Healthy Orange Chocolate Chunky Granola

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If you read my previous granola post you know I love granola.  Obviously I love all the food I post on here or else I wouldn’t post them.  Check out the original granola post here – Healthy Apple Blueberry Chunky Granola.  I forgot to mention in the previous post that I make granola every week.  It’s the perfect on the go snack and when people see you eating out of your re-used honey jar they’ll think you’re so chic or hipster.  If you look like me they’ll lean towards hipster because chances are you will also be wearing flannel–whatever, it’s warm and comfortable and I’ve been wearing beanies since college…damn hipsters.  Back to the granola, once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy and the options are endless.

Be wary though, most recipes call for around 1/4 cup of oil and anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar in the forms of honey, syrup or of course sugar.  You don’t need all that to make a delicious granola.  If you love sugar that much, make your granola less sugary and you can drizzle some honey on afterwards when you eat it with your yogurt (Justin and I just eat it by itself).  Over time you’ll find you prefer it with less sugar and you’ll actually start to taste your food.

Okay I’m going to do the calorie comparison for this recipe as well (I did it in my Pumpkin Oatmeal Smoothie too) so you can really understand what’s in a standard granola recipe.  I typed in granola recipe and this was the highest rated, obviously many people find it delicious, but it’s essentially candy.  I also did Alton Brown’s Granola recipe because he adds less stuff to his granola.

Megan’s Granola – 30 servings – 1/2 cup per serving

Calories – 370
Fat – 19g
Carbs – 50g
Sugar– 21g
Protein – 9g

Alton’s Granola – 15.5 servings – 1/2 cup per serving

Calories – 270
Fat – 13g
Carbs – 39g
Sugar– 20g
Protein – 5g

My Granola – 12 servings – 1/2 cup per serving

Calories – 170
Fat – 6g
Carbs – 3g
Sugar– 8g
Protein – 5g

I am 83% sure I did not make a mistake calculating these numbers, but I am human and mistakes happen and I’ll admit I only half-assedly double checked my work.  But even if my numbers are slightly off it doesn’t negate the fact my granola is a healthier snack.  You can pretty much eat twice as much as mine and not get as much fat or sugar in your typical granola recipe, and it still provides decent nutrition.

Side story:  So I do in fact take my granola with me everywhere I go.  I was on a shoot and the day had just started.  I was eating my orange chocolate granola with some yogurt I grabbed from the craft service table as my morning snack.  The makeup artist (we’ll call him Q), a tall, elegant, beautifully rich skinned man, noticed and asked if he could try some.  He took one bite, let out a sigh saying, “See, that is so sophisticated.”  Now the color of Q’s skin has no bearing on this story, just the image of a high fashion, dark skinned gentleman telling me my granola is “sophisticated” is an image I like to go back to from time to time.  He then went on to tell me it was good enough to sell, which further delighted me.  I responded, saying I had no idea how to begin such a venture.  He replied, “You begin, by having the conversation.”  So, here I am beginning the conversation with you.

Recipe:

3 cups rolled oats

2 tbsp whole wheat flour

2 tbsp flax seed

1/4 cup pepitas (raw)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw, hulled)

1/2 cup almond (raw, chopped)

1/2 cup apricots (dried, chopped)

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp white sugar

1/2 cup orange juice (I use Trop50)

1/4 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Bake time: 1 hour

Prep oven 300°

Add your oats to a large bowl that will hold all your ingredients.  Non instant oats only, stop buying instant you’re basically eating paste.

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Add your flour to the bowl.  I’ve added up to 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour to this recipe before.  I slightly prefer the texture with 2 tbsp.  If you do decide to use 1/4 cup I would add up to 1/4 cup more liquid (juice or water) to the recipe.

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Add your flax seed.  Totally optional, but at 3600mg Omega-3 per 2 tbsp, they pack a pretty hefty nutritional punch–and they’re delicious.

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Add your nuts.  Since you’re going to be putting them in the oven for an hour, they’ll taste better if they start out raw.  They won’t taste terrible if they’re already roasted–I can’t tell you how frickin hard it is to find a raw peanut at the stores around me.  Upper Manhattan you fail me more than I’d care to admit.

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Some recipes leave the almonds whole, I prefer to chop mine.  They get a much better crunch that way.  Also, since this is chunky granola it helps if everything is smaller.  Don’t worry about getting them all the same size and don’t waste the the tiny dust crumblies.  That’s delicious dust.

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Now that you have everything ready in your bowl you can make your liquid.  Or you can do it the other way, but you’re less likely to burn your mixture doing it in this order.  Maybe you like to live on the edge and tempting fate in the kitchen is how you get your thrills, if so, then by all means put that liquid on the stove and crank the heat.  Some people just want to watch the world burn, or liquid sugar mixtures.

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Not tempting fate today?  Okay, add your applesauce and orange juice followed by your sugar.  Turn it on low heat, the point here is to just melt and mix everything.  If one really felt like it one could skip the stove and just add everything in the main bowl and mix, but one should not.  There’s a little bit of magic that happens when you slowly heat and stir ingredients together.  I assure you it’s not science.  The ingredients can tell you care enough to heat them up a bit.  There’s a part of me that’s dead serious about this and the other part with the science degree is deeply, deeply ashamed.

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Add your ginger.  I use powdered almost all the time because the woody stuff you get at the store is just so suppar.  I buy my ginger here and it’s divine.

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Add 3 tbsp cocoa powder.  You can certainly add more but make sure your mixture doesn’t become too thick, it needs to be able to mix easily with your dry mixture.  Mix all of that together until uniform, do not bring it to a simmer.  Take it off the heat, add your salt and vanilla.  At this point taste it and make sure it’s meeting your chocolate and orange desires.  If I really felt like it I would put orange zest in this, I know it would increase the flavor wonderfully but I so very rarely buy oranges.

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Add your liquid mixture to your dry mixture and mix until completely integrated.

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Mixture should clump in your hand.  And this is the point where you get the idea to make granola bars, but you somehow never follow through with it.

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Flatten mixture onto a lightly oiled (or “Pammed” — I’ve grown an aversion to the stuff) baking sheet and sprinkle with your white sugar.  This is the day we realized Justin sucks at sprinkling.

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Bake at 300° for about an hour, rotating pan when needed to prevent burning on edges.  If you would like to not have to check it as often turn your oven down to 250° and it’ll take about 1.5 hours.  This is how flat it should be.  It looks dark out there, is someone making midnight granola?  You caught me.

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Pull out of oven, break apart, and let cool on sheet.  Add your fruit on top.  See how the sugar sprinkle stays on top?  By doing that, you taste the granola as being sweeter than it is.

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I’ve heard it said that granola lasts about 2 weeks in an air tight container.  I can’t attest to this, mines usually gone in a couple days.

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11 thoughts on “Healthy Orange Chocolate Chunky Granola

  1. I love your attention to the nutrient content of your recipes – the comparisons are priceless! They show that although a food has the same name, its nutrition can be all over the board. We have to be very mindful of what we put in our recipes. Yay to you!

    PS – The detailed photos are amazing, too 🙂

  2. Pingback: Healthy Tropical Chunky Granola « Our Studio Kitchen

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