GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!
I feel like it’s 2012 and I’m sea salting everything these days, but I just had to go with it in this granola hunks recipe. These are kind of like a cereal version of a Bounty Bar, but a little more wholesome and nutty. I love to cruise by the jar on the counter, grab a few hunks, and keep going on with my day. The perfect little bite of sweetness and crunch.

Maybe you’re wondering: why grain-free? I’m not on a special diet or anything (pretty evident), but I’ve been known to sprinkle traditional oat-based granola on top of my bowls of porridge (that are made with oat milk LOL), and I also love Purely Elizabeth’s grain-free granola, so I figured I’d try my hand at a homemade version. The only way I could consume even more oats would be if I drank an oat milk latte with my triple oat porridge–which I have done in the past! Anyway, it was all getting a little too oat-y for me, and I just love the nutty and coconut-y goodness of this granola.

I use (surprise!)  tahini and maple syrup as the binding base for these granola hunks. Basically my two favourite ingredients. You want tahini that is pour-able and of good quality here. I mean, you always want that for whatever recipe you’re using tahini in, but it’s really important! Seed + Mill recently sent me some samples of their tahini and it is truly divine. Hardly any bitter edge, mellow and creamy, and a nuttiness that’s enhanced by just a little bit of salt. I also enjoy the fact that it’s packaged in a glass jar with a metal lid. No plastic whatsoever. *thumbs up*

Sliced almonds and large flake coconut form the naturally grain-free cereal “flakes” for us here. They get crunchy and stick together nicely. Not much more to say about this one other than this: just make it! It’s so tasty with some sliced banana over a bit of coconut (or other plant-based) yogurt with a sprinkle of cacao nibs to really bring out the chocolate vibes. I bet some juicy segments of blood orange would be a delicious seasonal addition.

I hope that you’re having an amazing week and that everyone in the impacted areas made it through the epic Winter storm. We found out that Mickie loves jumping around in the snow piles, but that she also gets too cold in about 30 seconds haha. I’m spending the rest of my week working on some new recipe projects and a few other things on the up and up. I’m also holding strong on my 2019 goal of daily meditation–22 days in a row! I use the Insight Timer app because I love how simple it is. They say that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so I’m banking on that to propel me forward. Think of what you could accomplish in 3 weeks if you just really focused and shut out the distractions. Next up? I’m attempting 3 weeks of yoga. Stacking my good habits and eating my granola hunks in 2019 yessss! Sending my hugs and love.

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS - The First Messpin it!
GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRANOLA HUNKS RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
Serves: Makes about 5 cups
Notes: You can substitute raw cacao powder for the cocoa if you’d like a more intense flavour.
-I like to actually taste the salt in this, but if you’re looking for more straight up sweet, chocolate-y, nutty goodness, dial the salt back to ½ teaspoon.
-I roughly chop the sunflower seeds in the food processor, but this is an optional step.
-The quality of your tahini is important. It honestly makes a world of difference! I like Seed + Mill’s tahini as well as Soom brand.
-2 baking sheets is ideal so that the granola can be spread out. Parchment or Silpat linings are necessary.

½ cup tahini
½ cup maple syrup
scant ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups large flake coconut shreds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Once you have a smooth and unified mixture, add the almonds, coconut, and sunflower seeds to the bowl as well.

Thoroughly mix the nuts and seeds with the cocoa mixture until everything appears to be evenly coated.

Divide the granola evenly amongst the two baking sheets. Using a spatula, spread the granola out a bit. It’s okay to have some clusters of the granola, but you do want to give the clusters some space.

Bake the granola until slightly firm to the touch, about 30-35 minutes total. You’ll need to gently toss the granola at the halfway point of baking as well. Once it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. When you first take it out, the granola hunks will seem soft and undercooked. They firm up and form the hunks as they cool.

Once completely cool, store the granola hunks in a sealed container. Granola keeps optimally for up to a week.

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  • Olivia23/01/2019 - 7:41 am

    I was just thinking “I need a go to breakfast, something healthy but indulgent” and I checked my email and found this beauty. You never disappoint in the healthy but indulgent category. That bowl of deliciousness!!! What is on the bottom under all the goodies? And what would you recommend to serve this granola with?ReplyCancel

    • Laura23/01/2019 - 7:53 am

      Hi Olivia!
      I have some cashew-based yogurt underneath the granola and fruit in the bowl. It’s from a brand called Forager Project. The vanilla one is pretty good! I like the granola by the handful on its own (ha!), but with whatever yogurt or milk that you like is also amazing. I enjoy mixing it with other cereals if I’m eating it with milk.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Marie23/01/2019 - 5:21 pm

    This looks wonderful! I don’t have any sunflower seeds on hand and was wondering if I could sub them for pecans chopped up finely in the food processor. Your recipes are always amazing btw!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:14 am

      Hi Marie!
      Thanks so much for this. I think chopped up pecans in place of the sunflower seeds would be amazing actually. Kinda wish I had done that! :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Renée23/01/2019 - 8:56 pm

    I’m a huge fan of granolas and these look amazing. I am wondering where you get those fabulous coconut flakes cause I never saw so many large unbroken flakes in a package! I live close to Ottawa and hope I can source some of these beauties. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:25 am

      Hi Renée!
      I actually buy these at my local HomeSense store in their little pantry section. The brand is called Everland. They seem to always have large flake coconut and the little boxes of coconut cream that I love for making desserts and such. So yeah, I go there to stock up some of my coconut products essentially haha.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Cassie Autumn Tran23/01/2019 - 9:56 pm

    These look freaking PERFECT! Chocolate clusters that are nutty and a little salty…those snacks are my dream, everything I want and more. I am always kind of worried about creating these types of recipes just because I know for a fact that the batch will be gone in less than 24 hours! LOL! But in all seriousness, I ADORE your creativity. Love the photos so much!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:26 am

      Thank you for this comment, Cassie! I ate quite a bit of this batch while I was photographing it for this post, so I totally understand your dilemma ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen.com23/01/2019 - 10:34 pm

    This looks so good! And I have to say I recently bought a jar of Seed & Mill Tahini on sale on a whim, and it is hands down the most divine tahini ever! It is quite pricey though, but I will definitely be buying again and using it where it really counts, like drizzled on oatmeal (yum!) Or in this delicious looking recipe! Also, I love that bowl, the shape is perfectly imperfect!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:29 am

      Jen,
      Yes it really is a next level tahini! I generally also love using tahini from the middle eastern section of the international aisle of the grocery store as well. It’s always perfectly runny, not too bitter, and is definitely a great price. Perfect for recipes that call for a large volume and have a lot of other flavours going on ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] Loving this grain free chocolate granola. […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel19/02/2019 - 2:00 pm

    I made this recipe over the weekend and it was quick and easy! It’s a nice hit of chocolate and sweetness in the afternoon without the refined sugar.

    It is a little sweeter than I prefer for granola so I think I will dial down the maple syrup a little bit in the future and add more coconut oil or another liquid ingredient to make up for the volume change. But I really like that it’s grain free as oatmeal and grains are already a big part of my diet :)ReplyCancel

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