Dark Chocolate Granola with Freeze Dried Strawberries

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Make homemade dark chocolate granola with berries inspired by Love Crunch for a fraction of the price. This recipe only needs a few minutes of hands-on preparation and 8 ingredients. The result is a crunchy granola perfect for breakfast, yogurt topping, or a mid-afternoon snack.

Dark chocolate granola in a bowl with oat milk and sliced bananas.

I have always loved granola, especially dark chocolate granola.  The flavor, the texture, everything, except the price at grocery stores!  My favorite by Love Crunch has almost doubled in three years! So, instead, I started making my own for a fraction of the price.

This particular recipe pairs dark chocolate granola with strawberries, two great flavors. The chocolate adds richness, while the strawberries add a pop of sweetness.  I typically eat granola as a cereal, but it is also good on top of yogurt, ice cream, trail mix, and even as a snack!

What is Granola?

Homemade granola comprises rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners.  Dried fruit, such as raisins and dates, and confections, such as chocolate, are sometimes added after the baking.  They add pops of flavor to each bite! 

How Do I Eat Granola?

Granola is often eaten with yogurt, honey, fresh fruit (such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries), milk, or other forms of cereal. Granola does not have to be limited to breakfast food; It also is as crunchy topping ice cream!

Why Make Granola at Home?

By making granola at home, you can ensure the ingredients are healthy, all-natural, and not loaded with preservation. That alone is reason enough for me to make granola at home. Granola is a good source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. However, it is important to note that some granolas can be high in added sugar and calories, so choosing healthy ingredients and consuming granola in moderation is important. (Source)

Baked granola on a sheet plan with freeze dried strawberries.

Four Elements of Every Granola Recipe

  • Rolled oats: Main ingredient in granola.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and pecans, as well as crunch and flavor.
  • Sweetener: Honey, maple syrup, coconut and turbinado sugar are popular
  • Oil: Coconut or olive oil helps the granola crisp and develop a golden color.

Popular Granola Inclusions

  • Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, and apricots are great inclusions.
  • Seeds: Chia, hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are popular inclusions.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract add extra flavor.

Ingredients

Ingredients used in making the recipe.
  1. Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder adds a chocolatey flavor.
  2. Coconut (or Avocado) Oil: Coconut oil, or avocado oil, makes the oats crisp, which gives granola a crunchy texture.
  3. Chopped Almonds: Adding nuts brings a crunch and nutty flavor synonymous with granola. 
  4. Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks: Add a richness to this recipe that makes it sinful! I use vegan chocolate chips, but traditional dairy chips can also be used.
  5. Maple Syrup: Use your favorite maple syrup with this recipe. You can substitute honey or agave syrup.
  6. Old-Fashioned Oats or Whole Grain Oats: Old-fashioned oats are a hearty and wholesome base, providing texture and fiber. 
  7. Sea Salt: A touch of sea salt enhances and balances the flavor.  
  8. Turbano Sugar: Turbinado sugar has a richer, more complex flavor than granulated white sugar. It adds a decadent flavor that pairs perfectly with sea salt.

Instructions

Granola and nuts mixed together in a large bowl
  • Step One: Prep – Preheat the oven to 250ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Step Two: Mix Dry Ingredients – Combine the oats and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
Wet ingredients combined (coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt)
  • Step Three: Mix Wet Ingredients – In a small saucepan over low heat. Melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar, and sea salt.
Chocolate that has been mixed into the granola in a large bow.
  • Step Four: Combine Ingredients – Pour the liquid coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture, stirring until all ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the granola evenly in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pressing down with a spatula to create clusters. I often put my hand on the spatula for a deeper press.
Baked granola on a sheet plan with freeze dried strawberries.
  • Step Five: Bake – Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. In the final five minutes of baking, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the granola and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.
  • Step Six: Cool and add Strawberries – Allow the granola to cool, and then mix in the freeze-dried strawberries.

How to Make Big Granola Clusters

For those who enjoy big granola clumps, follow these tips:

  1. Line a small pan with parchment paper. 
  2. Spread the granola in the pan in a single layer about 1/2 inch deep, with the oats touching each other.  
  3. Press gently on the granola with a spatula to create an even and tight layer. 
  4. Bake normally, then let the granola cool completely before breaking it up. This will give the clumps time to set and prevent them from crumbling. The longer you wait before breaking up the clumps, the larger the clumps will be. 

Storing Instructions

Allow the granola to cool completely.  Once cooled, transfer the granola to an airtight container.

  • Room Temperature: Granola stored at room temperature typically lasts about ten days.
  • Refrigerator: For extended storage, refrigerate the granola in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.
  • Freezer: For the longest possible storage, freeze the granola in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags for up to 6 months.

 Credit: This recipe was made using the base recipe from Pinch of Yum, then modified vegan with strawberries to be closer to Love Crunch.

Dark chocolate granola in a bowl with oat milk and sliced bananas.

Dark Chocolate Granola Recipe with Dried Strawberries

Make homemade dark chocolate granola with berries inspired by Love Crunch for a fraction of the price. This recipe only needs a few minutes of hands-on preparation and has a eight -ingredient list. The result is a crunchy granola perfect for breakfast, yogurt topping, or even a satisfying mid-afternoon snack.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet:
Servings: 6 1/2 cup Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • ¼ cup coconut (or avocado) oil
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries

Instructions

  • Step One: Prep – Preheat the oven to 250ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Step Two: Mix Dry Ingredients – Combine the oats and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
  • Step Three: Mix Wet Ingredients – In a small saucepan over low heat. Melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar, and sea salt.
  • Step Four: Combine Ingredients – Pour the liquid coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture, stirring until all ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the granola evenly in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pressing down with a spatula to create clusters. I often put my hand on top of the spatula for a deeper press.
  • Step Five: Bake – Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. In the final five minutes of the baking time, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the granola and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.
  • Step Six: Cool and add Strawberries – Allow the granola to cool, and then mix in the freeze-dried strawberries.

Notes

How to Make Chunky Granola
  • Line a small pan with parchment paper. 
  • Spread the granola in the pan in a single layer about 1/2 inch deep, with the oats touching each other.  
  • Press gently on the granola with a spatula to create an even and tight layer. 
  • Bake normally, then let the granola cool completely before breaking it up. This will give the clumps time to set and prevent them from crumbling. The longer you wait before breaking up the clumps, the larger the clumps will be.  I let mine cool overnight. 
  1.  
Storing Instructions
  • Room Temperature: Granola stored at room temperature typically lasts about ten days.
  • Refrigerator: For extended storage, refrigerate the granola in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.
  • Freezer: For the longest possible storage, freeze the granola in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags for up to 6 months.
Credit: This recipe was made using the base recipe from Pinch of Yum and modified vegan and with strawberries to be closer to Love Crunch.
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Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 798mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 241mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 8mg
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Ruth holding a whisk to her chin.

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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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