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Chocolate-Cherry Granola

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbs. flaxseeds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 5 tbs. + 4 tbs. water (You can reserve it from the water you use to soak the dates.)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raw cacao
  • 4 tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbs. grapeseed oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place dates fully submerged in a bowl of hot water and soak them for 15 minutes. Dump this water out and replenish with more hot water; soak dates another 15 minutes, or until they are softened-looking. Drain the water, reserving some of it for later use, and transfer the dates to a food processor. Adding a few tablespoons of water at a time, blend the dates until smooth (five tablespoons total ended up being the magic number for me).
  3. While the dates are soaking, mix the oats, coconut, cherries, cashews, almonds, ground flaxseeds, sea salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  4. Once the dates have been blended to a smooth consistency, add them to a medium saucepan with the cacao, maple syrup, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and the remaining four tablespoons of water. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for three to four minutes, until the sauce has obtained a fluid, chocolatey-looking consistency. It should be thick but not too thick; if the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water or oil until it has thinned out into a more sauce-like state. Then blend sauce with the dry granola mixture, doing so quickly so the sauce doesn't end up clumping unevenly.
  5. Spread out granola onto a large baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to help it bake evenly. When done, remove tray from oven and let cool, then spoon granola into an airtight container. Enjoy with plain organic yogurt. Yum!