This easy and delicious, nut-free chocolate granola is packed full of crunchy clusters of oats, seeds, berries and a hint of chocolate. Make a batch in advance and it will see you all the way through to the weekend.
Have you ever had that supermarket feeling?
You know the one where you’re walking aimlessly up and down the aisles, wishing you’d made a list (although you never make a list), finding yourself stood in front of the cereals thinking ‘I know I need cereal, but which one?’
You stare longingly at the Cocoa Pops, thinking about them turning ice cold milk into a chocolatey treat, but you know you should be at the other end contemplating the granola or porridge options. Breakfast cereal decisions, in my opinion, are one of the major drawbacks of adulting…
Having said that, I have succumbed on occasion, and have placed my naughty chocolatey breakfast cereal amongst the fancy cereal boxes of the more health conscious of my colleagues in the kitchen at work.
There’s only a slight hang of my head in shame as I scuttle back to my desk, but it only lasts a moment as I get stuck in and munch before they get soggy.
I don’t know about you, but my problem is that I’m easily far too tempted when it comes to making the healthier choice for my breakfast kick-start.
And I have been known to detour to Tesco on the way to work for the aforementioned Coco Pops and milk, having had a vivid dream about them the night before.
I’ve even dreamt about and subsequently had to buy the mini variety cereal packets. We used to have them as a treat for caravanning holidays, so they are logged in my subconscious somewhere alongside happy memories; and blimey they are so expensive for what they are, especially as I can’t eat the ones with nuts on them. Meh…
Anyway, like the rest of the population, I’m on a healthy start to the year; and just so we’re clear last weekend’s doughnuts totally don’t count.
I’m doing the usual cutting back on alcohol (although gin is low calorie, right?), watching the carbs and sugar, making ‘sensible’ choices etc, all the while being conscious of the impending doom of my 40th in October drawing ever closer.
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page
With that in mind, let me take you back to the cereal aisle, and by now I’ve fought off my cereal demons and I’m staring intently at the granola options.
Actually, they all sound lovely with a hint of chocolate, a splash of fruit and a little honey for sweetness, only to be ruined by the deadly handful of nuts; and there my search for a healthy breakfast option ends. There is a ‘plain and simple’ no nuts, no frills option, but where’s the fun in that.
As I stood there this weekend, I thought really how difficult can it be to make my own granola, and how much cheaper too?!
A quick scan over the ingredients of a different packets, a peek at Breakfast Pinterest board and a mental whizz around the kitchen cupboards to see what I already had at home, and I confidently walked away from the cereal aisle knowing I could make my own nut-free chocolate granola for my pretty awesome breakfast jars!
So as it turns out that granola is pretty easy and quick to make. Ok, you can make it more complicated if you prefer and are nutritionally balancing all the bits and pieces that you’re chucking in it.
But I just went with the thought of those Coco Pops turning my milk chocolatey, and added cocoa powder in with my oats, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. I’d probably have added some other seeds in there, maybe pumpkin seeds if I’d had them, but I didn’t.
On the sweetness and combining it all together front, some recipes I found just went for pouring honey over and mixing it up, but I thought that it might be a bit sticky, so I warmed some honey together with a little soft brown sugar and rapeseed oil, to thin it down, instead.
I suppose you could use coconut oil rather than rapeseed, but the only coconut oil I had was in the bathroom, my miracle hair restorer. It did the trick and when baked the granola formed lovely clusters with a hint of chocolatey goodness that I’ve been picking at out of the jar all day. Yup, its that good; but it is what you make it, so take the recipe below as a base and jazz it up if you want.
Crunchy clusters for the win
The best bit about this nut-free chocolate granola, apart from you can whizz it up and make it your own with an addition here or an ingredient swap there, is that it is quick and easy to make and there’s another to last you the week.
So it completely beats supermarket versions, especially if the fancy looking one you picked up to try is dusty and not that great, but you feel obliged to finish the packet because it cost you the best part of a small fortune.
If there’s one thing I can recommend to keep your granola nice and crunchy, it’s invest in some good storage jars, and they look really pretty for when you’re Instagramming your breakfast for the world to see.
These are some of my favourites:
- Counter Top Storage Jar – the wide neck on this is perfect for scooping out your granola without spilling any, why not invest in a retro style scoop as well
- Large Kilner Jars – the clip and seal on these jars are ideal for keeping your granola fresh and crunchy
Nut-free Chocolate Granola
- Preheat oven to 150C and line a shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, cocoa powder and sunflower seeds, and stir together.
- In a small saucepan, add the light brown sugar, runny honey and rapeseed oil, and heat over a low flame, stirring under the sugar as dissolved.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the dry ingredients and mix together until there is no dry mixture left.
- Pour the oat mixture into the baking tray, and spread out thinly.
- Bake the mixture for 10-15minutes, and then left to cool for 30 minutes.
- When cool, crumble the mixture and store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.