Dark Chocolate and Cherry Grain Free Granola

My family definitely isn't grain free.

I just never plan ahead enough to achieve such a title.

We are grain free wannabees. 

Whenever I get on a grain free kick my kids get sick of eating eggs every single morning for weeks at a time, so I like to change things up with a nice big bowl of grain free granola and raw organic milk.

For this recipe you will need:

4 cups of a variety of nuts, chopped coarsely (I have used walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and brazil nuts.)

1- 8 ounce bag of organic shredded, unsweetened coconut

6 ounces of organic coconut flakes

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

4 tablespoons cacao powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place all nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  

nuts
nuts
chopped nuts
chopped nuts

I have one kid that complains when she can find any nuts, so I grind mine pretty fine.  If you want your cereal to have a little more texture, you can leave the nuts larger. 

Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan until melted.

Add in honey and stir until combined.

Pour liquid into a large bowl.  Add in chia seeds, salt and cacao.  Stir to combine.

Add in the nuts, shredded coconut and flaked coconut. 

stir
stir

Spread out in a thin layer on a large baking sheet.  I usually use more than one pan, so that it is not crowded.  This allows it to crisp more evenly.  If it is too crowded, the granola on the bottom will not get toasty. 

dark chocolate cherry grain free granola 2
dark chocolate cherry grain free granola 2

Toast at 300 for approximately 30-45 minutes, stirring halfway through the bake time.

Just keep an eye on it and pull it out when lightly browned.

Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Toss in dried fruit and dark chocolate chips.

dark chocolate cherry grain free granola
dark chocolate cherry grain free granola

It is delicious with fresh raw milk, if you're lucky enough to live near an awesome dairy farm, like we are!

granola and milk
granola and milk

It should keep for up to a week at room temperature, or longer in the fridge.  

granola in a jar
granola in a jar

It never lasts longer than a few days in our house, since everyone likes it so much!

Get fancy and make it your own:

Option 1:  Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree into the liquid portion of the recipe and 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger to make a pumpkin spice variation.

Option 2:  1/2 cup raisins and 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of the cherries and chocolate and omit cacao, for a cinnamon raisin granola

Option 3: 1/2 cup each  dried apples and butterscotch chips for a caramel apple variation.

Option 4: 1/2 cup dried mangoes and pineapple and omit cacao for a tropical granola.

Get creative with add-ins to the original basic recipe and your family could never have to eat the same cereal twice!

Enjoy!