• Amy Lippert, NTP

Indulgent Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

Updated: May 8

Bittersweet and decadent dark chocolate with sweet-tart dried cherries are my favorite partners in an indulgent and healthy breakfast. My kiddos love to eat this by the handful for a quick and easy snack and my favorite way to enjoy this lovely granola is to add it to my yogurt and fruit parfait. There is nothing like dark chocolate and cherries, period.



Chocolate Cherry Granola Recipe

Did you know that one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency in your diet is craving chocolate? Be sure that when you reach for that magnesium and mineral rich bar of chocolate that you are getting one that is at least 70% cocoa and is as clean as you can find!


Magnesium is a mineral that is key in your body's metabolism, smooth muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, ability to detoxify, and so much more! So eating a high quality bar of dark chocolate that is full minerals, antioxidants, and clean and organic ingredients can be beneficial to your health! Here are a few of my favorite brands of dark chocolate!

And yes, I just gave you all the reason in the world to indulge in a decadent and bittersweet square of dark chocolate!


 

Why Dark Chocolate is Good For You!


I love dark chocolate, don't you? And I love to find easy ways to add this delicious and nutritious treat to my diet when I can! Made from the seed of the cacao tree, dark chocolate is full of minerals, antioxidants and fiber, yes! fiber!!


Minerals

  • Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function [1].

  • Iron: Necessary in the formation of hemoglobin and maintaining proper body temperature.

  • Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.

  • Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function [2].

  • Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.

  • Potassium: Potassium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and it is an essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat [3].

  • Selenium: is a mineral that is essential in thyroid health, detoxification and helps to make DNA [4].

  • Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.

Fiber

  • Soluble fiber [4]: Dark Chocolate is a great source of soluble fiber, the fiber that works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.

Antioxidants polyphenols, flavanols and catechins

  • Polyphenols: A powerful antioxidant tha has shown to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties [5]. Studies have shown that the polyphenols found in foods such as dark chocolate, help to support a healthy circulatory and vascular system as well as immune support by promoting a healthy microbiome [6].

  • Flavanols: Antioxidants that are instrumental in helping protect your cells from oxidative stress as well as having anti-inflammatory benefits [7]. The type of flavinoids found in dark chocolate are found to support blood pressure health and cholesterol.

  • Catechins: Also abundant in green tea, catechins reduce oxidative stress and prevent cellular damage and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

So grab some dark chocolate and let's get cooking!


 

Indulgent Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Ingredients

Makes approximately 16 servings


1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/2 cup Raw Almond Butter

1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 cup Cacao Powder

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt

1 cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut

3 cups Gluten-Free Sprouted Rolled Oats

2 cups Slivered Almonds OR replace 1 cup with 1 cup chopped Walnuts

8oz Unsweetened Dried Tart Cherries or Unsweetened Dried Cranberries

8-12 oz 70% or higher Dark Chocolate, cut into chunks


How to Make Indulgent Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola


1. Preheat oven to 285 degrees for Convection/300 degrees for Conventional.


2. In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients and stir well with a whisk to evenly combine.


3. Add the oats, coconut, and almonds (nuts) and stir well to coat.


4. Transfer the granola to a parchment lined baking pan and spread into a thin layer breaking up any large clumps.


5. Bake for about 90-120 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes and breaking up the larger clumps as you go so they completely dry out.


6. Cool completely then stir in the chocolate chunks and dried cherries.


7. Store in an air tight container up to 3-weeks!


Absolutely perfect on it’s own or on yogurt, ice cream, or as a snack!

 

FAQs


Q: My granola is soggy, what happened?

A: It sounds like you needed to cook it for a little longer. Try testing a spoonful before removing from the oven by letting it cool on a clean plate.


Q: What can I use instead of maple syrup?

A: Pure, raw honey is the next best thing for this recipe, if you want it to be less sweet, add half the amount of maple syrup or honey and increase by that amount of more applesauce.


Q: Can I use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder?

A: Absolutely! But keep in mind that cacao powder is the unprocessed version of cocoa and I always try to use minimally processed ingredients.


Q: Can I substitute cacao nibs in place of the dark chocolate?

A: Yes! My recipes are more like guidelines, and any substitutions you love will make your granola perfect for you!


If you like this recipe, check these out!


Paleo Pear and Fig Granola: I am sure you will love this beautiful Paleo granola with its subtle hints of pear and cardamom that perfectly pair with sweet dried smyrna figs and coconut.


Pumpkin Spice Yogurt with Gingersnap Toffee Topping: This is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast! The toffee topping is so good over any dairy free, unsweetened yogurt.


Paleo Vanilla Granola: This easy nutritious granola will keep you satisfied all morning long and has the beautiful flavor combination of vanilla and almond.


I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy


 

Did you make this recipe? Tag @almond.milk.and.cookies on Instagram and hashtag it #almondmilkandcookies


 

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