Make your own: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola.

June 8, 2012

Ya’ll I have been TIRED.   What is up with that!?  I’ve been trying to supplement my diet with lots of greens (Green Smoothies!) and trying to incorporate some more iron in my diet, but I just can’t seem to shake this groggy thing i’ve got goin on.  More water?  Vitamin?  I’m pretty sure that if I just stuck to my workout routine I’d get used to it, but lately i’ve been enjoying the freedom of getting in my workouts when I want to.  Which while healthy in one aspect, can lead to being an excuse for laziness down the road.   Maybe i’m not sleeping well?  Maybe I should realize that not everyone is wide awake in the morning and push through it 🙂

Maybe I should talk about granola?

This past weekend Brandon and I hit up our local Farmers Market for the first time this summer and it was nothing short of divine for me.  Walking around stands that are overflowing with fresh fruits, veggies, mushrooms, flowers is just so therapeutic for me.

I’m trying to make it a (better) habit to shop more local and opt for fresh, whole fruits and veggies when possible and as close to homemade or healthy when buying stuff that comes in packages (cereals, milks, etc).   Sometimes, when it comes to cereals – I find myself on a granola kick, which can be great, except as most of probably know by now- the store bought granola can be pretty unhealthy for you.  So I was pretty excited when Brandon pointed out a homemade granola stand at the farmers market.  They had fun flavors like apple quinoa or ginger & spice, but i’m not kidding – it was 7 bucks for what seemed like MAYBE 1.5-2 cups of granola, at the most! That’s even more expensive than the organic granola from the store!  SEVEN DOLLARS.  No.Thankyou.

The problem though, was now I wanted granola and I wanted it BAD.  But I really am shying away from buying it, especially since every time I’d reach for it, I’d get that nagging voice in the back of my head “why buy THIS, when you know you can make it, cheaper, tastier and healthier, at home?”.  Fair enough inner self.  I’d put the box back and promptly not make the granola.

This weekend, all of that changed.  Remember that “if I see it and like it, why don’t I make it” goal?

Granola is so darn easy to make, I’m kicking myself for not doing it more often, although now that I have depleted my granola innards supply, I’ll need to restock before I can again!  But luckily, this batch I whipped up this weekend seems to have made just enough to keep me settled until next time.

Funny story about this granola, or rather, its flavor – is that before I started running, I wasn’t much of a peanut butter fan (GASP).  I think I may have even written about not being a peanut butter fan in an earlier post.  Almond or sunflower seed butter all the way! That was my philosophy.  But suddenly, PB is where its at! Its all I want, PB on bananas, on apples, on toast, crackers, in my smoothies, my oatmeal and of course – the natural transition – IN MY GRANOLA!

That’s right, Peanut butter granola, with a sprinkling of bitter sweet chocolate chips (dairy free!).  Sort’ve amazing.  I ended up modifying a few different recipes I found for granola and I think the recipe needs a little more PB for my taste (who AM I?) and I’ve also seen a few ways to reduce the oils (mashed banana!), but its a great first try, if I do say so myself…

Peanut butter (chocolate chip!) Granola -Trial 1

About 2 Tbsp cooking oil

1/3 cup peanut butter (I used reduced fat, because that’s what we have in the house)

1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup

About 3/4 cup total of seeds and nuts (I used sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds and chopped up some Almonds)

2 cups rolled oats

bitter sweet chocolate chips (be sure to get dairy free if you want to keep the recipe Vegan!)

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together Seed/nut mixture with the rolled oats.  Meanwhile, iIn a small sauce pan, add the oil, Peanut butter and maple syrup and heat on med-low heat, stirring until the PB is melted and the ingredients are combined to make a nice sauce.

Combine the sauce with the oats/seed mix and toss until all the pieces are “wet” or coated.  Add the granola mix to a greased baking pan with an edge (I used a lasagna pan) and try to make sure the granola is in a single layer.  I baked mine at about 300 for 40-45 minutes or so, stirring up the pieces half way through.

The baking times may vary, I think our oven is a little off on the temperature, so be sure to adjust your temp/times to make sure you granola is cooked, but not burnt!

Once the granola is done and out of the oven, set it aside to cool.  Be patient!  Once the granola is fully cooled, add in the chocolate chips.  I didn’t use a lot, just enough to play off of the Peanut butter, but use your personal preferences here (same with the PB amount!)

The result?

A tasty treat to mix in with my normal morning bowls, on top of some Coconut Dream Icecream or even just to snack on its own!  Is it a nutritional powerhouse?  Not in the least, but sometimes, those little indulgences are worth it 🙂  And its important to remember NOT to eat the whole bundle of deliciousness all in one sitting too 😉  This recipe made a LOT of granola and I use it sparingly, since its not the healthiest thing I’ve ever made – but it definitely tides me over when I need a little something to get me through the afternoon.   The ingredients could easily be pared down also to make smaller amounts and are so adaptable to what you have on hand.

An easy recipe for granola whenever the craving strikes, I’m liking it.   Also on my “i’m liking it list?” FRIDAY!!!!!!! Who has fun plans?  I DO! 🙂

xo

ps – do you guys know about this? Tomorrow, all of the National parks have FREE ENTRANCE for hiking and the like. GET OUTSIDE PEOPLE, its going to be gorgeous out and what better way to enjoy the weekend by taking a hike in our beautiful national parks.  If you have one by you – get OUT THERE 🙂

 

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