Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola

Easy. Healthy. Good.
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Like many, one of my most consistent and demanding food cravings is for chocolate. I could eat it alone, with any dessert or fruit imaginable, and I’ve even been known to eat it with cheese (don’t ask). One of my favorite ways to eat chocolate is in the form of homemade chocolate chip granola.

The store versions just don’t do it for me, except for one cereal with chocolate and toffee from South Africa I remember sometimes eating at a friend’s house as a kid (must have been pretty good to make such an impact, alas, I can’t remember the name of it). 

And so, I have to make it myself. Which is actually not a bad thing, because the ingredient list for my homemade chocolate chip granola can be whole, clean and healthy. 

Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Ingredients

Granola is a beautiful blank canvas on which endless different ingredients can be painted. Much like a pizza though, you don’t want to overdo the toppings and turn something pure and simple into a messy pile of flavors that overtake each other and end up not really tasting like anything. 

Get The Basics:

We know we need oats. We know we need chocolate chips. And we probably need some kind of sweetener. Although chocolate chips are sweet, to make good granola requires something sticky to let the oats shine. Following my mother’s footsteps, I use coconut or avocado oil for the pan and maple syrup for the oats.

Pick Your Protein:

Next step is to pick your protein. My favorite nut in the world is the hazelnut, which is tied so deeply to my childhood memories of hazelnut chocolate cake that I’m not even sure whether hazelnuts really do taste like chocolate, but to me they do. Who knows. (Do they taste like chocolate to you?)

So for me the first thing is hazelnuts. If I don’t have hazelnuts, my second choice is almonds. Third cashews. Fourth is just about anything else… pecans, walnuts, macadamias, brazil nuts, whatever I have on hand that will make the granola filling. 

Sometimes your add-ons can provide fat and/or protein too. Some extra satisfying options include coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds. 

Add Some Extra Fun Stuff:

Growing up in South Africa we called granola “muesli,” and we ate our muesli with raisins. I still find granola to be an excellent way to get dried fruit into our diet at home (especially for constipated little kiddos). Some yummy fruits to choose from are raisins, cranberries, and chopped dates, figs, apricots or prunes. 

With homemade chocolate chip granola, chocolate chips still need to be the main event co-starring with oats. I use equal parts chocolate chips and cranberries, and that seems to get the oats just flavored enough. You’ll be able to taste chocolate in each bite, but it doesn’t overpower the tangy cranberries or creamy hazelnuts.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Health Benefits

Oats: these small grains deliver big. They are packed with soluble fiber to keep you full and regular by promoting healthy gut bacteria, and are high in manganese, copper, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Unlike most other grains, they even provide your breakfast with protein. 

Maple Syrup: Surprisingly high in calcium, potassium and magnesium, maple syrup also has antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling young. Though it is comparable in sugar to other sweeteners, being in its natural form it provides way more nutrition than processed refined sugar. 

Cinnamon: Bursting with antioxidants, cinnamon has been used medicinally for centuries. It lowers blood sugar, and since it’s usually consumed with something sweet, that’s a good thing! Cinnamon also lowers LDL and total cholesterol, reduces inflammation, and is naturally antimicrobial, able to fight fungus and bad bacteria.

Hazelnuts: These round little gems are a great source of healthy fats. They are also high in copper, manganese, vitamin E and thiamin. It has been proven again and again that those who regularly eat nuts experience a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. 

Chocolate: We’ve all heard chocolate is good for you, but it really depends on what kind of chocolate you eat. Processed milk chocolate candy bars full of refined sugar and syrups are a different story entirely from bittersweet dark chocolate, especially in the higher percentages of cocoa. Dark chocolate in its pure form delivers iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and even fiber. 

Dried Cranberries: Much like their fresh counterparts, dried cranberries provide your recommended dose of vitamin C in one serving! They are known for their bladder-healing capabilities, as anyone who has had a UTI can attest to. Don’t forget, they also provide dietary fiber. 

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How To Make Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola

Making granola is actually pretty simple. Mix oats with syrup, spread on an oiled baking sheet, and after baking for 10 minutes, add on your nuts and bake again. When your nuts are toasty (10 minutes), add dried fruit or other toppings you enjoy. For this homemade chocolate chip granola, add the chocolate chips once your oats have cooled otherwise they will melt.

Enjoy it with your milk, yogurt or ice-cream of choice. My favorites include:

  • Homemade almond milk made with an Almond Cow
  • Homemade cashew milk made with an Almond Cow
  • Silk organic unsweetened almond milk
  • Forager Project unsweetened yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk vanilla ice-cream 

And there you have it! I was once intimidated at the thought of making my own granola, but once you’ve tried homemade—and seen how easy and delicious it is—you’ll never go back to the grocery store shelves. 

If you like homemade granola, you might also appreciate homemade nut or oat milk. Check out the reasons why I can’t live without my Almond Cow milk maker here.

Ps. If there are any South Africans who have a clue what cereal I can’t remember the name of, PLEASE TELL ME. Thanks =)

Replace Your Milk With A Smoothie

This homemade granola makes the perfect smoothie bowl topper, and what could go better with chocolate chip granola than a delicious chocolate smoothie?

Um, nothing. That’s what.

View This Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

Like A Crunchy Breakfast?

Check out this recipe for South African rusks—a crunchy breakfast, South African style! Sweet, tasty, and packed full of dried fruit and nuts. You probably already have the ingredients. (Especially if you made this granola!)

View How To Make South African Rusks

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola

Homemade chocolate chip granola makes a delicious breakfast or sweet treat to enjoy anytime. This recipe can be easily adapted, and served with milk, yogurt  or ice-cream of your choice. 

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Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 20 mins Rest Time 7 mins Total Time 32 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 8



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Use spray oil (I use avocado oil) to generously spray baking sheet.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix oats with maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.

  4. Pour oat mix on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes when the oats are beginning to brown. 

  1. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it somewhere safe. Sprinkle the nut mix on top, then bake for another 10 minutes. 

  2. Remove granola from oven. Sprinkle on cranberries while still warm. 

  3. Once the granola has cooled and is ready to be stored, mix in chocolate chips. 

  4. Store in a container at room temperature for several weeks.

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