Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola
We all want granola to be healthy. But some granolas are so sweet they could easily qualify as candy. But since I tend to spend the better part of the day roaming around my apartment sticking my hand in various boxes and jars of stuff to eat, I wanted to come up with a granola that was satisfying enough for breakfast, but one that I didn’t feel so guilty about dipping my hand into throughout the day.
I never used to eat breakfast. Then, after trying to remove some of the damage done to my belly by years of gorging on restaurant food, I enrolled in a tough exercise class in San Francisco. It was excruciating and grueling, as our fierce instructor really pushed us. But we all bonded as a group (sometimes, successfully against her wrath). But one day we were all particularly wiped out and she stopped the class, went around the room, and asked each of us what we had for breakfast that morning.
The majority of us answered, “Coffee.” Or maybe “Coffee…and half a leftover bagel.” She berated each of us after we spoke, because we were all working hard and told us that we needed to fuel ourselves by eating more than we were for breakfast. After that, I started eating more in the morning.
I still like just toast and coffee right after I wake up – and definitely no talking, and no sudden movements, either. But come mid-morning, I prepare myself a big bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt or fromage blanc a boost of energy.
Peanuts are packed with protein and dark chocolate is rich in magnesium and anti-oxidants, so I decided to stir up a batch of granola with chocolate and peanut butter in it.
As soon as it cools down, I start eating this granola right off the baking sheet. The big chocolate chips are a bonus, scattered amongst crackly oats and seeds coated with peanut butter, baked with a touch of maple syrup. It’s a treat that I’ve been enjoying morning, noon, and night. And in between, too.
Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Granola
About 5 cup granola
You can swap out unroasted almonds (or another nut that you like) for the peanuts, but don’t be tempted to chop up a bar of chocolate and use those pieces instead of the chocolate chips. Store-bought chocolate chips are made of baking-resistant chocolate, formulated so they don’t melt while the granola is toasting.
- 3 cups (300g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (150g) roasted peanuts, very coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup (120g) chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (70g) sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup (130g) smooth peanut butter (regular or natural)
1/2 cup (160g) maple syrup (or mild-flavored honey)
1/4 cup (60g) packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a small saucepan, warm the peanut butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and water over low heat, stirring constantly just until the mixture is smooth. Don’t get the mixture too hot.
4. Scrape the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix it in well, coating the oats, peanuts and seeds well.
5. Transfer the granola mixture to a baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Toast the granola in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a few times during baking, until the granola is a golden brown. (Be sure to stir from the edges, which tend to darken quicker than the center.) Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Storage: Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for one to two months.