I was allowed to have sugary cereal exactly ONCE per year as a kid. When we went up to the cabin my mom would go to Costco and buy a multi-pack of the individual serving boxes. My brothers and I would fight over the Corn Pops and Fruit Loops; Rice Krispies weren't enough of a treat to be very exciting. But Cocoa Puffs... that was a chocolaty wonder I didn't discover until university. Sure, they're a gross sugar bomb, but there's something nostalgic about chocolate milk left in the bottom of the bowl. This granola gives you that joy without rotting your teeth out.
PS - believe me when I say the black cocoa powder makes all the difference here.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup BLACK cocoa powder
8 pitted dates
3/4 cup water
Plus any dried fruit you love
Preheat the oven to 375.
Combine the dates and water in a saucepan and cook over medium low until the dates start to break down. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Mix everything except the dried fruit together in a bowl. Dump onto a foil-lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake for about 30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after the first 15. When the granola is brown and nuts smell toasted, remove the baking sheet from the oven. As soon as you pull it out mix in any dried fruit you want then leave the pan to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Store in an airtight container. Serve with milk and blueberries, preferably in a mug bowl so that you can pick it up and drink the chocolaty goodness.