Strap in because this is one of those "how the sausage gets made" conversations.
In case you didn't already know, granola is not a health food. Those afternoon bars you munch on are convenient, and they have some fiber I guess, but your average supermarket brands also have plenty of sugar and calories. As for the breakfast stuff, well, Consumer Reports notes that plenty of your favorite brands are "loaded with sugars, fat, and calories." (I'll break the news about muffins some other day.)
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That doesn't mean granola's got to be off the table forever, just don't kid yourself. There's nothing wrong with an indulgent, sweet treat some days — you like cinnamon rolls, right? You know those Cocoa Puffs aren't made of lettuce, I assume? You've eaten pancakes? So if you're craving a granola hit, go ahead and lean in to its decadent and satisfying nature. What I'm getting to here is, why not throw in some of that leftover Halloween candy you've got?
Homemade granola is one of my favorite things to make, because it makes the kitchen smell amazing and it tastes incredible. You know what makes it taste even better? Candy. I always add raisins and chocolate chips to my granola, but recently, I had an epiphany. Raisins and chocolate is just… Raisinettes. And some Raisinettes or some similar goodies that won't be missed are probably lurking in your family's Halloween haul right now, so go pillage some.
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For this recipe, I've taken Smitten Kitchen's "magical" oat brittle, made of just two ingredients, and amped it up with chocolate. "That's not real granola," you scoff. "That's just candy and oats." Technically, you are correct. You're welcome. Enjoy.
Chocolate almost granola
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen Every Day and Pinch of Yum
Makes approximately 4 servings
- 1 cup of rolled oats (not quick)
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of chocolate covered raisins, roughly chopped peanut butter cups, or chopped chocolate miniatures like Mr. Goodbar, Krackle, or Crunch
- A few pinches of sea salt
- Line a sheet pan with parchment and preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together your oats, syrup and salt until everything is well coated.
- Spread your mixture out on your pan. You want the oats close enough so they'll stick together when they bake, but not lumpy, does that make sense?
- Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Check after 10 — you want this to look golden on the edges but not too brown.
- Remove from the oven and then scatter your candy evenly on top.
- Now leave it alone to cool thoroughly. The chocolate will melt just enough into the oat mixture to stick to it but not coat it. This is ideal.
- Break up your oat clusters and store in a jar. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack.
Note: Obviously, you can make this year round with your favorite quality chocolate. I am all about the Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chips.
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