To me, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It sets the tone for how the rest of my day is going to go…am I going to be hungry for the next four hours which will make me cranky, or will I have a full tummy which will make me happy and alert? Most days, unless I’m running very late, I opt for the second option. For breakfast, I used to just get some cereal and then cut up some fruit into it and bam I was ready. But then, something made me realize that cereals that are sold commercially these days are basically just dessert for breakfast. So I said goodbye to Krave and Honey Nut Cheerios (my two favorite cereals) and looked to oatmeal to provide me with a filling, yet healthy breakfast. I went through different oatmeal making phases, including the smash a ripe banana and microwave it as well as the leave it overnight methods. But then, one day I decided to make granola and that was it for me. Granola is my go to breakfast now. It’s yummy, healthy, and will keep you full for long. You just have to be careful not to eat too much of it because it is filled with a lot of fats, even if it is healthy fats from things like nuts and coconut oil. But yea, mix it up with some milk/yogurt and fruits and you’re good to go!
The other great thing about granola is that it can be adapted to what you like and what you might have around. You just need a basic formula and then you can change it and play with flavors to your heart’s desire.
This is a pretty good recipe that tells you the basic measurements in granola: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/how-to-make-the-best-granola-ever#rena1l
However, this post is for a specific recipe of chocolate peanut butter granola, because I am a huge fan of both of those things. So, lets get to it!
RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA
3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ground flax meal
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup of any mixture of nuts (preferably raw) you’d like. I used peanuts and almonds for this recipe. You can also add seeds like sunflower seeds if you want to. If you would prefer smaller pieces in your granola, chop them.
1/2 cup of peanut butter (I used natural because it doesn’t have any added sugars)
1/4-1/3 cup of coconut oil (you can sub this out for another oil like olive oil if you want. Trader Joe’s has a good deal on organic cold pressed coconut oil. I think it’s about 6 dollars where elsewhere you would find it for around 10)
1/3-1/2 cup of raw honey or pure maple syrup (I used about a 1/3 cup of honey, but it depends on your preference. I prefer my granola to be less sweet, but most people would probably like 1/2 a cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (that includes everything from the oats to the nuts).
3. In a separate bowl mix the peanut butter, coconut oil, the liquid sweetener, and the vanilla. Microwave them for about 30 seconds so they incorporate together more easily. Mix until incorporated.
4. Mix the liquid into the oat mixture and stir them together until incorporated.
5. Spread this out on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes stirring every 15 minutes or so.
7. Let it cool and then store it in an airtight container. Or eat a big bowl of it right then and there, you deserve it, champ.
*Pro tip- add some chocolate chips while it’s still warm after you take it out of the oven and mix them around in the granola. They will melt and leave chunks of chocolate in the granola, or as I like to call them, little rays of sunshine.
Look at that chocolatey deliciousness…yum.