CHOCOLATE CHUNK GRANOLA WITH ALMONDS & VANILLA

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I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. We sure did. We were able to go water skiing, hangout at the beach on the lake, go to a old classic car show, parade, and have BBQ’s with both of our families. It was a much needed long weekend! We got back into town last night and I have spent the day putting our house back together. I thought while the baby was napping (hooray for naps!) I would share a quick new recipe that I’ve made and absolutely love.

I shared a fruit and nut granola recipe about 2 months ago that we loved. I made it for my father-in-law’s birthday but I also made a batch for us to eat at home. It was so simple to make and makes a great snack or breakfast.

If you remember we are huge granola fans at our house so granola doesn’t last very long around here. I make granola, I buy granola, and dream about finding the same granola I had in France a few years ago. You could say I’m slightly obsessed about granola.

So today I’m sharing one of my favorite new creations. It is a blend of salty and sweet. It is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack. Or if you are like me, it’s perfect for indulging in just by the handful. 

I’m always looking for a good deal on buying granola. I love homemade granola but I always crave a chocolate chunk granola that I ate every morning when we were in France. I’ve been able to come close buying Nature Valley’s Oat’s and Dark Chocolate Granola. I try and ration it out over a week but in reality I eat it by the handful.

At nearly $4 for an 11oz bag I had given up hope of having that chocolate chunk granola every morning again. It is heaven in a bowl of vanilla yogurt but I just can’t justify the cost for how quickly I ate it.  I found a similar Hazelnut Chocolate granola at Sprouts but it too was nearly $4 for one pound.

One day I decided to get brave and just try making this chocolate chunk granola on a whim. It turned out great and with a little  fine tuning I was back in France eating my granola under the tree at Notre Dame. The best part is I can afford my granola habit now and I also know what sweeteners and ingredients are in my granola which is a plus!

Chocolate Chunk Granola

I was so obsessed with this granola in France that I took a picture of it. Doesn’t it look delicious!?!?

 

This recipe is a blend of chocolate chunks, chopped almonds, and vanilla. For the recipe I bought a bag of dark chocolate chunks next to the chocolate chips in the store. I felt the chunks were too big so I chopped them down a little bit more. If you hate dark chocolate you can do a more mild semi-sweet chocolate or even try milk chocolate.

The almonds I got in the bulk section and just chopped them up by hand. You may want to adjust the amount of salt used depending on the type of almonds you buy.

The last discovery was using vanilla pudding as the liquid to create the oat clusters. I wouldn’t let this granola sit on your shelf too long so if you are concerned about that feel free to cut the recipe down.

I absolutely love it and hope that you will love it too! And again, I believe that if you are going to the effort of making granola, that you should make it in large enough quantities to enjoy and eat for a week or two. So this recipe makes nearly a 10 cup batch of yummy granola!  

Yield:  10 cups

Time: 15 minutes prep, 45-60 minutes baking

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 c instant oats
  • 1 c almonds, chopped (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 t salt (to taste, especially if you use salted almonds)
  • 1 package instant Vanilla pudding mix (3.4oz box)
  • 1 3/4 c cold water
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c chocolate chunks (I used a dark chocolate )

TOOLS:

  • parchment paper
  • cookie sheets

DIRECTIONS:

  • Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Mix oats, chopped almonds, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine cold water and vanilla pudding mix. Mix until the mixture begins to set, or about 5 minutes.  Once pudding begins to set at honey and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Add pudding mixture to the oat mixture. Stir until well combined.

  

  • Step 2

 Pour mixture over lined cookie sheets in a thin layer, no thicker than 1/2″. It is better to cook several batches than to have granola that isn’t thoroughly cooked.

Bake 45-60 minutes or until lightly browned and moisture has cooked out of the oat mixture. Stir granola every 20 minutes while baking. Remove pan from oven, allow granola to cool. Add chocolate chunks and stir to combine.

*Note: Allow granola to cool for several hours before storing in an airtight container. 

Enjoy,

Larisa

Larisa

Here’s a little about me: I usually don’t buy things that I could make. I like to read and learn. I have dreams of being a mom, living in foreign countries, and trying new things. I take a ton of pictures. I collect rocks from the places I’ve been. I’m trying to learn French. I like to eat. I’m a Mormon.

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