Chocolate Coconut Granola

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Sometimes beautiful things are born from failures (in the kitchen and in life as a whole). Take this granola recipe for example. It was an attempt at granola bars gone awry. Despite the yummy hunks of chocolate-coconuttiness not staying together bumming me out a bit, in the end, I still had some tasty granola to call my own. It was so tasty, in fact, that I thought it deserved to be shared with the world, even if it was not what I had intended for it to be in the beginning.

Even though this granola is chocolaty, sweet, and delicious, it has no refined sugar and is naturally gluten free! It is made with all wholesome ingredients to really fill you up for the day ahead in a tasty way that feels like dessert. 

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2 1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats

3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup chopped nuts of choice (Optional. Leave out for a nut-free option)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extracts

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat.  In a medium bowl, mix oats, cocoa powder, coconut, salt, chia seeds, and nuts (if using) and set aside. In a small bowl, mix honey/maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Pour over oat mixture and stir until all dry ingredients are well coated. Spread evenly on lined baking sheet so that the granola is only in a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. Remove from oven and let cool for several hours, stirring occasionally.   If your granola still seems soft when you remove it from the oven, do not bake longer, as it will harden as it cools. Once completely cool, store in an air tights container for up to two weeks.