This chocolate granola is satisfyingly crunchy, sweet, and healthy! It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and sweetened completely with dates.
Are you team cereal or granola? Or is granola a type of cereal? But when I hear granola, I think of sweet, crunchy clusters of oats/nuts/seeds, whereas cereal is more like loose flakes or pellets made from plain, lightly sweetened grains (like corn flakes or cheerios). I grew up eating cereal almost every day for breakfast, and while it’s definitely delicious and I love it, granola is just so much more interesting to eat! Also, I can’t make cereal, but I can make granola at home, so it’s just more fun for me. Enter this date-sweetened chocolate granola! It’s similar to my oatmeal cookie granola but with a chocolatey twist.
This vegan chocolate granola is made with 10 pantry ingredients:
- Dates ⟶ the base and sweetener for this granola. Blend with a little water to create a smooth date paste.
- Nut Butter ⟶ I used peanut butter because I love the chocolate pb combo, but you can use almond or cashew butter for a neutral flavor.
- Rolled Oats ⟶ add texture and a nutty flavor when baked
- Crispy Rice Cereal ⟶ adds a light, crispy texture, but can be replaced with more oats
- Cocoa/Cacao Powder ⟶ you could also try using a chocolate protein powder!
- Pumpkin Seeds ⟶ add texture and healthy fat, but can be replaced with other nuts/seeds
- Instant Coffee ⟶ optional but enhances the chocolate flavor!
- Chocolate Chunks/Chips ⟶ add after right baking to allow the chips to slightly melt into the granola
- Pantry Staples ⟶ vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt
Tips for Perfect Granola
- Date Paste ⟶ To make the date paste, blend 1-4 tbsp water with about ¾ cup of pitted dates. The amount of water you need will depend on how dry your dates are, so start with 1 tbsp and add more as needed. You want to end up with ¾ cup of date paste. The final date paste should still be thick (but stirrable) and not runny. If you add too much water, your granola will not become as crunchy.
- Use your hands to mix ⟶ The date paste will be quite thick, making it difficult to mix the granola. It’s easiest to use your hands to crumble the mixture together.
- Spread the granola flat ⟶ Try to spread the granola flat in an even layer on the baking sheet. This will allow for even baking and crunchy results. Use a silicone spatula or your hands to press the granola mixture down.
- Flip the granola halfway through ⟶ The bottom may start to burn if you leave the granola in for too long, so make sure you flip the granola halfway through. Use a spatula to carefully turn over the granola, but it’s ok if it breaks into pieces.
- Cool completely ⟶ The granola may still be a little soft after taking it out of the oven, but it will firm up as it cools. After mixing in the chocolate, leave the granola alone and let it cool completely.
How to Store
Store granola in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for about a week. For longer storage, place in the freezer. (Though at my house this granola is gone in about a day!)
How to Serve
This date-sweetened granola is delicious with some soy milk poured over, or in a bowl with plain (vegan) yogurt. I also like adding in some berries or bananas for a more complete meal.
Helpful Baking Tools
- silicone baking mat
- baking sheet
- silicone spatula
- food processor ⟶ to make the date paste
More Sweet Breakfast Treats!
- Oatmeal Cookie Granola (GF)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola (GF)
- Oat Flour Sesame Banana Muffins (GF)
- Blueberry Orange Oat Muffins (GF)
- Chocolate Chip Orange Banana Bread (GF)
- Fluffy Chocolate Muffins (whole grain)
I hope I’ve inspired you to make this date-sweetened chocolate granola! If you try it out, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, leave a comment and/or rating down below and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing you recreate my recipes in your own kitchen 🙂 Happy baking ♡
Date-Sweetened Chocolate Granola (Vegan, GF)
- ¾ cup date paste*
- ⅓ cup nut/seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup
- ¼ cup
- 1 tsp
- dash of cinnamon and salt
- ¼ cup
- Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside a lined baking sheet.
- Mix together date paste, nut butter, and vanilla until a smooth paste forms.
- Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate, and mix until evenly combined. You may want to use your hands to mix the date mixture into the oat mixture.
- Spread granola out onto the lined baking sheet, using your hands or a spatula to press the granola down flat. Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, then remove from oven, mix in chocolate, and let cool completely.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container. Enjoy!
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Just wondering won’t the rice cereal become soggy as in loose it’s crunchiness if combined with date paste?
Hi Manisha! I make this granola all the time and have never ended up with soggy granola. The moisture from the date paste bakes off in the oven so the rice cereal stays puffy and crunchy 🙂