I’ve been on a granola kick lately. The other day, I started craving a kind I would get in D.C. It had dried cherries and dark chocolate, one of my favorite combos.
Stores in St. Louis don’t sell the granola so I decided to make it myself. I bought a bunch of unsweetened dried cherries at the grocery store and tossed them with oats, almonds, cacao nibs, agave, and some flaky sea salt. I baked it in the oven and when it came out, I let it cool.
It took all my willpower not to eat it all in one sitting. I’ve been eating the granola for breakfast and dessert for almost a week now.
My favorite part about this granola is the salt factor. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Salt makes all the difference in baking. It balances out the sweet and brings out the flavors in whatever you’re making. In this case, it paired well with the cherries and chocolate.
If you’re not a fan of cacao nibs, feel free to sub in dark chocolate chips. I’m sure that would be equally delicious.
In other news, it’s finally starting to feel like fall in St. Louis. I’ve been wearing sandals pretty much every day since I got back from California but today, I finally got a chance to wear my new fall shoes. It’s fun to start breaking out my fall wardrobe even though I know in a couple weeks I’ll complain that I miss summer.
Here’s a song I’ve been jamming out to lately. It’s good for walking down the sidewalk during fall with your earphones in and the volume turned waaaay up.
Cherry Cacao Nib Granola
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
2 Tbsp agave
2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the oats, cinnamon, salt, agave, oil, vanilla extract, almonds, cherries, and cacao nibs in a medium bowl and mix to combine. I usually just use my hands. Once the oats are evenly coated, spread the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and pat down with the back of a spoon or spatula so it’s in an even layer.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the granola is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet. Once cool, break up into clumps (or smaller pieces if you prefer). Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!