crunchy double chocolate quinoa granola!
There’s just something about granola that never gets old, especially when you double down on chocolate and turn it into Double Chocolate Quinoa Granola. If you’ve been a Veggiekins Blog reader for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huuuuuge fan of granola and have recipes for several varieties here on the blog.
Recently I’ve been playing around with popped quinoa, which is a delightfully crunchy, grain-free bite of protein. It’s delicious atop salads and most dishes, really, but in my mind, most resembles a cereal. You know, like a puffed grain? Except it’s not a grain, it’s a seed!
I figured it could be an incredible addition to a muesli, but then my mind went granola because, well, I love granola. I wanted to create a new flavour of granola, so I went full on chocolate–this granola is a chocolate coated, chocolate chip studded granola with bites of crunchy cashew and popped quinoa. It’s the perfect oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie bowl topper and is a great way to start the day strong.
Unlike most granola, this recipe is made without oil and refined sugars. We’re using only whole food plant based ingredients, maple syrup to sweeten and optional (but highly recommended) vegan chocolate chips.
what’s in this double chocolate quinoa granola?
- This Double Chocolate Quinoa Granola is vegan, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free and nut free. It can be meal prepped (I recommend doubling the recipe!) and stored for a decent amount of time.
- Popped quinoa → is the secret crunch boost in our granola. It’s mildly nutty, delicious both sweet and savoury, and rich in fiber and iron. It’s like rice krispies cereal, but a little bit smaller and more nutritious. If you don’t have access to popped quinoa, it can absolutely be substituted with crisp rice cereal!
- Rolled oats → the base of our granola–pretty standard! I like to use a certified gluten-free oat brand (because I am intolerant to gluten), but if you aren’t, feel free to use any old rolled oats. Be sure you don’t use a “quick cooking” variety.
- Raw cacao powder → adds the chocolate flavour to our granola base. Cacao is rich in polyphenols (which improve brain function and bloodflow), and antioxidants. You can also use cocoa powder, which comes from the same cacao plant, but made with beans that are roasted before grinding.
- Maple syrup → is our sweetener of choice. It adds a light sweetness, and is a wonderful unrefined sugar alternative to conventional sweeteners. As an alternative, you can try agave, or another liquid sweetener of choice.
- Vegan chocolate chips → this is where the “double” comes in. I like to use chips sweetened with coconut sugar (I really love this brand), but you can also use your favourite chocolate bar of choice, chopped up.
- Sunflower butter → is the source of healthy fat we’re using in place of processed oils. I used sunflower butter to keep this recipe nut free, but you can substitute any nut or seed butter of choice. Just be sure to use a single ingredient butter (no added oils or sugars) as it can have an effect on the bake. The fat is essential for getting a good crisp on the granola without instant burning, and I find that it helps to create those chunky granola clusters we all love.
tips for making double chocolate quinoa granola
Making this granola is really simple and it can all be prepared in one bowl and then baked in the oven. For best results I would highly recommend using a nonstick baking mat (I like to use a reusable silicon mat to reduce waste), or parchment paper. Since we’re not using added oil, doing this will make sure the granola doesn’t stick to the baking pan and it’ll be WAY easier to clean up later!
My best tip for ultimate chocolate deliciousness is to hold off on adding the chocolate chips until the granola is out of the oven. It seems odd but trust me–the heat of the granola even as its cooling will be enough to melt the chocolate chunks just a tad. I find that this way, they cling onto a cluster of granola which means even bites of chocolate instead of all of the chips falling to the bottom of the jar. I know you know what I mean.
Since the granola is dark in colour, it can be more difficult to tell when it’s burning. As a rule of thumb, err on the side of caution and under baking, because you can always pop the granola back into the oven, but you can’t un-burn it! Keep in mind that granola continues to bake once the oven is off, and even as it’s cooling on the tray. Sometimes, when I feel my granola is about 95% baked to perfection, I’ll turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven or just let it continue to cook as it cools.
For proper storage and perfect crunch, make sure you let the granola cool completely. I know, I know! Waiting for things to cool is honestly the most difficult cooking step sometimes, but if you don’t let it cool, you’ll end up with soggy, steamy, soft granola.
if you like this recipe, try…
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
A delicious Double Chocolate Quinoa Granola. Perfect crunch plus a boost of protein! This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil free, nut free and refined sugar free.
- Preheat oven to 320F while you prepare the granola.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sunflower butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract until smooth. Add cacao powder and salt and whisk again.
- Add rolled oats, cashews and popped quinoa then mix with a spatula until everything is evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or nonstick baking mat and spread out evenly. The more spread out, the more evenly the granola will cook.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flip or toss granola and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Mine was perfectly cooked at about 25 minutes!
- Once you remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle in vegan chocolate chips. Let melt slightly and toss to form clusters, or let chips remain whole. Let granola cool completely before storing.
- Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Keywords: granola, breakfast, quinoa, vegan, gluten free, oil free, chocolate, refined sugar free, high protein
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