06 June, 2010

Low Fat Cocoa Cherry Granola

 

I grew up in a small town. During my college years I earned some pocket money by working in the local ice cream parlor. I had a great time, as my best friend from school also jobbed there. Since it was only a small town, everyone would come to visit during the course of the day, to either meet us or just have ice cream.
In summer during the holidays I would work from mid-morning til evening. My meals would consist of ice cream creations. During that time I developed a weakness for the combination of chocolate with cherries. I'd have lots of chocolate ice cream topped with sour cherries. Until today I love it.
Recently, I got a little I tired of my all-time favorite granola which I have been eating daily for the last three or four months.  So I tried and get the chocolate and cherry flavors into my breakfast granola. I put in hazelnuts instead of my usual almonds. It turned out simply amazing. I love to have this granola just with milk, which soon turns into chocolate milk as the cocoa dissolves.
By the way, after those years in the ice cream parlor, I was off  ice cream for a very loooong time. I wouldn't touch it for at least five years.

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LOW FAT COCOA CHERRY GRANOLA


4 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup cherry juice
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup cried currants
1/2 cup dried cherries
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Preheat oven to 150C.

In a small pan, combine cherry juice, agave, molasses, cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Bring to boil. Take off the heat and let cool a little.

In a big bowl, combine oats, sesame seeds and hazelnuts. Pour the molasses cherry mixture over the oat mixture and stir until oat mixture is well coated. Spread the granola evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn over the granola and add the coconut flakes. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Add currants and cherries. Keep in airtight container.

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