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Sweet and Salty Chocolate Granola

This is called granola because it contains ingredients commonly found in granola – oats, nuts, etc.  But there is chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  So it’s not really granola, in that virtuous this-is-good-for-you kind of way. If you are young and reckless you can have it for breakfast.  For the rest of us I would recommend it for an afternoon or after dinner snack, or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. 

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Granola
adapted from Pinch of Yum

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (NOT instant or quick cooking)
1 1/4 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, DIVIDED (also sold as Sugar in the Raw)
2/3 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/3 real maple syrup (or agave syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 semisweet chocolate chips
flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

In a large bowl toss the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, salt and 1/3 cup of the turbinado sugar together until evenly mixed.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  Pour this mixture over the oat mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated.

Transfer the oat mixture to a baking sheet, spread evenly and place in preheated oven.  After 30 minutes toss the mixture and check to make sure it isn’t burning. Continue to bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, checking frequently. When the granola is starting to become crispy and fragrant, remove from the oven and toss the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Don’t stir.  Finally,  sprinkle the remaining turbinado sugar and a good dose of flaky sea salt over the entire mixture. Return to the oven for about five minutes.  The chocolate chips should keep their shape but the sugar and salt should stick to them. This is where the magic happens so don’t fight it.

Remove from oven and cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.  

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