Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola

Vacation vibes right here ↓

A large batch of Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola is all you need for snack time cravings or the perfect breakfast.

We’re heading to Kauai on Thursday for our babymoon/make-up honeymoon (since we got stuck in a hurricane on the last one) so delicious, healthy travel snacks have been on this momma-to-be’s mind. And what better travel snack then homemade granola? Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola to be exact. We are headed to the tropics, after all!


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of granola, and especially any homemade version since I found my favorite base recipe, Andy’s Fairfield Granola. It’s THE perfect granola recipe as it is, and it’s served as the perfect guideline whenever I’ve had inspiration strike for a certain special flavor, like my Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters.

I’ve been dreaming of a Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola for quite some time now, and I figured what better time to make it than when I’m in need of some travel-friendly snacks for a five hour plane ride?

A delicious bowl of Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola just waiting to be consumed.

But before I get to the recipe, tell me, do you have any recommendations for us for while we’re in Kauai? I’ve been there before (although it’s been at least 10 years or so) but the hubs has never been. We’re staying in Poipu, and the only thing we have planned so far is a boat ride up the Na Pali Coast. Since I’m 25 weeks now, we’re obviously not planning on doing anything too strenuous, but any pregnancy-friendly recommendations you have are welcome (and, obviously, any food we must eat while we’re there!)

Okay, back to this granola. It’s really so easy, it doesn’t need much explaining. I (very) roughly followed the guidelines of Andy’s Fairfield Granola, but with some modifications to really make it pop with dark chocolate and coconut flavors. The original recipe calls for honey as a sweetener, but this time around I decided to try out maple syrup to change things up a bit, and I’m pleased to say it worked out fabulously.

Also, cocoa powder to coat all your oats is such a must in this recipe! Being the chocolate-lover that I am, I often find myself picking out only bites that involve it when I’m eating things like granola, trail mix, etc. With the cocoa powder coating on the oats, you get delicious chocolate in every bite! My kind of granola right there.

A bowl of Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola doused in almond milk.

Did I mention this recipe is SUPER easy to make? I mean, seriously, if you’re a novice baker, this recipe’s for you. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon, spread the mix out on a cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. The trickiest part is the stirring and adding of the coconut you have to do partway through the baking process, but as long as you know how to set a timer, I think you’ve got this.

Mixing up a big batch of Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola.

Oh, you’re also going to have to have the patience to let your Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola cool back down to room temperature and let the chocolate harden again, which may in fact turn out to be the hardest part since the granola’s delicious smell will be permeating through your household the entire time. But wouldn’t you say a big batch of a delicious, nutritious snack is worth it?

Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola is the perfect on-the-go snack or breakfast.

A large batch of Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola is all you need for snack time cravings or the perfect breakfast.
Print
Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A classic granola recipe gets a decadent makeover with the addition of antioxidant-heavy dark chocolate and toasted coconut.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, cinnamon and sea salt until well-combined. Spread out evenly on the prepared jelly roll pan.

  3. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, give the granola a stir and set the timer for 5 more minutes. 

  4. When the timer goes off again, add the flaked coconut and stir the granola again. Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 

  5. Remove granola from the oven and add the dark chocolate chips to the pan, stirring to spread them out evenly. Let cool to room temperature before eating.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola | CaliGirlCooking.com

Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters

Because oats surrounded by graham crackers, chocolate chips and toasty marshmallows are healthy, right?

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

Well, if you ask me, there are certainly worse after-school snacks than these S’mores Granola Clusters. (Says the girl who’s not even in school, nor has any children that are in school, but hey, we all need delicious, chocolatey, gooey clusters in our lives every now and again.)


My idea for this recipe certainly evolved and changed as I started to think of the logistics of it all. You see, my first idea was to make a straight up s’mores granola, but then I realized that with both the chocolate and marshmallows highly subject to melting, making a classic granola would be a little difficult unless I could find mini graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows that I could just add to the oats after toasting them. But where’s the fun in that?

So I decided to embrace the melting qualities of the ingredients that make s’mores so delicious, and turn the recipe into granola clusters instead. And, um, take the S’mores Granola Clusters away from me now because I can’t stop reaching into the Ziploc for me. Hellllppp!

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

But really, don’t, because I want to eat S’mores Granola Clusters for ever and ever and ever. Summer, winter, fall, spring, doesn’t matter. We don’t need no outdoor fire pit for these beauts!

I may or may not have already made second or third batches to share with everyone I know since school started last week, and did I mention they’re the perfect after-school snack? They also just so happen to be the perfect beach-going snack, the perfect “semi-healthy” dessert, and the perfect “it’s 11:00am and I’m starving but it’s too early for lunch yet” snack (please tell me that happens to other people besides just me?)

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

But before I get into how we make these addicting S’mores Granola Clusters (because it really won’t take long), tell me, how was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Go anywhere exciting? I’m trying to forget the fact that we were supposed to be in Yosemite for our annual trip this weekend, so please let me live vicariously through you and all your fun adventures! I’m soooo looking forward to when the hubs is healed and we can pick up our weekend warrior tendencies once again. So many things to do and places to see!

Okay, getting back to the S’mores Granola Clusters. Really, the hardest part about this recipe is mixing up the toasted oat mixture, and even that is so easy! I riffed off of my favorite granola recipe to make a slightly less sweet version of toasted oats (I figured they’d get enough sweetness from the chocolate and marshmallows) and of course I left out nuts so that my nut-free friends can enjoy this recipe as well.

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

We toss together the toasted oat mixture and pop it in the oven for a good 30 minutes, stirring once to make sure all of our oats get an even toast.

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

Then, for the last 15 minutes, we toss in the graham cracker pieces, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Because we just can’t call anything a “s’more” without some golden, toasted marshmallows, we turn the broiler on high for just the last couple of minutes.  Trust me, don’t skip this step. Even though we end up mixing up the granola to make the clusters, you’ll definitely notice that delicious nutty flavor that only comes from marshmallows experiencing that close call with a direct source of heat.

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

That’s it! I couldn’t resist eating some of the clusters while they were still warm (s’mores flavor to the max!) but they maintain their perfectly toasted, sweet, salty flavor even after the clusters have cooled. Trust me, you can enjoy these S’mores Granola Clusters up to 3-4 days later if you keep them in a resealable plastic bag or Tupperware container. But you know what, I don’t think they’ll last that long 😉

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

S’mores Granola Clusters

10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 cups

Your favorite fireside treat turned into an everyday snack. Crunchy oats covered with toasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and graham cracker pieces.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 310 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients (oats through sea salt.) Spread oat mixture on a large jelly roll pan and place in oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  3. At the 20 minute mark, open the oven and gently stir the oats. This will help ensure they get evenly toasted. Set the timer for 10 more minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, remove the pan from the oven (keeping the oven at 310 degrees) and sprinkle the chocolate chips, graham cracker pieces and mini marshmallows evenly over the oats. Return the pan to the oven and set the timer for 2 ½ minutes.
  5. After 2 ½ minutes, turn the oven’s broiler on high and set another 2 ½ minutes on the timer. Once timer goes off this final time, remove pan from the oven. Immediately stir up the granola so that clusters form.
  6. Once cool, if there are any extra-large clusters, feel free to break them up into smaller pieces. Store for 3-4 days in a resealable plastic bag or Tupperware.
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Addicting S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

If you need me at all today, I’ll be right here in front of this bowl…

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Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait

I finally jumped on the chia pudding bandwagon.Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait | CaliGirl Cooking

But you know what, I’m totally okay with it, because out of ALL of the chia pudding recipes out there, I finally have one that speaks to me, that I would not hesitate one bit to make at any given point in time. You see, I’m picky about my chia puddings. It’s a bit of a textural thing. Chia pudding on its own is a little too slimy for me, along the very same lines of why I am averse to Jell-O. I need some textural dimension in my foodstuffs, not something that just slides on down before I even have time to savor the flavor (you see what I did there?)

So when I started thinking that I needed to hop on this chia pudding train (because yes, if everyone else decided to jump off a cliff, I probably would too), I started brainstorming ways I could add texture and flavor to make it a truly enjoyable meal for me. I immediately thought of adding some crunch, and what better way to do that than with my absolute favorite, Andy’s Fairfield Granola? It’s got the oats, it’s got the nuts, it’s got the spices and sesame seeds…Perfect-o.


Next, I figured we’d need some sort of fruit, to really knock the nutritional value of this pudding out of the park. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all! (Although I definitely won’t judge if you consume this for lunch, dinner OR dessert.) Because ‘tis the season, I decided to stew up some fresh, juicy strawberries to get them nice and syrupy, and of course I had to add some amaretto to give them a little kick (as it just so happens to be my favorite “breakfast” liqueur.)

Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait | CaliGirl Cooking

The trickiest part about this recipe is that it does require some prep time to make all of the components. But once those are made, the parfaits come together in a snap. The granola can be easily made well in advance (we’re talking two, three even four days ahead if kept in an air-tight container) and the strawberries can be made the night before when you’re prepping your chia pudding. Yes, this pudding does need to sit overnight to set up, as most chia pudding recipes do, but it comes together sooo easily it will really take you no time at all. Simply whisk chia seeds, coconut beverage, vanilla and honey together in an airtight container, let sit for about 10 minutes, stir again, and pop in the refrigerator to “gelatinize” overnight (is that a thing?)

The next morning, there’s a chance the chia pudding may still be a bit clumpy. That’s okay! Simply give it another stir and let it sit for 10-20 minutes more (and if you don’t have time, use the pudding as is.) It will continue to firm up the longer it sits. Distribute the pudding among the serving vessels (I used stemless wine glasses), then add the stewed strawberries over top. Finally, sprinkle on the granola. If you’re feeling incredibly ambitious, you could drizzle on some honey to really finish them off. That’s it!

Now, I know it’s only Wednesday and you’re looking for that little something to get you through the rest of the week. Guys, this is that thing! I promise that if you wake up in the morning knowing that this Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait is waiting for you, it will make it sooooo much easier to get your booty out of bed, and maybe to the gym for that AM workout? I don’t know about you, but food is always my best motivator.

Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait | CaliGirl Cooking

Speaking of workouts, I’m dying to hear all of the ways you like to get moving and grooving. Tell me, what are some of your favorite ways to get a sweat on? I am in the middle of Week 10 on Kayla Itsines’ BBG app and I am loving it! For someone with less and less free time these days, I’m totally digging the fact that her resistance training sessions are only 28 minutes long and I am DRIPPING in sweat afterwards. I get in such an intense workout in a very short amount of time. I’ve noticed lots of small changes already, but I can’t wait to hit the 12-week mark as I hear that’s when you really start to notice the effects.  I didn’t start the program to lose weight, but more so to really tone things up so I am in the best shape EVER for my wedding. It’s of course a little early to tell, but it seems to be working! <3 <3

What I am pretty sure of is that Kayla would totally approve of this Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait (okay, maybe minus the booze, but we’re all about balance, right?) I’ve found that it’s the perfect pick-me-up after one of her intense training sessions. It’s got tons of protein to keep me satiated plus loads of vitamins and minerals. So many good things!

So tell me, do I have any fellow BBGers out there? How do you feel about the new app? And for all my readers in general, what are your favorite post-workout meals or snacks that leave you feeling replenished and refreshed? I’m going to need lots of healthy, energizing meals over the next few months!Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait | CaliGirl Cooking

Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait

8 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 parfaits

A delicious, healthy chia pudding parfait with crunchy granola and stewed strawberries.

Ingredients

    For the granola:
  • One batch of Andy’s Fairfield Granola (Note: This will make way more than you actually need, but it’s a great snack to have on hand!)
    For the stewed strawberries:
  • 1 ½ pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto

Instructions

  1. First, prepare the granola according to the recipe, found here. Cool and store in an airtight container or resealable bag until ready to use.
  2. The night before, prep the stewed strawberries and chia pudding. For the strawberries, combine all ingredients (strawberries, sugar and amaretto) in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until strawberries have released their juices and turned slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. Once strawberries are mostly cool, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. For the chia pudding, whisk together the chia seeds, coconut beverage, vanilla and honey. Let mixture sit for about 10 minutes and then whisk again, breaking up any clumps. Place in another airtight container in the refrigerator. Let sit overnight.
  4. In the morning, remove chia pudding from refrigerator and stir one more time. Let sit for 10-20 minutes after stirring to let it really set up nicely. Once pudding is set, distribute it evenly among four serving vessels (this could change depending on what size “vessels” you are using; I used stemless wine glasses.)
  5. Remove the strawberries from the refrigerator and spoon on top of the pudding in the individual glasses. Next, sprinkle on a generous serving of granola (I’d say ¼ - 1/3 of a cup, depending on how indulgent you want to be.) Top with a little drizzle of honey, if desired.

Notes

These chia pudding parfaits were delicious on the first morning, but got even better by the second morning. Simply wait to add the granola until right before you're ready to eat so it doesn't get soggy.

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Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait | CaliGirl Cooking

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