I threw these together one morning when I knew my green smoothie wasn’t going to be enough. I just needed something to chew and help me feel satiated. These little bundles did the trick. If you’re looking for light, airy and fluffy, run away. They are dense, fiber-filled clusters of lemony, oaty goodness. I love oats, and I adore lemon, especially during warm months, so the combo seemed like a good fit. Just zesting lemons instantly elevates my mood so I especially love dishes that call for lemon. This recipe is super easy and quick to make, and very healthy consisting of healthy, whole foods. These are every bit as good without coconut so if you don’t care for it or can’t have it, feel free to omit. Make sure your bananas are very ripe; if they aren’t you may need to add more than the called-for 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
I try to have a batch of these around as often as possible. They are so flavorful and easy to make. Great to have on hand to grab when you need something quick. They don’t quite come out crunchy but they are firm, and the sauce hardens somewhat as the chickpeas cool. If you want them crunchy, I would try cooking them longer, at a higher temp or use a dehydrator.
There is no shortage of granola recipes on-line, though I’d never heard of a chocolate variety so when it popped into my head as I was working out, I jumped on it. Many of my recipes come to me during exercise – weird. Anyhow, I got the idea to use cacao nibs and cocoa powder to make the granola chocolatey. Sure, I could use chocolate chips but this is granola, it’s supposed to be healthy!
For those not familiar with cacao nibs, they are basically raw chocolate, pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to the point where all that there is left to do is process them into bars. Like dark chocolate, they are somewhat bitter and they are very pure with no added sugar. I like them in the granola however because there are plenty of other sweet elements. The bitter, nutty flavor of the nibs with the cherries, cranberries and maple syrup and/or date paste is delicious. Best part? Your milk in the bowl ends up like chocolate milk! Who doesn’t love that?
Cacao beans, and thus cacao nibs, are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies — with 272 milligrams per 100 grams. Cacao nibs are very high in antioxidants, and have about 9 grams of fiber per 1 ounce!
Since they will melt like any other type of chocolate, you need to wait until the granola is cooled before adding the cacao nibs.
This recipe is from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, an excellent book, written by a great lady. I omit the oil when I make this dish because I just don’t think it needs it. We’ve been making these for years and it’s become a standard snack in our house. So good!!