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Chocolate Granola

Today is posting day for The Secret Recipe Club! Last month was the first month for this club, and I missed it but when I realized what I had missed I signed right up so I could participate this month! In this club, we choose any recipe from the blog assigned to make or bake and keep the blog/blogger we are making from a secret until posting day. Many of the bloggers who are in this club are bloggers that I have followed along for quite some time and when I saw that I was given Deeba of Passionate About Baking blog as my first blog to make from I was pretty ecstatic! Deeba has a beautiful blog and is such an amazing baker, wonderfully talented in photography and food design. I immediately knew what recipe I would be making as I had bookmarked it when I first saw the recipe – I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. This was my chance!
Chocolate Granola Parfait

I haven’t been blogging much this month. You know how we hit slumps sometimes…..well, I hit one. For the most part, I have been pretty consistent with at least one post a week, but this month, this is my first post! Part of it could be that I have become satisfied with my Pita Bread Pizza’s and haven’t been baking….and have lost 7 pounds at the writing of this post.  I also was suffering from so pretty intense lower back pain that really knocked the wind out of me.  Guess it all comes with getting older….ya know, that degenerative thing…  

Another great reason to be making Deeba’s Chocolate Granola recipe – it is low fat and good for you! So, I wasn’t going to be hurting my diet any by having this granola around me!  Deeba actually made this for her “Dieting Diva” as she calls her daughter. So, after she “sold” me on the recipe, I knew making this granola was not going to kill my diet and couldn’t wait to try it.  ;o)

I did make a few changes, instead of currants, I went with dried apricots and raisins.  There is just something about apricots and chocolate together that makes me happy!  I also changed up my sweetener and went with dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet.  I happen to be a pure maple syrup girl….and I subbed the syrup for the honey.    

Chocolate Maple Granola
adapted from Passionate About Baking – Chocolate Granola

Printable Recipe

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I use light amber)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup 60% dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300 F and have a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper ready.
In a small pot, combine the water, maple syrup, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl, combine the all the ingredients except for the chocolate and apricots.  Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and toss to combine.

Transfer the granola mixture to the baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, stirring often to make sure that the granola cooks evenly (if your granola is browning too quickly as mine did, lower your temp and watch carefully).  Cool completely, add chocolate and apricot pieces. Deeba suggests to enjoy with plain yogurt or any type of milk of your choice – I have snacked on some right out of the container and enjoyed it in a parfait with some vanilla greek yogurt.  This is a very yummy granola – slightly sweet and crunchy!  Thank you Deeba!  

If you would like to become a part of The Secret Recipe Club, please follow the link to sign up!