Hello everyone! Welcome to the first post of Firefighter February!
(I know how you all love my artwork. :-))
This is the month of love, and for that reason, I will be featuring the recipes of mine that my husband loves best! His favorites run the gamut from simple snacks (like the recipe today) to savory side dishes to sweet treats (usually involving chocolate). I know you won’t be disappointed!
I’ve been making my own granola for years, but it has only been recently that I’ve finally nailed a recipe that my family and I LOVE!
In the past, I’ve added nuts and dried fruit, only to then eliminate the dried fruit (it’s sweet enough without it, isn’t it?) and now the nuts. I really want the oats to be the star….with some help from my favorite peanut butter….
One great thing about this recipe is that it is highly adaptable, meaning you can easily add in nuts and fruit if you like….
….it’s also incredibly easy to make!
(See below for a xylitol-based option)
- 2 c. rolled oats
- ¼ c. creamy peanut butter (I used salted)
- ¼ c. maple syrup
- 2 T. coconut oil or butter
- 1¼ t. cinnamon
- 1 t. vanilla
- ⅛ t. salt
- 2 T. flax seeds, chia seeds, or black sesame seeds, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the oil or butter, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
- Heat the mixture just until the oil/butter is melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until everything is emulsified.
- Lastly, stir in the oats and seeds, if using, until the oats are evenly coated.
- Pat the mixture into a tight square shape on a cookie sheet (this ensures you will get big clusters as opposed to individual oats, if that is your desire).
- Bake for 25 minutes, untouched.
- Cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Break into clusters and enjoy!
When you pat the mixture onto a cookie sheet, it will resemble this…
….leaving it untouched during the baking process ensures you will get the elusive clusters unique to granola (let it cool first!)…
….as big as you desire!…
I’ve received a few inquiries on low-sugar liquid sweeteners, so for those of you looking to lower your sugars or glycemic indicies, you can use this simple recipe for making a xylitol-based syrup:
Boil 2 parts xylitol with 1 part water (for instance, 1/2 cup of xylitol and 1/4 cup of water) until the xylitol has dissolved and the mixture thickens a bit. This will make a syrup with a similar consistency of honey or maple syrup. Let cool and use in place of other liquid sweeteners.
I don’t use xylitol much, but on the rare occasion I do, I use birch based brands such as this one in lieu of the corn-based, as I am wary of GM ingredients. I’ve also read it’s toxic to doggies, so that scares me!
It’s so tasty too!…
So why don’t you join the thousands of happy, peppy people, and make a great big batch of Peanut Butter Granola?….
What are your favorite granola add-ins?
I really love adding black sesame seeds! They’re often used in Asian recipes, and are known for their high mineral content as well as promoting kidney and liver health.