Tag Archives: granola

Almond Joy Granola

Almond Joy Granola - Title Shot - Inside NanaBread's Head

Hi – me again; back with more dark chocolate. Forgive me, but I’m on a bender. Last week it was flourless peanut butter, Biscoff & dark chocolate cookies. This week it’s dark chocolate, coconut & almond granola, which is at least healthier. Stop laughing! It’s good for you, right? Okay, you be the judge.

NanaBread’s Almond Joy Granola:
4 cups old-fashioned oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups raw whole almonds
3 cups unsweetened coconut, the large flakes
4 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Start by lining two large baking sheets with parchment or Silpat mats. Spread the oats, almonds and coconut on baking sheets in a thin, even layer and toast at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until the coconut is golden brown and the oats & nuts are fragrant. Remove from the oven and scrape the oats, almonds & coconut into a large mixing bowl; toss to combine.

In a saucepan, combine the agave nectar, honey, canola oil and butter. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder & salt, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the hot liquid mixture over the oat mixture and toss until everything is coated. (This smells SO GOOD the entire time you’re making it.)

Almond Joy Granola - Freshly Baked - Inside NanaBread's Head

Spoon the mixture back onto the lined baking sheets and pop them back into the oven (still at 350F) for 15 minutes. Stir or flip the mixture around and bake an additional 15 minutes, for a total baking time of around 30 minutes. It’s done when the edges are toasty and the mixture is only slightly sticky but very fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Almond Joy Granola - Baked - Inside NanaBread's Head

Options:
1. Nut allergies? Go Mounds and omit the almonds & almond extract.
2. Not a chocolate fan? Omit the cocoa and add dried fruit like cranberries or blueberries. Dried apricots & candied ginger would also be a great combination.
3. Grab a straw, because the chocolate almond milk left behind is delicious.

AJ Granola - Final Shot - Inside NanaBread's Head

Note: This recipe was adapted from a recipe found on Pinterest which was adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook; her version calls for cinnamon & granulated sugar and uses less coconut & nuts. But those are my favorite parts of granola, so I upped the volume of almonds & coconut, substituted agave nectar for the granulated sugar, added almond extract, and doubled the butter. I gotta be me.

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Granola Brownies: they’ve got granola in them, so they’re good for you…right?

Granola Brownies: breakfast or snack? You choose.


Last week, I experienced a “fail” on a first-time recipe. I attempted to make homemade granola bars with chopped dates, coconut, almonds and dark chocolate chips. While it tasted spectacular, the bars just never stuck together. Guess my granola mix was too dry. Next time, I’ll add more honey. BUT… from lemons we make lemonade, and from failed granola bars, we make granola (which was great over Greek yogurt, by the way). And since I can can never seem to leave anything alone, I decided to kick it up a notch by making granola brownies. I mean, it makes sense in an unconventional way. Oats are good with chocolate. So are almonds, dates and coconut. And nothing satisfies a craving for sweets like a brownie, so…

Here’s how it all went down:
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of granola, divided
Optional Ingredient: 2-3 Tbsp. Hershey’s Dark chocolate syrup
(because I’ve learned that nothing makes chocolate brownies taste more chocolatey than adding more chocolate, or a pinch of instant espresso powder)

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate squares (and the optional chocolate syrup, if you so choose). Beat with a whisk until smooth, and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the chocolate mixture just until combined; do not over mix. Stir in 3/4 cup of your favorite granola (if it’s in bigger chunks, break it up). Press into an 8″ x 8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of granola over the top and press gently so it sticks.

Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Using the parchment paper or foil edges, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into squares. If you want nice, clean edges put your brownies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool, then cut into squares.

Tip: individual brownies can be plastic-wrapped and frozen for a quick snack to drop into your child’s lunchbox (or your own). It’s perfect for back-to-school snacks, after school snacks, or my-kids-are-grown-and-I-just-want-a-granola-brownie-for-myself treats. Unconventional? Perhaps, but they’re still nutty, and gooey, and delicious. And just like that, a fail becomes a win.

Recipe credit: brownie base is America’s Test Kitchen “Bake Sale Brownies”

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