Chocolate Granola

Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Refined Sugar Free 

Chocolate Granola

Clearly, I am loving having our kitchen back because I created and tested this recipe several times on a day when the water was turned off for plumbing repairs. I just couldn't help myself and there were no complaints when I "had" to taste test each batch that came out of the oven.  I'm excited for you to have the same pleasure of tasting this granola as you prepare it (with running water, of course).

Side View Table

When event designer Manmade & Sage requests food for one of her amazing table settings, you do not drop the ball (even if you have no running water). Immediately inspired by her idea for a natural table scape with yellow color pops, combined with the beauty that is Entrada Azul, I hit the ground running. I took some mangoes and chocolate and came up with something fun and playful that would naturally blend with earthy branches, succulents, ranunculus, and cutie patooti speckled eggs. Oh, and, it tastes good too! It was definitely a different approach to creating a new recipe for me. Coming up with a food creation based on decor and place settings.

I had an incredibly difficult time choosing which photos to share when I received these from photographer, Arielei Kinzer. Her photography really brought home just how comforting a set table filled with simple, real food can be. Who wouldn't want to wake up in this Santa Fe rental home and dive into some homemade granola and nut milk to start the day?

If you haven't had buckwheat before, this is a great introduction to this powerful seed. Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a grain and it does not contain gluten (contrary to having wheat in the name). Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb, so it is a good option for folks that might be sensitive to grains or gluten. It is often be referred to as a grain in the culinary world because of how it is prepared. Buckwheat can be made into porridge, when ground into a flour it's great for gluten free baked goods and pastas, and it can be eaten raw or toasted for a crunchy factor. Due to it's high flavonoid content, buckwheat is good for cardiovascular health. It's rich in magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow and efficiency of nutrient transportation. Talk about making your heart thump with love!

Raw buckwheat is commonly referred to as buckwheat groats. When buckwheat is toasted, it is called kasha. For this recipe, you'll want to find buckwheat groats (raw form). These are triangular shaped seeds that with a light brown or green hue and minimal aroma. You can purchase buckwheat groats in the grain/cereal aisle of your grocery store or from bulk bins with high turn-over.

Sprinkling Chocolate

While I do offer a substitute for cacao butter in the Pro Tips section below, I recommend that you make this granola with cacao butter when possible. Cacao butter is a healthy fat extracted from a raw cacao bean. It is commonly used to make chocolate and is incredibly creamy and flavorful. When purchasing cacao butter, read the ingredient label to ensure that it is 100% cacao butter with no added ingredients. I find that purchasing cacao butter disks (vs. large chunks) is a lot easier to measure for baking. If you're wondering what else to do with that leftover cacao butter? Try making some chocolate cherry bites, chocolate quinoa crisps or peanut butter buckeyes.

Enjoy this Chocolate Granola by the handful; atop your favorite smoothie, yogurt or chia pudding; or my personal favorite, swimming in a bowl of homemade dairy free milk with fresh mango or berries. 

This collaboration with Manmade & Sage and Arielei Kinzer made me want to work with these women a whole heckuva lot more. Feeling inspired by the work (and excitement) of others is truly a catalyst for great things. While we can't be with you when you make this granola, I sure hope that it inspires you to get creative in the kitchen and eat this chocolatey goodness at the type of table it deserves. One dressed with style and natural beauty.

Chocolate Granola

Granola and Spilled Milk

Prep: 15 min., Bake time: 11 - 14 min., Total time: 30 min.

Makes: ~ 6 - 8 cups



  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almonds, crushed
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 6 Tbsp. cacao butter
  • 1/3 heaping cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • Dash of cinnamon



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, crushed almonds and pecans, buckwheat groats, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Stir to evenly distribute the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and cacao butter over low heat. Add honey and stir until melted and fully combined.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat then add the vanilla, cacao powder, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth and creamy with no powder chunks.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the dry mixture. Stir and pat down the ingredients with the back of a spatula to completely coat everything. This will take a little elbow grease, but it’s worth the effort.
  6. Evenly spread the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. With the back of a spatula, push the mixture down into the pan and compress any loose edges to prevent burning. By firmly pressing the mixture, it ensures that the ingredients will solidify together to form chunks of granola.
  7. Bake for a total of 11 – 14 minutes. At the halfway point, stir the granola and re-pat/press it back into a flat shape. You’ll know that your granola is done when it becomes fragrant and an almond piece crunches when snapped/bit in half. Due to the fact that this is chocolate granola, it’s quite difficult to judge the completion by eye. This can burn quite quickly, so better to err on the side of caution and slightly undercook rather than leave it in the oven for too long.
  8. Remove from the oven and strategically transfer the granola and parchment onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for a full hour before breaking it apart. The longer you let it cool in its solid shape, the better the end result for big chunks of granola.
  9. When completely cooled, break the granola into chunks and store in an airtight container in your pantry.

Mango Yogurt with Choc Granola

Pro Tips

Storage: This will last for a couple of weeks in a sealed container, but I highly doubt it will be around that long due to its tasty nature.

Mix It Up: Use any raw nuts or seeds of choice in equal amounts.

No Cacao Butter: If you do not have cacao butter and still want to make this recipe, omit the cacao butter and use a total of 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil for the recipe. This will alter the texture and flavor a bit, but it will still be good.

Granola Place Setting
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

Photography by Arielei Kinzer Photography

Table design and decor by Manmade & Sage

Venue in Santa Fe, NM at Entrada Azul airbnb