Protein-Packed Peanut-Butter Granola

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Peanut butter – how I missed thee! I was without it for about the past week, until my planned trip to the grocery store last night, and it would not be exaggerating to say that my life felt a little emptier during that time. My workday was not the same without my mid-morning snack of apple slices and peanut butter, and while tahini paste makes an excellent ingredient in hummus and dressings, it was not the greatest substitute for my favorite nut butter in my oatmeal. Now I’m three-cans flush with the stuff, so life is good. And in homage to one of my favorite foods ever being back in my life, I’ve created this granola. It’s protein-packed with all its healthy-yummy nuts and seeds – and of course, a healthy dose of the PB. It’s also completely processed-sugar free. For optimal nutritiousness, I used all-natural peanut butter that contains only peanuts; dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts; and pumpkin seeds and sunflower meats (sunflower seeds without the hard outer shell) that are raw and unsalted. I used my coffee and spice grinder to grind the raw whole flaxseed as well as to chop the nuts (the latter of which only took a few pulses; it didn’t entirely chop the nuts very consistently, but it worked good enough).

-2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats

-1 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped

-1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

-1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower meats

-2 tbs. whole raw flaxseed, ground

-1/2 tsp. sea salt

-1/4 tsp. cinnamon

-1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter

-2 tbs. coconut oil

-3 tbs. pure maple syrup

-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, chopped peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower meats, ground flaxseed, sea salt and cinnamon.

To a medium saucepan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stirring constantly, bring it up to just bubbling over medium heat, then reduce to low and cook for four minutes while still mixing continuously to ensure it doesn’t burn. A nice thick, uniform consistency should be achieved at this point. Remove from heat and immediately add to the oats mixture, mixing well until all of the granola is well-coated. Lay out onto a large baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes to ensure granola cooks evenly. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in an airtight container, where it should keep well for about a week. Serve over plain organic yogurt.

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Jackie

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