I’m really trying to get more consistent with my posts on here, but sometimes it’s difficult. Life update: I just started graduate school to get a masters degree in Human Nutrition, my husband just started his second semester of PT school, and we have a baby girl just shy of 1 years old who is becoming more and more mobile everyday. Sometimes finding time to sit down and write is difficult. I have a lot of ideas running in my head of things I want to post on here though! I really appreciate those who check in even with the sporadic-ness of my posting.
On to what you are really here for though. I feel like if you’re reading this you are either 1. A Nutella lover 2. A coffee addict 3. or Both. Whether you are one of those, both of those, or none of those, I think I have something you are going to enjoy. Nutella Mocha Granola. Mmmm, I wish you could smell my house right now. This stuff smells delightful!
Recently I’ve been craving Granola. More specifically I’ve been craving Granola that is in a fruit and yogurt parfait. That crunch just adds so much texture! Here’s the thing though, I don’t like buying Granola. I think it’s too expensive for what you get and full of more ingredients than I want. Plus, I love baking, it’s easy to make, and it’s cheap. Ever buy plain oats? You’ve probably got all you need to make your own granola right now.
Granola is pretty versatile stuff. There are so many variations out there. I got my inspiration today from Sallysbakingaddiction.com. She has a lot of granola recipes to check out. I found one of hers that used ground coffee and I loved the idea and just ran with it to make my own. You can find some of her delicious recipes here, here, and here.
The main components of any granola I make are: old fashioned oats, nuts, seeds and/or dried fruit, spices, and some liquid ingredients to bring it all together. The add-ins possibilities are completely endless really. My sticky liquid components today are the Nutella, oil, and maple syrup. My spices are ground coffee, cinnamon and vanilla. I’m finding that you can never go wrong by adding a little vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. To add an extra kick of fiber, protein, and omega 3, I always add ground flax seed to my granola mixes. This is completely optional, so don’t feel like you can give this recipe a try if you don’t have it on hand. The ground flax seed helps to add a little nuttiness to the flavor, but it is a pretty mild ingredient that packs a nutritious punch. I love to add it to things I bake!
The goal with any granola I make though, is to make something flavorful, crunchy, and cluster-y (it’s a word… don’t look it up though.) At the same time, I want to avoid making something is full of sugar and calories. Finding the right balance of ingredients is key to achieving this.
What I love about this granola in particular is the strong flavor of coffee comes through, but the sweetness of the chocolate, and the fruit and yogurt help to cut through it. You can always play around with the flavor and type of coffee you use as well. I actually used a medium roast hazelnut flavor. You can also change the chocolate chips you add. You can even leave them out if you would like. I’d suggest adding some though because they create the clusters when the chocolate hardens after the granola has cooled.
Really granola is so easy to make. I hope you all try this out. I’ll be enjoying mine stirred into some Greek yogurt with mixed berries. Talk about a filling tasty breakfast. You get a large dose of protein from the yogurt, filling fiber and good carbs from the fruit and Granola, and a little chocolatey coffee sweetness because moderation right??? Oh and if you’re like me, mornings are for rushing fast! Grab some yogurt, top it with some fruit and this stuff and you are ready to go!
Chocolate at breakfast that you won’t regret later. Do I need to say more? I didn’t think so…
Nutella Mocha Granola
Serves: approximately 8 1/4 c servings
1 cup plain old fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or nut of choice)
1 tbsp hazelnut flavored coffee grounds (could be regular or any flavor you choose, adjust amount based on coffee strength preference)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 heaping tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp maple syrup (not pancake syrup, could use honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips ( can be regular or any variation use choose, or leave out)
1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, flax seed, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl combine the Nutella, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract till it’s a smooth mixture.
3. Pour the Nutella mixture over the oat mixture and stir till it all comes together.
4. Spread Granola on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes. Stir mixture every 10 minutes to help prevent uneven cooking and burning.
5. Once mixture comes out of the oven add the chocolate chips and stir. (This will create little clusters of granola goodness once it cools). Allow Granola to cool and store in an air tight container for 5-7 days.
** Update- I ran out of my usual plain Greek yogurt and tried it in a cup of Dannon Light and Fit Strawberry Cheesecake Greek yogurt. All I can say is…. Yum! Try it!