When I would go trick or treating as a kid, after I arrived home with my large stash of candy, I would spread it out on the floor, and divide it into two piles. The "gross"candy, and the chocolate. Yes, all I cared about was the chocolate. All the stuff like laffy taffy, jolly ranchers, tootsie rolls (because they were not real chocolate so it didn't count) and anything not chocolate...that I traded, or gave to my parents. Peanut butter cups were my favorite, snickers and butterfinger a close second. But there was one chocolate that I would always give to my Mom because I didn't care for it and it was her favorite, Almond Joy. I didn't like the coconut, and I didn't like the almonds. Crazy, because as an adult I love both of those things! But my Mom was appriciative, and so it worked out.
So, why did I decide to make Almond Joy Granola this week? Well, I wanted to make a chocolate granola since I have never made one, and I thought coconut and almonds would be delicious in it! In the spirit of Halloween candy all over the place right now, I called it Almond Joy. Although, this in my opinion was way better than the candy bars, which I now find way too sweet.
I used my usual sprouted buckwheat base, mixed in large flake coconut (one of my favorite things in the world), raw almonds, and cacao nibs for add ins. Let's not forget the chocolaty goodness though, I made a coating from raw cacao powder and almond butter with a little agave nectar to sweeten, and it was delicious!
My entire house was filled with the aroma of chocolate, which was an especially wonderful suprise to wake up to in the morning when the granola had finished in the dehydrator. As usual, I could not stop sampling it, but I had to restrain myself and wait until after I had gone for my run to enjoy it.
Makes about 8 cups
2 cups raw buckwheat
2 cups dried large coconut flakes
1 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked for 6 hours and drained
1/3-1/2 cup raw agave nectar or honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 Tbsp filtered water
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil, liquified
1 cup cacao nibs
1 cup large flake coconut (optional)
Soak buckwheat for 12 hours, rinse very well (as it has a slimy coating that needs to be removed) and drain. Place in a large jar and set in a well lit area (natural light, but not in direct sunlight). Let sit for a couple days, or until little sprouts begin to emerge from the buckwheat, rinsing 2 times a day. Once sprouted, drain well, and place in a large bowl, along with the coconut, and almonds. In a small bowl, whisk together the agave nectar (or honey), cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla, almond extract, water, almond butter, and coconut oil. Pour the mixture over the granola, and mix well with your hands. Spread out on 2 dehydrator sheets lined with teflex, and dry for about 12 hours or until crispy. Pour into a bowl, and mix in cacao nibs and additional 1 cup coconut, enjoy! Can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks at room temperature.