I found this recipe on one of my go-to sites, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, and after the first time I made them, I knew I’d be making them again… and again. No bake, just a few ingredients, it’s all easy peasy.
What’s not to like? These bits are packed with oats, coconut, almonds, cocoa nibs (if that’s your thing) and a creamy mixture of honey, extra-virgin coconut oil, peanut butter, cocoa and a few chocolate chips. I make double batches and freeze one batch for later. They’re just the right size to help through the afternoons at work when I need a ‘bit-o-chocolate’. These are so simple that I’ll bet your kids would like to help mix and scoop these babies onto the pans and then ask for more once they’ve had a taste of them! Other granola bites just don’t do the trick for me anymore, these are what I go to for that bit of chocolate and sweet treat.
If using whole almonds, be sure they are chopped into fairly small pieces. I’ve made the mistake of leaving the almonds a tad bit too chunky and it makes the granola mixture more difficult to form into balls that stick together. I haven’t used regular old-fashioned oats. If you do so, consider pulsing them in a blender or food processor very lightly so they break down just a bit. If you aren’t familiar with cacao nibs, they are basically raw pieces of chocolate that haven’t been ground and sweetened yet (they are slightly bitter like cocoa powder). They add a yummy depth of flavor and a crunchy texture to these granola bites but you can definitely leave them out if that is your preference.
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- 1 cup sliced or chopped almonds
- 3 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats and salt.
- In a 10 or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add the coconut, almonds and cacao nibs, if using. Toast the ingredients, stirring often to prevent burning, for 5-6 minutes until the aroma is nutty and the coconut and nuts are turning slightly golden. Toss the mixture with the oats.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop the mixture into tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the little mounds sit for 10 minutes or so until they have cooled and are less sticky.
- Roll the mounds into balls using firm pressure with the palms of your hands.
- Refrigerate the granola bites for 1-2 hours to set up. They can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for several months). They taste great out of the refrigerator but are even better if left to sit at room temperature for just a few minutes before eating.