By Vida Gustafson
Contributing Writer

When my grandmother-in-law gave me a jar of homemade granola for the first time it was a total game-changer for me. Not only was it absolutely delicious, but it the recipe she attached was really easy and accessible to me at the time, even as a new mom with seemingly way too many new responsibilities.
Years down the line, I’ve developed my own granola recipes and this chocolate one is a huge favorite around here!


3 C rolled oats
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C baking cocoa
1/3 C water
½ C coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
½ C shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
½ C chopped dates


Preheat oven to 275°F
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cocoa and mix to smooth out any lumps. Add water vanilla and salt and cook stirring over low heat until smooth and shiny. Add coconut oil, don’t be concerned if it doesn’t incorporate fully, it only has to melt. Put all your oats in a large mixing bowl and pour the chocolate syrup over, mixing to ensure that all the oats are covered lightly. Spread the mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 275°F for 45 minutes, add the shredded coconut and bake for a further 10 minutes. Sweetened coconut should be watched closely, or it will scorch and turn bitter.
Lastly, after the granola is removed from the oven, add the chopped dates, while it is still warm. The granola will crisp up as it cools. Stores on the counter for up to two weeks, for longer periods a sealed container in the fridge is best.