Enjoy the combination of bitter-sweet chocolate granola with sweet citrusy candied orange peel in this Chocolate Orange Granola.
I have a confession. I am actually a big fan of the combination of chocolate and orange flavors. Orange and chocolate pair together, creating contrast flavors between rich, intense, bitter chocolate and balanced with fruity, zesty orange.
When I found candied orange peels sold online, I knew that I had to make this Chocolate Orange Granola. Many recipes online call for orange zest, but I feel like there will not be enough orange flavor from it. Adding candied orange peels not only gives more citrusy flavor but also adds an extra sweetness that balances the bitter-sweet chocolate granola. If you are a fan of chocolate and orange flavors like me, you will love this recipe. But if you are not, I think this granola is probably not for you.
Chocolate Orange Granola Ingredients
This recipe is super flexible and you can easily customize it with whatever add-ins that sounds the best to you. To make this chocolate granola recipe, you will need:
- Rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Make sure to use rolled oats, not quick oats or instant oats. They are precooked and pressed thinner than rolled oats, so they will not retain their texture as they cook.
- Nuts. My favorite is almonds and cashews in my granola. But feel free to use your favorite nuts or you can replace them with seeds.
- Seeds. The benefits of eating seeds are very similar to those of nuts. I like adding seeds for extra flavor. More importantly, they are much cheaper than nuts. Commonly used seeds in granola include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. But feel free to replace them if you prefer.
- Coconut oil. You can use neutral oils like canola or grapeseed, but I prefer to use virgin (unrefined) coconut oil which is delicious, aromatic, and healthier.
- Honey. It offers several health benefits and is particularly healthier than using refined sugar. If you are a vegan, you can also replace this with maple syrup.
- Additional sugar. Because of the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder, you will need an additional sweetener to balance its bitterness. You can actually use granulated sugar or brown sugar, but I prefer using coconut sugar or raw cane sugar that is not nearly as processed and more nutritious. Don’t use a liquid sweetener because it will make the granola soggy and wet.
- Sea salt. To help bring out the flavor. Do not skip it.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. Oh yes, this is where the chocolate flavor comes from.
- Candied orange peels. These candied orange peels give extra sweetness and a citrusy flavor that balance the bitter-sweet taste of chocolate granola. Make sure to add it after the granola has finished baking to prevent it from getting burnt.
- Additional Mix-Ins. For chocolate orange flavor, I love adding chocolate chips for an extra chocolate flavor but make sure to add them after the granola has completely cooled.
How to Know Chocolate Granola is Done Baking
For this recipe, I used cashews, flaxseeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and chocolate chips. If you do making this, please make sure to keep your eye on your oven during baking. The color of chocolate granola can confuse you if it is done or not.
It can be hard to know when the granola has finished cooking as it should still appear wet when it comes out of the oven, but it will finish drying as it cools. Therefore, you should look for oats and mix-ins that are slightly toasted, and granola should have a delicious sweet and buttery aroma. If when it cools, the granola is still slightly chewy, then simply heat it again for another 5-10 minutes in the oven.
Make Your Granola Clumpy
If you like big clumps in your granola, press down the granola with the back of a spatula after stirring the mixture at the halfway baking point. Then, put the pan back into the oven to finish baking. Keep in mind that the granola will not be dry right out of the oven. It will dry as it cools down. After the granola is lightly golden and fully cooked, let the granola cool completely before breaking it up. If you do not love clumpy granola, stir the granola occasionally after it cools done completely.
More Granola Recipes
Hey homemade granola lovers, check out also these granola recipes!