Triple Chocolate Granola

Humility aside, I think this is my best granola yet. And granola is my thing – you know that one dish you are awesome at making pretty much every single time. What makes this a standout is (1) the layered chocolate flavor coming from a triple hit of cacao from the raw cacao powder, cacao nibs and semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and (2) the extra crunchy pop of texture from the quinoa puffs. Sure it’s more dessert than breakfast, but you do get an antioxidant power up from all the cacao, sustained energy from the oats, and the mct benefits of coconut oil – not to mention the joy from enjoying something so delicious. Dive in!

Ingredients:

  1. Rolled oats – 2 cups
  2. Quinoa – 1/3 cup
  3. Coconut sugar – 1/3 cup
  4. Coconut oil – 1/2 cup
  5. Raw cacao powder – 1 tbsp
  6. Sea salt
  7. Cacao nibs – 1 tbsp
  8. Semi-sweet chocolate chunks (I like Enjoy Life brand) – 1/3 cup

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 320 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the rolled oats, quinoa and coconut sugar
  3. Separately, in a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil and cacao powder and warm over low heat until melted and combined (about 1 minute)
  4. Pour the coconut / cacao mixture into the large bowl with oats, quinoa and coconut sugar and stir well to combine. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. Taste the mixture dry and adjust to your liking – you may want to add a hint more coconut sugar if you want it sweeter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  6. Once cool, top with cacao nibs and chocolate chunks and enjoy
Ingredients 1-6 combined and ready to transfer to parchment paper for baking
Enjoy with your fave non-dairy milk or on its own as a delicious snack!

Chocolate Covered Dates

I’ve always loved Medjool dates. Growing up in the Westwood area of Los Angeles where there is a sizable Persian community and many Middle Eastern grocery stores, my dad would always stock our house with the largest, moistest Medjool dates. Medjool dates are sweet enough on their own, but to take their decadence to the next level for an over the top sweet treat, I decided to stuff them w/ nut butter and coat them in chocolate. The result is an indulgent yet healthy(ish) sweet treat that I think is best enjoyed with coffee or espresso as an afternoon pick me up. They’re easy to make, look fancy and would be nice as a homemade gift as well. Enjoy!

Servings: 6 dates

Ingredients:

  1. 6 medjool dates
  2. Almond butter or nut butter of your choice – about 1-2 tbspn
  3. 1/2 cup of chocolate chips/ chunks or bar – I used vegan brand Hu chocolate gems
  4. Optional toppings: Coconut shreds, nuts, cacao nibs, sea salt

Directions:

  1. Open each medjool date and stuff it with nut butter as pictured below
  2. Put the stuffed dates in freezer for 10-15 minutes
  3. In a small saucepan on low heat, heat the chocolate and stir frequently. You should get a delicious melted chocolate in just about 1 minute.
  4. Line a plate or container with parchment paper
  5. With a fork (or with you hand but careful as the chocolate is hot), dip each stuffed date until it’s fully coated in the chocolate and place on parchment paper.
  6. Coat with toppings of your choice such as any nut, coconut shreds, seeds, cacao nibs etc.
  7. Place in fridge for 10-15 minutes for chocolate to set.
First step is to stuff the dates and briefly freeze before dipping in melted chocolate
Get creative with toppings! Add nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, cacao nibs and more!

Matcha Chocolate Chunk Granola

I’ve been making batches of this granola every day for the past week and it’s addictive. The naturally slight bitter taste of the matcha is balanced by the delicious sweet mix of maple syrup, coconut sugar and some chocolate chunks. It’s quick & easy to make and is great on its own as a snack, in a big bowl with non-dairy milk of your choice and it’s also delicious over vanilla ice cream (especially coconut dream).

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. Rolled Oats (not instant, GF if needed) – 2 cups
  2. Coconut sugar – 1/4 cup
  3. Virgin Coconut oil – 1/3 cup
  4. Maple syrup – 1/4 cup
  5. Matcha powder (recommend culinary grade since ceremonial is often a lot more expensive and not needed for baking -it’s easy to find on Amazon such as this one) – 1 tbpsn
  6. Chocolate chunks (recommend Enjoy Life mega chunks) – 1/3 cup
  7. Optional: 1/3 cup raw nuts of your choice – I’ve tried with both almonds and walnuts and both have been great, Pecans would likely be delicious too.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 340 and line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil
  2. In a large mixing bowl, place the dry ingredients: rolled oats and coconut sugar. If you are adding optional nuts, add them to this bowl too.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and matcha and warm over low-medium heat until the coconut oil is fully melted and matcha is fully mixed in too (about 2 min). Stir a few times while it’s warming. Once warm, pour this mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Stir well so the oats are evenly coated in this sweet coconut oily matcha mixture.
  4. Transfer the coated oats to parchment paper and spread oats evenly in one layer.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. Add chocolate chunks once cool.

Notes:

  1. 1 tbspn of matcha powder may seem like a little but it’s a lot b/c it’s a concentrated tea powder – this will allow the matcha green tea flavor to shine through even after baking. If you want a subtler green tea flavor, try less
  2. If you add the chocolate too soon it will melt into the hot granola, but that’s okay and in fact even tasty as once it cools down these will form delicious chocolatey granola clusters

Choco-coco granola

There is no hiding that I have a sweet tooth.  It probably developed when I was a little girl and I was spoiled by my paternal grandparents who owned a bakery in Inglewood called Mr. Pastry.  They would always bring over tasty, sugary desserts in pink boxes and some of their famous treats included apple strudle, cheese danishes, and cookies the size of my face.  Anyways, I try to put a healthy twist on sweets, and I think this vegan chocolate granola delivers an indulgent breakfast treat or snack packed with lots of nutritious ingredients including coconut oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and cacao nibs.

Ingredients:
1. 2 cups of rolled oats
2. 1/2 cups of walnuts – I have a lot of fun cracking fresh ones, but use whatever you have around
3. 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chocolate pieces from a bar (I use vegan, but use whatever you like)
4. 1/4 cup chia seeds
5. 1/2 cup maple syrup
6. 2 tbsp coconut oil
7. 1.5 tbsp cacao powder
8. sea salt
9. vanilla extract – a couple drops
10. cinnamon
11. 1/4 cup of cacao nibs (usually found in raw food section of health food stores)

Directions:
1. Preheat over to 300 degrees.
2. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil
3. In a bowl, mix the following dry ingredients: rolled oat + walnuts + chocolate chips or pieces
4. In a small saucepan,heat coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extra, sea salt until melted.
5. Pour hot mixture over dry ingredients and mix until well coated.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little more sea salt.
6. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes
7. Once done, add chia seeds and cacao nibs
8. Store in airtight container or eat it immediately after it cools

Mint choco-coco bars

This is an incredible mostly raw vegan holiday treat – crunchy, chocolaty goodness!

Ingredients:
1. Almond flour- 2 cups
2. Cocoa powder- 2 cups
3. Coconut  OR maple sugar- 1/2 cup
4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
5. 1/2 cup coco oil, warmed to liquify
6. 1 tbsp peppermint extract
7. 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine ingredients #1-4
2. In a separate small bowl, mix coco oil and extracts
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry bowl and stir well
4. Press dough on parchment lined pan and put in freezer to chill
5. Once firm, cut into slices and store in a container – keep in freezer or fridge. I reco freezer b/c it stays really crunchy.

This recipe was inspired by and slightly adapted from Living Raw Food book