Ah, the joys of SEO (search engine optimization). I wanted to call this Cacao Nib Coconut Granola, because that is what it is. But the search engines like the “chocolate” word better, hence our formal title, Chocolate Coconut Granola. Truthfully, this is still a good description because cacao nibs are what all chocolate is made from. They are the inner parts of the seeds from the cacao pod fruit. When cacao nibs are roasted, ground and blended with other ingredients such as sugar, extra cocoa butter and perhaps vanilla and lecithin (an emulsifier), they become the chocolate we al know well.
Wait a Minute, What Are Cacao Nibs?
So glad you asked. You might have tried to look up cacao nibs on the Monash University Smartphone App and come up with nothing. And it is true that they are not a line item as of yet. But don’t give up. Cacao nibs are simply pure chocolate. They are the inner part of the cacao seed pod and what chocolate bars and baking chocolate are made of. When you see a label that says 60% bittersweet chocolate, the percentage is referencing the actual cacao mass (which is simply ground cacao nibs) in that product. Dark chocolate and milk chocolate are low FODMAP in certain amounts and contain cacao mass/cacao nibs. Cocoa powder, which is also low FODMAP, is ground cacao nibs with some cocoa butter removed.
Cacao nibs themselves have been given the green light by Monash by virtue of the fact that they are in foods that they have lab tested and certified as low FODMAP, such as the nutritious seed blend from our friends at goodMix; if you haven’t tried their goodmix Blend 11 you might be missing out on the best poos of your life. Yes, I said poo. As the goodMix folks say, it is such a more delicate way of saying poop, don’t you think? But I digress.
Cacao Nibs For Your Health
When you read about chocolate containing antioxidants and depression-alleviating components the science is talking about the cacao nib itself, as we use here. The chocolate bar, with all of those other ingredients, is just not as “healthful”. I teach a chocolate tasting class many times per year and people always ask me if chocolate is really healthy, at which point I discuss the aspects mentioned above. Then they ask me, well, what do I do with the nibs, then? What is a good way to eat them? This granola is hands down my favorite way!
Cacao Nibs For Flavor
The cacao nibs are a bit nutty in texture and deeply rich with chocolate flavor, although a bit bitter. Some folks love them right away; others cannot stand them and yet others find there is a learning curve. We are so used to eating chocolate that is smooth and sweet and nibs are the opposite in both respects. That said, the nibs lack of sweetness and their texture work in perfect balance with this granola recipe. We have maple syrup and brown sugar, a bit of coconut in the form of large flakes, some sliced almonds, along with protein and fiber rich oats and quinoa flakes.
Start with the portions as recommended, see how you do and increase as it works for you. We like ours with unsweetened almond milk.
And, while this recipe might sound fancy, you can prep it in 5 minutes and can make it in a bowl with a wooden spoon. And it lasts for weeks. And it is chocolate. And low FODMAP and works for breakfast and as a snack. Need we say more?
Chocolate Coconut Granola
Chocolate for breakfast? YES! Just start with small amounts and see how you do. We like this for breakfast as well as snacks.
Makes 7 cups (840 g); serving size 1/4 cup (30 g)
- 4 cups (416 g) old-fashioned rolled oats; use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
- 1 cup (110 g) quinoa flakes (such as Ancient Harvest brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (165 ml) vegetable oil, such as canola or other neutral flavored oil
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (30 g) unsweetened shredded coconut flakes/chips
- 1/2 cup (88 g) cacao nibs
- Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet pan and set aside.
- Stir everything together with a firm wooden spoon or large silicone spatula until mixed evenly. Or do what we do and dump everything in bowl of stand mixer and use a flat paddle to mix ingredients on low speed until combined.
- Scrape out onto pan in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss granola around with a large spatula to rotate all surfaces so that the granola bakes evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes more or until just beginning to take on a hint of color and you begin to smell the inviting aromas. Cool pan on rack. Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 3 weeks.