It’s a new week already – can you believe it? I don’t like to or want to wish time away, but I have to say, I am so ready for spring that I’m ok with February flying by.
The winter months in Michigan are often incredibly dismal. I heard someone say that throughout the past couple of weeks, we’ve gotten about as much snow as we do throughout the entire winter season. I don’t know how true that is, but all I know is that we’ve gotten a fair amount of snow, and I’m ready for it to be gone. Snow is pretty for a few moments (that is, if I’m home and don’t have anything to do or anywhere to go!) but pretty soon, Michigan is turned into a gray, soggy, cold place.
It is for that exact reason that something different and fun is needed.
For my parents, that meant a vacation to warm, sunny Mexican beaches.
For me, it meant something new in the kitchen, inspired by what I’ve often heard called “Mexican chocolate”.
A few years ago, my roommate Jessica made some chocolate chili biscotti (vegan) and ever since then, I’ve really enjoyed spicy chocolate flavors. However, I hadn’t ever done anything with it myself.
Well, when my parents were in Mexico, I watched Ina Garten make Mexican hot chocolate on Food Network, and thought: why don’t I concoct something chocolatey and spicy, but also a good snack?
The result was this granola. All natural ingredients, vegan, gluten free, and just amazing.
Crunch Spicy Chocolate Granola (egg, nut, dairy, and gluten free)
makes about 5 1/2 cups
– 1 1/4 cups oats
– 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
– 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
– 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
– 1/4 cup all-natural sweetener, such as Stevia
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/4 tsp. (or more, if you’re daring!) ground cayenne pepper
– 3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
– 1 1/2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter, if you’re tolerant)
– 1/3 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 325*F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (oats through cayenne pepper).
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine applesauce, sunbutter, and honey. Microwave for 40 seconds. Stir well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spoon the granola onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Allow to cool completely before storing. Store in a glass container for best effects (I find that plastic containers leech a plastic-y taste into granola!).
– A dash or two of cinnamon in there would be great too, and would be on par with Ina Garten’s hot chocolate recipe. I just didn’t add it because I really wanted to chocolate and chili flavors to shine through. Play around with this recipe and see what you come up with! 🙂
Nutrition Facts (per 1/3 cup serving):
Calories: 97; Fat: 2; Carbs: 18; Protein: 2.7; Fiber: 1.8.
If you’re suffering from the winter blues like I am, try baking up a batch of this fiery granola to warm up your body and mind! 🙂
Have a great and happy Monday. Thanks for stopping by!