Lolly had suggested cooking as part of Project Spectrum and kindly posted a recipe for her version of PB Granola. I happen to like granolas and generally make my own so that I can customize them.
I went over to the local co-op Sunday to pick up more oatmeal and while I was browsing the bulk food section, I decided to add a few more items. I happen to be a huge fan of dried Bing cherries so you can guess what went into the basket. I also spied some dried sweetened banana chips. And personally, I think that there is nothing that goes with peanut butter better than bananas so they also were tossed into the basket.
I made the granola Sunday evening following Lolly’s recipe except for the new additions. I liked it but I found it to be too sweet for my tastes. But everyone else who has tasted it liked it.
But I am never content to let a recipe be until I am happy with it. So I decided to tinker with the recipe and come up with a new version of the PB Granola.
So I started going through my cookbooks. I found a recipe that I liked in Molly Katzen‘s Sunlight Cafe. She added barley flakes to a granola recipe that I liked. Of course, I did not have any barley flakes at home. And since I was at the co-op Tuesday night, I went shopping. I love the bulk food section of my co-op because I can buy just what I need. And that has translated to me trying things that I would never have tried before. But into my cart went some barley flakes, more dried Bing cherries, some raw sugar for my tea, some organic walnuts, and more honey.
I went home and started my new version of the PB granola. I had decided to decrease the honey in the syrup and increase the oats. I decided to add more oats and add fresh grated nutmeg to the mix. I decided to leave out the raisins and peanuts since I really don’t like them that much.
So in the end, here is what I changed from Lolly’s version. I decreased the amount of oatmeal from 3 cups to 2 cups. I added 1 cup of barley flakes. I increased the wheat germ to a full 1/2 cup. I added steel cut oats to the mixture. I decreased the honey by 1/4 cup. I also switched out the peanuts for walnuts but that is because I prefer walnuts. I cut out the raisins and switched them out for dried banana chips and dried Bing cherries. I also increased the amount of the dried fruit. I am probably not done tinkering with this recipe but that is the beauty of recipes in that you can constantly adjust them to whatever you have on hand. (I also used some vegan chocolate chips which I find to be less sweet. You should be able to find them easily at a co-op. They are worth a try.)
And by decreasing the honey, I did not have any problems with the granola becoming overly toasted. My taste taster is my mother and she preferred this version. I am taking both versions to my taste tasters at my local Starbucks tonight and I will be curious as to their preference.
I hope you enjoy this version of the recipe. And if you make any changes, please let me.
Lolly’s PB Granola – Revised
Sure, there is a some fat and sugar in it – but there is also loads of fiber and protein!
2 cups of old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup steel cut oats (also known as Irish oatmeal)
1 cup barley flakes
1 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 to 1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (more or less)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried Bing cherries, cut up
3/4 cup dried sweetened banana chips, broken up
1/2 to 3/4 cup carbo chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan with butter, cooking spray, or vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients.
In a small saucepan on low heat, combine oil, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Stir the mixture thoroughly until it cooks down. Do not let it simmer or boil. Pour the sauce mix into the dry oats and mix well until completely incorporated. Using a spatula, spread the granola on the prepared pan, lying it flat onto the surface. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the granola to cool on the pan. Break into chunks after dry, and transfer to an air-tight container. Add the add-ins to the container (adding the chocolate while it is still warm was perfect – it melted the chocolate slightly, allowing the crumbles to stick together better)