Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola

Does anyone else get really annoyed by traffic and delays? I just can't stand them. It's weird. I'm generally a pretty patient person, I take life pretty easily and barely find myself rushing to get somewhere. But there's something about traffic and delays that simply ticks me off. If I'm going to be stuck in traffic for hours, I'd rather get out of the car and walk for the same amount of time. Sounds silly, I know. But being stuck in one place - can't handle it. As long as I'm moving, I'm happy.
And don't get me started on flight delays. Especially the kind where they make you board the plane only to tell you that you'll be departing in X hours. In case you haven't already guessed, this is exactly what happened to me this morning. Thankfully, I was surrounded by my fam, which made the aimless (but not really) waiting much more bearable.

Mini rant of the day done and dusted. Moving on the the food. And not just anything - CHOCOLATE! I hope you all had your share of chocolate goodness on Easter, whether you celebrate or not, because chocolate is never a bad idea. I had a pain au chocolate, chocolate chip swirl, chocolate Easter eggs, hot chocolate, chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. FYI, that's just half the sugar I had on Easter day - the rest included tiramisu, stroopwafels and a few tidbits more. #sugaraddict and #noshame
On the theme of chocolate, I present to you dark chocolate cherry granola - an idea presented to me by my sister. This is a major shocker, by the way. She likes most of the things I bake, but rarely every requests me to make something specific (other than this banana bread and these orange chocolate scones). We always make our own granola at home, but it's a cinnamon vanilla variety chock full of nuts and seeds (hopefully I'll be posting a recipe soon!). She steers clear of nuts and seeds, and hence definitely doesn't touch the granola.

But chocolate and cherries? That she was more-than-willing to try. And who am I to say no to a baking request? I based the recipe off my traditional variety, but made a few adjustments to make it work for this one.

What did it yield? A rich, chocolately, barely sweet, clustery granola filled with dark chocolate chunks and dried cherries. Chocolate for breakfast? Why not! It's wonderful with milk, fruit yogurt, on smoothie bowls or simply by the fistful. Try it. You'll regret it if you don't!
3 cups whole rolled oats
pinch of salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
*feel free to up the quantities of cherries and chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 155 C. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

Add the honey and coconut oil and mix well. The mixture will be sticky.

Spread the oat mixture on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of baking, watch carefully as each oven has its own quirks and you don't want to end up with burnt granola! Likewise, you may need to keep it for a little longer. Your house will smell like the most delicious chocolate cake is baking.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. The oats will still be soft when you pull them out, but will crisp up in a matter of 10 minutes!

Once completely cooled, stir in the cherries and chocolate chunks.

Store in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, but trust me, it won't last that long! Enjoy!

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