Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

This easy,  yummy (and healthier!) granola will put you back on top of holiday preps no matter where you currently are…

Howdy friends! How did it get to be the middle of December already?! I always have the best of intentions right after Thanksgiving… to not be behind for once on my holiday preparations. Yet somehow by the last week of school, I find myself  stuck somewhere between “Deck the Halls” (not quite done but may be as done as it’s gonna get) and “making the list and checking it twice (I guess I need to actually make the list before I can check it??)

But I can’t feel too bad about where I stand, because I have managed to make a couple batches of this crunchy peanut butter chocolate chip granola! It’s super easy and makes enough to give to everyone on the block and the mailman (because that’s how we do it in Philippines!)… and still have a little left over for that secret Santa at home.  Because I’m telling you, this stuff is deliciously perfect anytime of day or night, and makes a heavenly snack to munch on while curled up on the sofa watching It’s a Wonderful Life.

This granola couldn’t be simpler: just mix your dry ingredients in a bowl (please feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking… use more/less, or different nuts, omit (or add more!)  coconut, throw in some sunflower seeds… just use whatever you have on hand and like!…

… make your syrup (I use peanut butter in the mixture, but almond or cashew butter would also be fab.  And if you’re nut-free, use sunflower seed butter or tahini, and replace the nuts with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.) And if you want to make it vegan, replace the honey with pure maple syrup.

… coat the oat/nut mixture with the warm syrup

… spread in a thin layer on a baking tray

… and bake until golden brown.

Then… the magic part… sprinkle chopped dark chocolate over your warm granola.  And WAIT. Go do some Christmas things.  By the time you come back, you’ll not only be ahead on your to-do list, but the chocolate will have melted into your granola and formed irresistible clumps, breaking up enticingly when you stir in your last remaining ingredients.

Now you can pack it up for the sweetest homemade gift ever!

Or… just pour yourself a nice big bowl of it and enjoy.

Or both.  There’s enough.

Blessed holidays to you, my friends!  Hope you are enjoying every aspect of this Advent season.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: about 9 cups granola

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Ingredients

    For the granola:
  • 4 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups raw nuts (I used almonds, pecans, & cashews)
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • ¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut (optional)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 oz chopped dark chocolate (plus more if desired)
  • 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
  • For the syrup:
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (the drippy kind)
  • 2 T. extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat oven to 140C (300F.) Spray a large rimmed baking tray with nonstick spray, or lightly oil.
  • Roughly chop the nuts. Place nuts, oats, chia seeds, & coconut in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  • To make the syrup, combine all the syrup ingredients (except vanilla) in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until all the oats & nuts are coated. Spread in a thin layer onto the prepared baking tray.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning 2-3 times to brown evenly. Granola is done when it is a dark golden color.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped dark chocolate over. Let cool thoroughly, then add dried cranberries and rice cereal and stir to combine. Granola will break up into clumps due to the chocolate melting over it. Feel free to add more chocolate if you like!
  • Store in an airtight container. Granola will keep for about 2-3 weeks at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer. Makes about 9 cups or 18 servings.

Notes

To make this nut-free, sub sunbutter for the peanut butter, and replace the nuts with a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

http://www.thexpatdietitian.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-granola/

 

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