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Peppermint Kiss Cacao Bliss Granola

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– raw, vegan, gluten-free –

If you love chocolate, and if you love peppermint, I created this recipe just for you.  The month of December is known for sweet chocolate and pepperminty treats… I felt combining the two into granola would synchronize into sweet harmony.   You can have to be careful with peppermint; it can easily overpower any recipe. That is why I decided not to add any peppermint extract to the granola batter, but rather add chopped up raw candy canes.

I also decided to use a light hand when I added the raw cacao. I used both the powder form and the nib form.  Raw cacao is very, very bitter, and the more you use, the more sweetener you will need to balance it out.   My goal was to keep the sugar level down, even though I was using natural sugars.

As I was putting this recipe together, I already soaked and dehydrated oats, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and pistachios on hand.  If you don’t already have these prepared in such a manner, you can soak all of the items listed and skip the dehydration process.  If you do this, it will add moisture to your batter, so you may not need to add the 1/2 cup of water.  It will also take longer to dehydrate since the oats, nuts, and seeds will be a bit plumped up with water.

If you can’t eat nuts or oats, feel free to substitute them with other items from your pantry.  Raw buckwheat that has been sprouted would be great, coconut flakes, different nuts, and so forth.  The beauty of creating our foods at home is that we can modify them to fit our individual dietary needs, and let’s not forget to satisfy the good ole’ taste buds. :)  Enjoy.


Yields 10-12 cups dried granola


  1. After the oats are done soaking, drain, and rinse them under cool water for 2 minutes.
    • Use your fingers to agitate them while rinsing.
    • Hand squeeze the excess water from them and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Drain and rinse the nuts and seeds, adding to the bowl with the oats.
  3. Add the chia seeds, sweetener, water, stevia, cacao nibs, cacao powder, salt, and cinnamon.
    • With your hands, mix everything.  Taste test.  Add more of whatever you feel is needed. :)
    • Feel free to use any liquid sweetener.
  4. Loosely spread the batter on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
  5. Dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 6- 8 hours or until dry.
    • The dry time will vary depending on your machine, how full it is, and the climate.
    • Part way through the drying time, flip the tray over onto the mesh sheet and peel off the non-stick sheet.
  6. All to cool, then pour into a large bowl — hand mix the peppermint candy canes in with the granola.
  7. Store in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 weeks.  You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F)?  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients, it is essential to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do, however honestly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.

Gift idea… bagged granola makes for a delicious and nutritious gift!

4 thoughts on “Peppermint Kiss Cacao Bliss Granola

  1. Lyn :] says:

    Good Evening Amie Sue,

    This looks so good…..I can’t wait to make it! But I have two questions for you-

    1. Could I just soak all of the ingredients (the ones that need soaking) and instead of dehydrating them just put the recipes ingredients together and dehydrate ?

    2. I just watched a u-Tube video on “ok raw”- it was titled ’12 raw foods that you should never eat according to the experts”. Two of them said Cacao , they would avoid. Since we are still newbies to this way of eating and I value your opinion , what do you think? :] As always- I’m grateful, Lyn :]

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Lyn :)

      Yes’m…. you can use the ingredients soaked and not dehydrate them before adding to the recipe. I talked about that in my little story. I only used them soaked and dehydrated because I already had them on hand that way. :)

      Regarding cacao… just like any ingredient on there… there is a lot of controversy about cacao. David Wolfe has made part of his life all about raw cacao and how he swears by it and this is a man of GREAT research. You can find 10 people who swear by it and 10 people who appose it. When it comes to reading negative things about foods, I always try to look at the source as to where that information is coming from. Has this person really dug deep and looked at it from a scientific standpoint or did they get their info off of copying someone else’s opinion that is out there in Internet land. That is usually the case. Often times a person on the net can make one statement and that statement goes viral on the Internet. Then all of a sudden it “seems” as though EVERYONE is saying it bad, but instead it was one person and they info became a carbon copy. Or perhaps they themselves don’t do well with an ingredient due to their health and lifestyle and therefor it has become a negative ingredient in their mind.

      Rather confusing and frustrating for sure.

      If it is really alarming for you… I can only suggest further research. Look for scientific back up. Maybe start with David Wolf and read what he has to say about it. He has written a whole book on cacao. If it really seems sketchy still… then I say to hold off on it. Don’t eat anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you decided to try it look for a good quality brand. Email companies and ask for samples. I do that often. I have learned that raw cacao isn’t the same across the board from brand to brand. And like all things, moderation is the key. I am sensitive to cacao. Well, I use to be. A few years ago, it seemed to make me feel sick. But last summer I was having some in smoothies and I felt great. It could have just been which way the wind was blowing that day. Hard to tell. lol

      I do know that some people are sensitive to it, it has caffeine in it. I know my answer is grey. I don’t know how to answer it any better. :)

      I hope you had a happy day my friend, amie sue

      • Lyn :] says:

        Thank you Amie Sue,

        Opps!!! Sorry I was so excited to see yet another recipe having peppermint in it, I forgot to read the little story (although I usally do, as I enjoy them). Sorry :]

        I Love the way you analyze things, thank you for taking the time to answer the question on Cacao – I appreciate you !!! Lyn :]

        • amie-sue says:

          lol its all good Lyn :) I know how it is when you are excited… it is so easy to skip over the obvious things. Remind me sometime to share about how Bob proposed to me. lol That story is a prime example. :P

          Have a happy day that puts a skip in your step. amie sue

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