Crunchy or smooth? That is the question.
When it comes to peanut butter, I’m strongly in favor of crunchy (or “chunky”, if you prefer). There’s something about having extra peanut bits mixed in that makes the whole thing better. But I’m not too picky about it – I think we can all agree that any peanut butter is better than none. Uh, unless you’re allergic.
Despite being oil-free, this granola is really crunchy! Not soft, not squishy, but crunchy! This is undoubtedly my favorite granola recipe so far.
While in my experimenting dungeon of mystery (i.e. my kitchen), I discovered that half of the peanut butter can be replaced with ¼ cup PB2 (that’s 4 tablespoons) mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. But don’t go replacing more than half of the peanut butter with PB2, or the granola may become squishy – or worse, floury.
Also, to make sure your granola doesn’t turn soft, move it off the baking trays as soon as possible. Either spread it out over a chopping board, or just lift up the non-stick paper and move it onto the kitchen bench. If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, the granola should last at least a week, hopefully longer.
On a related-but-not-really note, I thought I’d let you know that I’m currently working on an eBook that will probably be called “Cookies for Breakfast!”
All of the recipes in the eBook are (or will be, as I’ve still got plenty to make) butter-free. Many of the recipes will also be oil-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free and/or vegan.
In “Cookies for Breakfast”, you won’t see any butter, margarine, shortening, non-vegetarian ingredients, corn syrup or anything unpronounceable. You also won’t see any hard-to-find ingredients or fake “substitute” foods. There are only two flours called for in the whole book: rice flour (in shortbread recipes) and almond meal (otherwise known as “almond flour”). And there’s nothing weird, like brownies with black beans or tofu. Sorry, but I just can’t get into that trend.
So, what will you see in “Cookies for Breakfast”? Whole foods and real foods. Rolled oats (my favorite) are featured in many recipes, and nearly every recipe contains nuts. Expect a lot of heart-healthy walnuts and shredded coconut, as well as fruit and even the occasional vegetable (oh pumpkin, how I love you). While I largely avoid the expensive “super-foods” (there’s no coconut oil or magical berries), some recipes contain ground flaxseeds (otherwise known as “flaxseed meal”) as these are very nutritious and you’ll find them in most supermarkets.
(Note from the future: You can find out more about the eBook here!)
And don’t worry, there’ll be peanut butter. I wouldn’t dream of leaving out peanut butter!
Which is a convenient segue into what this post was supposed to be about – Peanut Butter Granola!
- ½ cup natural salted peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line two baking trays with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the oats and shredded coconut, and mix until completely combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking trays. Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, stirring the granola half-way through the baking time. Allow the granola to cool.
- Once cooled, stir in the raisins and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with yogurt and fruit, or just by the handful.