Granola always sounds like a healthy option. But if we partake in store-bought granola, and looking for something actually good for us, it is imperative to read the labels. Most are prepared with a good bit of oil and sugar.
In years past, I’ve made homemade granola and controlled the amount and type of oil and sugar. But recently, I am taking it a step further. And the results are scrumptious, and healthy.
In this recipe, I am replacing oil or butter with natural peanut butter. I like using date syrup as a natural sweetener, but maple syrup will work very well, too. I used a tad of coconut sugar for its crunchy properties once melted and cooled to harden. It helps bind the pieces of oats, nuts, and seeds together.
Peanut Butter Granola is calorie-dense, but a very nice option to fuel your body. It’s fantastic as a snack, or even as a little dessert. Granola is also a good breakfast cereal, with your choice of milk poured over it.
Enjoy food made fresh!
Peanut Butter Granola
1½ cups rolled whole oats
1/2 cup pecans, rough chopped
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup date syrup or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup unsweetened dehydrated apple pieces
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds on prepared baking sheet and toss to mix.
In a small saucepan, heat peanut butter, coconut sugar, date syrup, and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat. Whisk to combine when peanut butter and coconut sugar are melted. Pour mixture evenly over the oat mixture and toss until well coated (you may want to mix it with your hands to ensure coating is incorporated well with the dry ingredients — with greased hands).
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Stir in raisins, cherries, and apples. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
ANGELINA LARUE is a food writer, recipe developer and author of “The Whole Enchilada Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine.”
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Food Made Fresh: Swapping ingredients yields healthier, but still yummy, homemade granola