Chocolate Cherry Granola

This Chocolate Cherry Granola is the perfect healthy granola recipe for breakfast. Crispy, warm chocolate goodness coating nutritious oats, nuts, seeds, and dried cherries.

Top down view of bowl of granola topped with strawberries set next to a jar of granola and baking tray of it as well.

We’re in that weird in between time where it’s still warm, but it’s not as brutally hot as it once one. And for some reason, this time always brings out my desire for granola. When it’s still warmish out and I don’t want to put on the stove, I’ll make this stove top version. But, when it starts to cool off enough for the oven to be on, I get excited to make this chocolate cherry granola.

A Healthy Granola Recipe

Enjoy granola for what it is. Crispy, slightly sweet goodness in a bowl with soy milk or vegan yogurt. But, as I’ve gotten older, my desire for ultra sweet has definitely gone down drastically. Que this amazing chocolate granola, a surprisingly healthy granola recipe at that. I feel like a good mix of cocoa powder provides a pleasant bitterness that helps to keep the sweetness better balanced.

This granola is also easy to make, loaded with beneficial nutrients like omega 3s from the walnuts, vitamin E from the sunflower seeds, and antioxidants from the cocoa powder. It also happens to be vegan and gluten free as well.

Jar of granola sitting on a baking tray with the remainder of granola spread around it.

Keeping Added Sugars In Check

No food, including sugar is inherently bad or will ruin your health. The issue comes up when we enjoy it in excess, but you can say this about a lot of foods too, including ones we deem “healthy”. Sugar specifically tends to be a little too easy to go overboard with as many products on the shelf that we purchase can be loaded with added sugars. When I researched added sugars a long time ago for a community demonstration, I found that American adults often consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day. This is more than 3 times the recommended amount for women. [1]

With that being said, you do have the ability to start reducing that number significantly. First thing is identifying where the sugar is coming from. Next, start making small changes to help reduce it. One way might be cooking more for yourself at home instead of relying on prepared packaged foods. It can also be finding ways to reduce the amount of sugar you might be unknowingly using or taking in (think soft drinks, prepared treats and packaged foods, or even how much cream and sugar you might be adding to your coffee in the morning). Making small changes in these areas can make a big difference!

Key Ingredients

  • Rolled Oats: Also known as old-fashioned oats.
  • Cocoa Powder: Make sure it is unsweetened! This cocoa powder should be the one typically used for baking.
  • Nuts and Seeds: I used a mix here for the max nutritional benefit. A mix of walnuts, chia seeds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds.
  • Tahini: A binder and helps to add more whole food ingredients in place of regular oil.
  • Maple Syrup: Enough to keep this granola on a mindfully sweeter note.
  • Mix Ins: Dark chocolate vegan chunks and unsweetened dried cherries.

How to Make this Healthy Granola Recipe

To make sure that all of your ingredients are combined evenly, start by combining all of your dry ingredients first in a bowl.

Add in your wet ingredients into the dry and fold it all together until completely mixed together and uniform. Pour your granola onto a parchment lined baking sheet and press the granola flat to make sure it is evenly spread out all over the baking sheet.

Place the baking tray in the oven and allow to bake making sure to stir the granola around half way through. Allow to completely cool once out of the oven and stir in your chocolate chunks and dried cherries.

Tips for the Perfect Chocolate Cherry Granola

  • Make sure to spread out the granola evenly on your baking tray without overcrowding your pan.
  • Add in your chocolate chunks and dried fruit once the granola has completely cooled. This will help prevent the chocolate from melting and remain in its whole form when storing.
  • Make sure to use rolled oats. Do not use other varieties of oats like quick oats or steel cut oats as you will not end up with the same crispy texture as you will with rolled oats.
  • For less clean up and ease, make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Do stir your granola half way through the baking process. Stirring the granola will help prevent it from burning and instead leave you with a more evenly baked granola.
Close up view of the bowl of chocolate cherry granola topped with some fresh strawberries and soy milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of chocolate should I use for my granola to keep it healthy?

A big tip to help save on a lot of added sugar is to opt for a dark chocolate or a semi-sweet chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips. Darker chocolate bars tend to have less added sugar than regular chocolate chips do. Also, if you want to eliminate the added sugar from the chocolate entirely, you can also replace with some cacao nibs instead.

How long will this keep?

Once the chocolate cherry granola has completely cooled, store the granola in a large mason jar or airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a month.

What can I serve this with?

A serving of this granola pairs perfectly with some unsweetened soy milk or vegan yogurt, extra berries like strawberries or raspberries. I honestly also like this on it’s own as a snack. Just grab a handful of the granola by itself or with enjoy with a piece of fruit for a little midday pick me up.

Can this be made without an oven?

There is a way to make this granola on the stove top. Mix together your granola as instructed, but instead of placing it on a baking tray, add it to a lightly greased large skillet over medium low heat and continuously stir to help toast the oats. Once the granola cooks for a few minutes, remove from heat and allow your granola to completely cool to crisp up. You can find a full breakdown for this method in this stove top granola post.

More Recipes Using Oats

Side view of a bowl of granola topped with strawberries and soy milk.
Print
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Top down view of granola poured into a mason jar for storage.

Chocolate Cherry Granola

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings; 1/3 cup each 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Chocolate Cherry Granola is the perfect healthy granola recipe for breakfast. Crispy, warm chocolate goodness coating nutritious oats, nuts, seeds, and dried cherries.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups rolled oats, use gluten free as needed
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tahini, smooth and runny
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Then line 1-2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. To a large bowl, add oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt and mix to completely combine.
  3. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients your maple syrup, tahini and vanilla and fold the ingredients together until well incorporated, coating all the oats evenly.
  4. Scoop your oats onto your baking tray and spread it out evenly in a thin layer.
  5. Place your baking sheet into the oven to bake for 20-23 minutes making sure to stir your granola in the tray half way through the baking time.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and allow your granola to cool down for at least 10 minutes or until completely cooled. Stir in your chocolate chunks and dried cherries until well mixed and then store and enjoy.

Notes

Make sure to spread out the granola evenly on your baking tray without overcrowding your pan.

Add in your chocolate chunks and dried fruit once the granola has completely cooled. This will help prevent the chocolate from melting and remain in it’s whole form when storing.

Make sure to use rolled oats. Do not use other varieties of oats like quick oats or steel cut oats as you will not end up with the same crispy texture as you will with rolled oats.

For less clean up and ease, make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Do stir your granola half way through the baking process. Stirring the granola will help prevent it from burning and instead leave you with a more evenly baked granola.

If you tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, then let me know what you thought in the comments below! And if you loved it, don’t forget to rate it too. Feel free to follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest nutrition tips and recipe videos.

 Catherine

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase from those links. I only recommend and share products that I know, trust and personally use myself!

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