hippie cocoa pebbles

May 24th, 2013

grain free chocolate cereal

My children eat oatmeal all winter long. They never tired of it. I don’t get it. Come summer I can’t even stand to make it any more, though I’m sure they would eat it. I need something cool and quick for hot summer mornings. Last year I discovered this recipe for chocolate granola and it is delicious. Really it’s not like granola at all, it’s more like cereal–real, out-of-the-box cereal, something that rarely shows up in this house.  But a jar of Hippie Cocoa Pebbles is now a staple in my cupboard.

almonds soaking

The first step is extra hippie: soak the nuts overnight. Hippie Cocoa Pebbles are nut based–they contain no grains, no oats, no gluten at all. Super great! but nuts contain a lot of phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient (I laughed the first time I heard that word too). Soaking minimizes the damage phytic acid can do. You can obviously read more about this on the internets if you are interested, but for now just know that soaking the nuts makes this cereal taste better and be better for you.

soaked almonds and pecans

After the nuts have soaked overnight, you rinse them, dry them, and pulverize them in the food processor. I make quite a big batch, so the nuts fill my food processor up to the top. This involves a bit of stopping and stirring in between chopping, so they don’t inadvertently become nut butter!  You want them to be about the consistency of grape nuts–on the coarser side of finely chopped I’d say.

cocoa + butter + maple syrup

Then you make a delicious mixture of butter and cocoa and maple syrup. I freely admit that I hide from my children in the kitchen and lick the spoon clean.

high fat cocoa powder

About the cocoa powder: buy the best stuff you can find. Really. This recipe uses a lot (1/2 cup) and it is the dominant flavor, so break out the good stuff. I am in love with Penzey’s high fat cocoa powder. It smells like chocolate, rich dark chocolate. Cocoa powder should smell like chocolate, right? Sadly, most smell like ash (I’m looking at you Hershey’s).

hippie cocoa pebbles

Then you take that lovely buttery, chocolatey syrup you just made and mix it with the nuts. If you make a smaller batch you can get away with mixing in the food processor, but for a large batch it works out better in a bowl. This is where I usually forget to add the coconut, so if you don’t care for coconut feel free to forget it. Toasted coconut  (if you have some leftover) would be absolutely lovely.

hippie cocoa pebbles

All of it goes into a warm oven and as it bakes it fills your whole house with the most amazing chocolatey aroma. The temperature of the oven is so low in fact (200 F) that if you have a dehydrator now’s the time to dust it off. I think it would even qualify as raw then. This cereal does indeed come with a lot of buzz words: Gluten free! Grain free! Low sugar! No refined sugar! Paleo!  But there’s only one word it comes with that really matters: Delicious!

hippie cocoa pebbles

hippie cocoa pebbles

adapted from Gourmand in the Kitchen’s chocolate granola


  • 3 cups almonds
  • 2 cups pecans (you can easily substitute walnuts, macadamias, or skinless hazelnuts, but if you use cashews only soak them for 2-3 hours)
  • 3/4 cup butter (coconut oil is a good substitute if you can’t do dairy)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional)


  1. Soak the nuts in filtered water overnight. Drain and rinse them well. Dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Chop in a food processor until they are the size of little pebbles (cocoa pebbles!)
  3. Melt butter and maple syrup over low heat.
  4. Add cocoa powder and mix well.
  5. Pour the buttery mixture and the nuts into a big bowl and mix thoroughly
  6. Add the coconut and mix.
  7. Spread the cereal on two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake in a 200 degree F oven for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring now and then.
  9. Cool and store in airtight containers.
  10. Hippie Cocoa Pebbles keep two weeks at room temperature, longer in the freezer.

This recipe makes 5-6 cup cereal. Enjoy!

hippie cocoa pebbles


Posted in food/recipes.

16 Responses to hippie cocoa pebbles

  1. Dorie says:

    My sister-in-law soaks her stuff, and she is my gateway to all things fermented, and I think she’s the best for it. It’s so hard to say “anti-nutrient”, just like it’s hard to read from a cookbook that says “diet dictocrats”. Some part of you is always going, Come on! There’s a certain amount of moving beyond the vocabulary to get to the tasty-healthy.
    This looks delicious.

  2. Jamie says:

    This recipe sounds so fantastic! I am going to make it for sure. Been thinking about a gluten free diet. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Erin says:

    This sounds right up my alley. Hope to give it a whirl sometime… I’ve gotten pretty unmotivated lately with my breakfast offerings- anything with cocoa excites me.

  4. Carla says:

    Oh man I love coco pebbles! I can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks!

  5. Jenny says:

    Is there a downside to using just almonds in this recipe? Thanks!

  6. Jessica says:

    this is so awesome! thanks for sharing!

  7. Theresa says:

    Thanks for this!
    Love your blog.
    Have really been motivated and inspired watching the things you do for and with your kids.

  8. Dawn says:

    In the oven now, house smells delicious! And I licked the bowl clean :)

  9. Jamie says:

    I just made it today and its delicious!

  10. Shannon says:

    Thanks for this! I can’t wait to try it. We are trying to minimize grains in our diet but we love our oatmeal. This looks like a great alternative and who can pass up the chocolate, right?!

  11. Tara says:

    I soaked my nuts last night and made this today, and enjoyed the yummy smell the whole time it dried out in the oven. yum. The smell from the pan with melted butter, cocoa, and maple syrup made my head swoon. My kids and I couldn’t wait for breakfast tomorrow so we had some as a snack this afternoon. So good. They are picky little people, but both approved.

  12. Megan says:

    Love how simple the recipe is, my 4 year old and I just made it. I love anything that can get her involved!