Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homemade Granola

I'm a big fan of granola but not so much all of the sugar.  I've tried my hand at making my own on numerous occasions and have found all of the recipes to be quite disappointing: chocked full of sugar and lacking a whole lot of delicious.

Then, I stumbled upon these 5 ingredient wonders.  They're simple to make, delicious, and healthy.  Well, when I say healthy, what I really mean is there is no 'sugar' and you can add whatever your healthy heart delights.

What you need:

4 cups of oats
1/2 almonds (you could, of course, use peanuts or any other nut for that matter)
3/4 cup of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey (or cane syrup, or agave syrup, or maple syrup... you get the picture)

Then your add-ins... throw in whatever strikes your fancy.  I used:

2 handfuls (yes, I mean handfuls... I didn't use a measuring cup) of chocolate chips
2 handfuls of pecans
2 handfuls of dried cranberries
1/4 unsweetened coconut
and a couple good swigs of olive oil

Other things you could use:

seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia... whatever floats your boat
wheat germ
dried fruit
etcetera.... etcetera.... etcetera :)

What you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by mashing up the first four ingredients.  Once it's all incorporated, mix in your add-ins.  *Note/Disclaimer: I used my stand mixer for this recipe... it takes very little time to have it all come together and your mixer is really bumpin' and grindin' by the time it's all together.  You are hereby forewarned.

I liked the idea of having these as granola 'bites' instead of bars.  I used my OXO cookie scoop and they turned out to be the perfect 3 bite (or more if you're a lady) 'cookie'.  And they're really quite filling.  Of course, if you prefer them in bar form, squish the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cut while they're still warm from the oven.  Be sure to smoosh your bites down a bit, there is next to no spread factor in these 'cookies'.

Bake for 15-18 minutes... these will not really 'brown up' but the chocolate will get all melty and you'll know when they should come out.

Store in an air tight container and enjoy!  This makes a pretty generous batch so you could freeze half of the batch and definitely have enough to enjoy for awhile.  Of course, I suggest you share some but... that's just me :)

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