I have a love-hate relationship with granola. I loveeee eating it, but I don’t love that a measly 1/4 cup serving often has 200+ calories, or that I have absolutely no self-control around an open package of those crispy clusters. I don’t even need yogurt– just hand me a bag of granola and I can go to town.My favorite store-bought granola has to be Trader Joe’s “Just the Clusters.” There’s a chocolate almond kind and a vanilla almond kind and they’re both really good, with surprisingly short ingredient lists. The best part is that they’re packed with huge chunks of granola, not just broken little pieces. Much clusters. So yum. (<- How my roommate and I started talking last year when we were way too tired.) I highly recommend trying it if you live near a Trader Joe’s.
But if you don’t happen to live near a Trader Joe’s or prefer to make your own granola, no worries. I set out to recreate that incredible chocolate almond granola, clusters and all, and I have to say…the homemade kind is even better.From start to finish, you can have your granola mixture stirred together, baked, and out of the oven in less than 25 minutes. After it cools, toss in a handful of chocolate chips and be prepared to satisfy your deepest chocolate cravings for less than 200 calories per serving (a big handful of clusters)!Double chocolate almond granola– much clusters, way crispy, so yum.
Skinny Double Chocolate Granola- a decadent and healthy treat with less than 200 calories per serving!
- 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dark chocolate cocoa powder)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Combine oats, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add canola oil and honey and stir to coat oats completely. Add slivered or chopped almonds and stir just to combine.
Spread onto parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes without stirring.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, and then add chocolate chips. Break into large clusters.
For best results, either store covered at room temperature for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
For perfect clusters:
Refrain from stirring the granola once it is on the baking sheet, only breaking it apart into large pieces once it is completely cooled.
Press granola down with spatula once it comes out of the oven to help it clump together.
The espresso powder doesn't make the granola taste like coffee. It just enhances the chocolate flavor, but is completely okay to leave out if you don't have it on hand.
Inspired by this recipe
Questions for you:
Have you tried making your own granola?
What’s one of your favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s?
Besides their granola cereals, I love their dark chocolate peanut butter cups and their tomato basil hummus.
How do you like to satisfy your chocolate cravings?
Usually with ice cream…but anything that’s extremely chocolate-y works for me!