Ah, granola, the plain yogurt’s savior and breakfast bliss bowl‘s accoutrement. So ingrained in our society, granola is now an adjective for your neighbourhood lady who composts regularly and wears Birkenstocks year round. Though traditionally associated with health, these days the standard, store-bought granola can often exceed the amount of sugar found in a can of soda! What does that mean nutritionally? A quick surge of energy, often followed by a unwelcome crash, that can often leave you hungry and irritable.

Homemade Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate #Granola from @Luvoinc #Recipe

Granola or “Granula” gained popularity in the 60s, its original intention was to offer vegetarians a complete protein source without using products derived from animals. The most common foundation for a good recipe included wheat, nuts and seeds. Wheat was later replaced with whole grain oats, catapulting it into mainstream popularity.

Homemade Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate #Granola from @Luvoinc #Recipe
Homemade Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate #Granola from @Luvoinc #Recipe

So where can you find a healthy granola that takes your nutritional needs into consideration without sacrificing your taste buds? Well, you find it right in your kitchen! Making homemade granola is easily customizable and can last weeks if stored properly. Once you get the basic recipe down, there are endless variations to try. Pumpkin spice granola for those crisp, fall mornings or peanut butter with cacao nibs for something a little more indulgent. The combinations  are limited solely by your imagination (you can even add coffee to a batch for a quick morning kick)! Try this recipe from Luvo’s food stylist and photographer Artful Desperado:

Homemade Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate #Granola from @Luvoinc #Recipe
Homemade Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate #Granola from @Luvoinc #Recipe

Date, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate Granola

    • 2 cups whole rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup almonds, rough chopped (or slivers) 
    • 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
    • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (at least 80%)

Method

    1. Preheat oven at 200F
    1. Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate in a bowl. Mix well so all ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste for seasoning (sweetness and saltiness) adjust if needed by adding more syrup or a touch more of salt
    1. Place mix on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, press down the mix so that it’s even on the tray. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until almonds are golden brown and granola is crunchy (careful not to burn the nuts!)
  1. Cool granola, add chocolate and shake to mix. Store in an airtight container and store in an airtight container. It’ll keep for about 2-3 weeks

Best toppings for this recipe:

    • Fresh cut apples
    • Fresh cut strawberries
  • A few pomegranate kernels

The addition of these 3 toppings takes this granola to a whole other level! The mix of sweet, salty, and a touch of tartness (from the strawberries) will have your mouth yearning for breakfast every morning.

Try these concoctions as well:

  • add 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, a Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin seeds, and candied ginger at the end
  • add 1/4 cup of peanut butter, 1.5 tsp baking cocoa and finish with cacao nibs at the end
  • replace the nuts with cashew and macadamia, add dried pineapple and coconut shreds at the end

Do you have anything you like to add to your granola recipes? Let us know in the comments below.

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