Once upon a time, I discovered the peanut butter & Nutella sandwich. Then, I discovered the Nutella + spoon combination. And sometimes the spoon never even came to join the party. Shameless.
I can’t even have Nutella in the house these days. It’s just too tempting. Occasionally, I’ll buy it for a recipe (and then eat my oatmeal out of the empty jar and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven), but I think it’s about time that I get to eat chocolate hazelnutty goodness for breakfast every single day. Does that not just sound like perfection?
The best part? You don’t even have to buy Nutella for this recipe, but the taste is uncanny. I took one bite after it finished cooking and quickly exclaimed “It tastes like NUTELLA!!!” Just simple granola loaded with hazelnuts with some cocoa powder added to the mix. It is not overpoweringly sweet, and it doesn’t taste like dessert. I think the sweetness is perfect, but if you want a sweeter granola, you can absolutely add some extra brown sugar, or honey, or agave.
I also discovered the secret to the biggest, fattest granola clusters–check those monsters out!! I’m always looking for the big, chunky clusters, and this time I got it right. I did not stir this granola once while it cooked. I just let it do it’s thing, flipped it around half way through, and ya know what? Everything cooked evenly, nothing burned, and I had granola clusters the size of my hand! What??? Now the problem is not eating those clusters every time I step into the pantry. It’s kind of a problem…
Simple and easy chocolate hazelnut granola tastes remarkably like Nutella! The big clusters and bold flavors are totally addicting and will have you constantly reaching back for more.
- 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if that’s important to you)
- 2 cups hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- heavy pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey or agave
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's special dark)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 300. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and salt.
- In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, brown sugar, honey/agave, cocoa powder and coconut oil until well combined, whisking constantly. Add the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Evenly divide granola in an even layer between two large baking sheets.
- Bake until browned and crispy, about 50 minutes-1 hour, turning half way through.
- Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I've never made a batch last any longer than that, but it's still great a month in and probably for longer.
If you'd like, you may gently stir the granola every 20 minutes while cooking. This will lead to less clusters and a finer granola. I prefer to be able to break the clusters up myself afterwards, but if you like a finer granola, then stirring will help.