Big chunk peanut butter granola with oats, corn flakes, coconut and pretzels – and it’s relatively healthy.
Oddly enough, going to work inspired me to whip up a batch of granola. After months of not even thinking about granola, this week I noticed a flyer in the kitchenette at work advertising ‘Healthy, Hearty Granola!’
It appears that someone at work is trying to make a little extra dough by selling granola. Not that I blame them. Although I did find it a little curious that their ‘sugar-free’ granola contained honey. Is honey not considered sugar anymore?
Anyway, this reminded me how much I loved granola, and that it had been ages since I’d made some. Ergo, it was about time to bake some crispy, crunchy cereal!
More often than not, the nuts and other mix-ins in my granola are determined by what’s sitting in my pantry. This time around, I had some pretzels, coconut, and – for some strange reason – corn flakes.
While I refuse to eat a bowl of corn flakes for breakfast because (a) they’re not filling at all, and (b) they become soggy in 0.5 seconds, I do love adding them to granola. Corn flakes become super crispy when baked, and contrast nicely with the oats.
Speaking of contrast, the pretzels add a burst of salty-sweet flavor into the mix. If you don’t have any pretzels, some salted peanuts might do the trick – but seriously, if you can, use the pretzels.
Then – as you’d expect from a recipe entitled ‘Crispy Chunky Peanut Butter Granola’ – we have peanut butter! The peanut butter adds flavor and makes the granola crispy, so there’s no need to add extra oil. I used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Crunch Time, but either crunchy or smooth peanut butter should be just fine.
(Please note that I have received products from Peanut Butter & Co in the past, but – as always – all opinions are my own).
The key to ensuring the granola is chunky – and I mean really chunky – is simple: don’t touch it. Don’t stir the granola when it’s cooking, or when it’s cooling. Just leave it to do it’s thing. This is one of the few times in life when doing nothing pays off.
Last of all, there’s the little matter of the recipe ‘theme’ for this month. In January, I decided that every month on the blog was going to have a theme. January was berries, February was toppings, and the theme for March was vegetables and pseudo-vegetables.
Can you guess what April’s theme is?
I’ll wait, take a guess.
Okay, the theme for April is… nuts! So this month will be all about peanut butter, almonds, walnuts and coconut (even though coconut isn’t really a nut). Apologies to everyone with nut allergies – I’ll try to make sure some that of the recipes can nut-free.
- ⅓ cup (95g) peanut butter
- ¼ cup (60mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (200g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (30g) corn flakes
- ¼ cup (20g) shredded coconut
- ¼ cup (15g) chopped pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract, blackstrap molasses and salt.
- Add the rolled oats, corn flakes, shredded coconut and chopped pretzels. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 22 – 26 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until the granola is golden brown. Avoid mixing or stirring the granola.
- Allow the granola to cool completely. Once cooled, break it into chunks and store in an airtight container.
Don’t mix the granola around during baking, or while it’s cooling.