Vegan Chocolate Chia and Teff Granola
In the Organic Grains test kitchen, we're committed to making things that taste awesome, but are also really good for you! Chocolate Granola is going to surprise you. Not only is it simple to make, but it is also packed with nutrition, fiber, and life-sustaining goodness!
We're going to highlight just a few of these powerhouse ingredients...just so you can really get the scoop on the health benefits of this granola!
Rolled Oats are the base of this powerful recipe.
Rolled Oats are made from the steamed whole oat groats rolled into thick flakes. Old fashioned oats are just another, slightly thinner rolled version of the thick-rolled variety. Because they are still a whole grain that isn't milled into a fine flour, they are slower to digest. That means they will be slowly broken down into natural sugars, leading to better regulation of blood sugar levels. We're big fans of these guys on blood sugar.
Welcome Chia to the Table.
Chia seed is gluten free and comes in Black and White. For baking with cocoa, it doesn't really matter if you use the darker seeds, but if you have kids who will ask a ton of questions about those little seeds, try using the white ones in most of your baking. They are harder to detect and are exceptionally healthy for you. Chia seeds are the highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they contain more fiber than flax seeds or nuts. Because of their natural ability to absorb immense amounts of liquid, they are an outstanding addition to your diet when coupled with water, to maintain hydration during physical exertion. They will have a texture like tapioca when combined with liquid, but in these cookies they aren't hydrated, so be sure to increase your liquid intake when you eat this granola!
The next power ingredient in these cookies is a seed-grain called Teff.
Teff is gluten free and a complete protein. Teff is known as the tiny powerhouse. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia around 4000 BC. In Africa, it’s been reported that there are over 2000 varieties. We only get two of those varieties here in America: red and white (ivory). In terms of size, it takes 150 of these seeds to equal the size of one grain of wheat! In that small powerhouse, you get a nutritional punch! One ounce of Teff contains 2 grams of fiber (that’s about 10% of your daily needs) plus there’s a high amount of quality protein. Teff is reported to be higher in calcium, iron, copper and zinc than any other grain too. We use the ivory ones most often, mainly because they blend into most baked goods pretty simply and add so much power!
This granola is sweetened with Coconut Sugar.
Coconut sugar is supposed to be great for helping regulate blood sugar. It is low on the glycemic index and this affects how quickly you extract the energy from the food. It is measured and used the same as sugar in baking, but our chef seriously uses about half of what most recipes call for using this sugar. Honestly, in most baking, you can almost count on the fact that you can reduce the sugar by almost half and it will still bake similarly. There are still a few people who say it isn't as healthy a choice but we're in the group that says hey, " It still has more vitamins and minerals than regular sugar and yes, it contains natural fructose. It isn't calorie free, but it is all natural." That being said, it is also very easy to harvest and is sustainable.
Our final power ingredient is Cocoa.
Here are 7 cocoa facts from www.organicfacts.net :
Chocolate Teff Granola
Yield: 4 1 cup
Prep time: 25 minutes
Coconut Sugar | 1 ½ cup
Olive Oil | ¼ cup
Balsamic Vinegar | 1 Tbsp.
Honey | 3 Tbsp.
Water | ½ cup
Vanilla | 2 tsp.
Rolled Oats | 4 cups
Baking Cocoa | 1 cup
Teff | ¾ cup
Chia Seed | ¼ cup
Cayenne pepper | ½ tsp
Directions: Lightly oil 2 cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a one-gallon pot over medium heat, combine first 6 ingredients and boil for 4 minutes stirring constantly. Pour boiling mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Divide between to cookie sheets. Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool.