We have this little joke at our house. I don't know how many of you remember those old Dunkin Donuts commercials where the little guy with the mustache would wake up at the crack of dawn. He would mumble, "Time to make the donuts," and then the camera would follow him along as he prepped the donuts for the day. Well, at our house we say, "Time to make the granola." We know when the blue plastic container is left out on the counter that it's time to make a new batch. Daddy Ericlee scarfs at least one batch of granola a week!
Meilani is now joining me for the weekly making of the granola. We usually try to do it on Sunday afternoon or Monday so Daddy has a great supply of cereal (and snack) throughout his busy work week. (And we save a ton of money this way too because all the ingredients are available in bulk. Meilani helps me measure the oats and mix on the sunflower seeds, flaxseed and almonds. Whenever she sees me reaching for the big glas bowl and pulling down the ingredients, she pulls up a chair to the counter and rolls back her sleaves. "Help" she says. It's a command, not a question.
Some of you have it already but we thought we'd share our special Peanut Butter granola recipe. You can make it into a loose cereal/snack or pat it down in a rectangle pan to make granola bars. We even packaged it up for some friends for Christmas gifts tied with a pretty ribbon. Time to make the granola...
PEANUT BUTTER-COCONUT GRANOLA OR GRANOLA BARS
Ingredients: -olive oil spray -3 cups oats -1 cup natural peanut butter -1 cup honey + 1/4 cup honey -1 tablespoon vanilla -1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds -1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds -1/2 cup chopped almonds -1 tablespoon flaxseed -1/2 cup raisins -1/2 cup shredded coconut
1. Spray rectangle cake pan with olive oil spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine peanut butter, 1 cup honey and vanilla. Allow to warm until you can mix the 3 together to form a runny paste.
3. In a large bowl, mix oats, seeds and almonds.
4. Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and mix until clumps of granola form. Mix in raisins.
5. Then pour mixture into cake pan and spread out evenly.
6. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 honey.
7. Sprinkle with coconut.
8. At this point if you just want to make granola cereal or snack, stick it in the oven. If you want bars, then use a large metal spoon to pat granola down lightly.
8. Bake approx. 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
9. Remove from oven and pat down again to flatten if you want to cut it into bars. Otherwise, cool.
10. Allow to fully cool and then cut into bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or just serve out of the pan for a snack anytime. These are also great crumbled with yogurt for breakfast.
**NOTES: These are inexpensive to make especially if you buy your oats and honey in bulk at places like Costco and Winco. Feel free to substitute your own favorite nuts and seeds. Winco sells seeds, raisins and unsweetened coconut in the bulk section. They also sell the fresh, natural peanut butter. Try to avoid prepackaged seeds or peanut butter with added sugar, salt, etc.