Chocolate and orange are flavors that work particularly well together, especially in the run-up to Christmas. I know we are still a tad away… but I am presuming it will come sooner than anticipated 😉. And so today, I wanted to bring you this awesome Chocolate Orange Granola today 🍊.
Have you ever made your own granola? If not – I am here to tell you that you will likely not go back once you started 🤣. It allows you to avoid a lot of the added and hidden sugars that you find in conventional granola. It is also often-times a lot cheaper and making one batch should last you for quite a while 🤗. Not to mention that it is actually quite easy and does not require an awful lot of time.
This Chocolate Orange Granola contains subtle hints of orange, along with notes of cocoa from both the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate. Simply add all the dry granola ingredients to a bowl and stir through whilst melting the wet ones on the stove and then stirring under. Then you bake it off until dry and – ta da – you have granola for at least a little while 🤣.
Why is this Chocolate Orange Granola good for you?
The beauty of any kind of seed, really, is that it has the power to grow life. So naturally, seeds tend to be nutritional powerhouses. Pumpkin seeds are no exception! They contain quite a bit of protein and healthy fats, as well as Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, and Copper. They also contain a range of antioxidants – mainly the carotenoids and Vitamin E kind. Both of these types of antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and protect it from free radicals. These antioxidants may also be the contributor as to why pumpkin seeds have been linked to a reduction in certain types of cancer. Amongst others, consuming pumpkin seeds regularly may reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. There are also studies suggesting that pumpkin seeds are beneficial in the fight against breast cancer, and – in test-tube studies so far – slowed down prostate cancer cell growth. I told you – seeds are powerful 😉.
Beautiful, bright oranges. These gorgeous and beloved Citrus fruit is zesty, juicy, and sweet. As probably most people know, oranges contain a great amount of Vitamin C. What most people do not know though is that peppers actually contain more Vitamin C than oranges (here is a fun fact for you 😉). This shall not overshadow oranges Vitamin C qualities though. Vitamin C is an important vitamin in order to support our immunity and is especially beneficial in the current (European) climate, which consists of cold wind, and rain. Vitamin C is also vital in the production of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that can be found in bones, muscles, skins, and tendons. It basically supports our skin and holds it longer together, which ultimately, can make us look younger.
One of my favorite superfoods!! Cocoa is rich in polyphenols a plant-compound, which has anti-oxidant properties. It is especially rich in flavanols, which are also said to have anti-inflammatory benefits. These specific flavanols also improve nitric oxide levels. What is nitric oxide you may ask? It is a compound which widens blood vessels in the body and can also stimulate the release of certain hormones, mainly insulin and human growth hormone. Because of its ability to widen blood vessels, nitric oxide can help in lowering your blood pressure levels. Additionally, the widening blood vessels effect also improves blood flow, which may, in turn, lower your risk of heart disease or stroke. I have only mentioned a very limited amount in terms of the benefits of cocoa here (there are many more!). But please be mindful that the more processed the cocoa becomes, the more it loses, in particular, those antioxidant properties.
If you want more Chocolate-related recipes – I am actually a chocolate-loving addict (no joke!!) and you can find an abundance of recipes when searching “Chocolate” on the website. For this time of the year, I can more than recommend my Homemade Hot Chocolate. It is so dark, creamy, and velvety but yet totally vegan and easily adjusted to your dietary requirements 💕.
How can I adjust this recipe to my dietary requirements?
This recipe is gluten-free, and vegetarian. You can make it vegan by using vegan dark chocolate (most dark chocolates tend to be vegan anyways). You can also make this recipe nut-free by swapping the almonds for more sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds. Due to the grain content in this recipe, sadly, this recipe is not suitable for the paleo lifestyle.
I hope you will enjoy this awesome, easy Chocolate Orange Granola that will be a great accompanier for your morning breakfasts 😉. If you enjoy making granola – also check out my Nut-Free Ginger Granola, which is an equal hit in our household! Do let me know how you like the recipe, both in the comments below or over Instagram. Happy granola baking 🤗.