Coconut, Chocolate, Cherry Granola

March 6, 2011


This may be the best granola I’ve ever eaten. I made it on a whim today, not expecting much, but was truly impressed. Run home and make this right now. I implore you. I’m not kidding, get going!


1 1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup pecans (chopped)

1/4 cup flax seeds (optional)

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes

1 scant teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine rolled oats, pecans, flax seeds, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.


In a small sauce pot, on low heat melt coconut oil. Your kitchen will start to smell like a dream. I apologize, I’m under a coconut oil spell at the moment.


Once melted, whisk in the agave nectar and pour over the dry ingredients.


Work the dressing until all the dry ingredients are well-coated.


Evenly spread the granola onto a parchment covered baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark.

Do not over cook or this will happen.


I got a little carried away with that first batch and burnt it to a crisp!  Super fail.

Baking granola smells like Heaven on Earth as it fills your home with the comforting scents of cocoa, spice, and coconut. It will break your heart.

Once the granola has baked, allow it to cool completely. Then, add in the dried cherries and coconut flakes.



Add a splash of milk and weep tears of joy. Breakfast is finally served!


Here’s  best part, the milk turns chocolatey brown.


It’s official. I’m obsessed. This granola should be illegal.

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  5. Vegan Coconut Chili


Susan April 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I made your granola and followed the recipe. I was surprised by the amount of salt! I have a granola recipe I have been making for 20 years and it has no salt at all. I wish I had left the salt out. Any thoughts?

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods June 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

You could certainly reduce the amount of salt, based on your preference. I used other granola recipes as a guide for mine, but feel free to change it up to suit your palate.

Claire April 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I just made this and the flax seeds made it taste pretty weird- almost fishy. Is that just how flax seeds taste or was there something wrong with mine? They may have expired, but they’ve been in the freezer.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods April 18, 2011 at 8:38 am

Interesting! I’ve actually heard some people say that flax seeds taste nutty to some while fishy to others. I’ve also heard people remark on a fishy after taste to omega 3 inhanced foods. It could be that your flax seeds were old (sometimes the freezer can add a strange flavor to foods), but it may just be that you aren’t keen on flax seeds. Try making the granola without, I love it both ways! :)

ASHLEA April 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Yum. This looks so great! I have made a cherry almond granola and some chocolate seems like the perfect compliment. Looks delicious.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods April 5, 2011 at 8:24 am

For me, the cocoa powder added a lot to the granola, and made it a bit more decadent without adding extra fat or sugar. Win, win!

Dominique March 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Just found your site via a comment at Eat, Live, Run. I just made this granola (in less than 30 minutes including baking time) and cannot wait to try it with milk. It’s out of the oven, smells like heaven (!!!) and is crazy hot. To make it even more special, I decided to toast the shredded coconut, mainly because I’m crazy for coconut and love the taste and smell of toasted coconut. I can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 31, 2011 at 8:21 am

Great idea to toast the coconut! Love this! Thanks for sharing!

Jenny W March 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

This sounds great, can’t wait to try it.

Lisa T March 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

You were NOT kidding! I love this stuff! I break out into a cold sweat when my stash starts getting too low.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Hilarious! I love it!

Kate March 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

This looks delicious. I absolutely love granola but I never have luck making my own. How do you keep it from burning?? Thanks!! :)

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Check it every 10 minutes and stir the granola. Also, set it on lower heat (300 as opposed to 350 degrees). Hope it turns out better next time!

Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) March 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Yum! I love homemade granola! :)

jen March 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm

That granola is to die for! I can’t wait to try it out, I have a jar of cacoa bliss that would be perfect for this :)

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I’d be interested to hear out it turns out using cacoa bliss, keep me posted!

Ivy March 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

I too am under a coconut oil spell myself! It is hard to explain to people, until they try it for themselves. I can’t wait to make this, but I may eat the whole recipe in one sitting!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm

And no one could blame you! Hope you like it as much as I did.

natalie (the sweets life) March 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

oooh I even have coconut oil on hand! Can’t wait to try this sometime soon!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Wonderful! Let me know how you like it!

Clarissa @ Sober and the City March 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Homemade granola is one of my favorites as long as I don’t burn it! Never thought of adding a chocolate element to it though, great idea!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

As a rule, chocolate makes everything better and this granola is no exception!

Cynthia March 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm

That granola looks so delish. I can see why you would be addicted.

Brian @ A Thought For Food March 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I have yet to make my own granola, but this has inspired me. Some of my favorite ingredients in one beautiful bowl.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Thanks, Brian! I hope you like it as much as I did.

Teresa (Teresa Tastes & Travels) March 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Oh my gosh, this looks so yum! I don’t quite have all the ingredients in the house right now but I’m bookmarking this one. Thanks for sharing! :)

Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} March 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I love making homemade granola. I love using coconut oil too for my homemade granola’s! I have a similar recipe called cherry coconut granola but I’ll have to try adding the cocoa powder, sounds so tempting!

Homer March 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I LOVE granola but it can get very expensive when you buy it at the store. This has to be a lot cheaper. I am definitely going to try to make this!

Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum March 6, 2011 at 10:14 am

Yes please!! I am not a huge granola girl, but I am a HUGE chocolate girl. Your photos are fantastic, too!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thank you, Lindsay! I too am a huge chocolate girl and, in my opinion, chocolate coated granola is by far the best way to eat it. ;)

Sprinzette @ Ginger and Almonds March 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

How fabulous – the photos are so gorgeous, and despite the burning it all looked really tasty.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Thanks! I was pretty annoyed with that burnt batch, but it turned out ok in the end. :)

Kayla @ Fitter Than Choc March 6, 2011 at 6:28 am

This is so tempting. I like how you use chocolate and coconut oil here. I’m with you when you say granola should be illegal. Granolas are so awesome, I just can’t stop snacking on them whenever I make them.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

Thanks, Kayla! I’m granola obsessed too- what other type of food can you eat for breakfast, snack and dessert?

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