oats, coconut and sea salt. Stir until oats and coconut are well coated with the spiced agave mixture.

6)     Spread out evenly on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

7)     Bake 20 minutes.

8)     Remove from oven and toss the granola with the pepitas.

9)     Let cool.

Notes:

Serve with fruit and your favorite mylk or milk. I love mine with sliced banana and horchata (a delicious cinnamon rice milk beverage.) I hear it is also quite tasty added to yogurt.

* ½ teaspoon of cayenne adds some recognizable heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, cut back to ¼ teaspoon. I love me some spicy and add cayenne to my morning drink so my heat index runs a little high. For some taste testers, ¼ teaspoon was just the right amount of heat.

**Why chia seeds? And where did they come from? Well turns out these itty bitty seeds are for more than just sprouting hair on your Chia Pet. From a flowering plant in the mint family, these tiny seeds, common in Mexico and Latin America, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Bonus — they offer up a good dose of fiber, protein, calcium and iron, too. They remind me of tiny tapioca pearls because when wet, they get a little gelatinous covering to them. Don’t let that throw you. I find them quite delicious and toss them in smoothies, bake with them as an egg substitute, and even sprinkle them on salads.

***[Editor's Note]: If you don’t need to be gluten free, regular rolled oats will work just fine in this recipe.

A health and cooking coach specializing in food allergies, Marisa Voorhees (aka: The Food-Sensitive Foodie) helps individuals and families navigate the challenges of learning to live with food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances. She believes that food allergies can feel limiting but no one should live in a tasteless, solitary world. Life is too delicious for that. Follow along on her journey of living a delicious life with food allergies at marisavoorhees.com where she blogs and offers inspiration, recipes, and ideas that are delicious…and also happen to be gluten and dairy-free.

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