Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Granola

Have you ever looked at the nutrition label of your store-bought granola? Does the amount of ingredients scare you? Are you disturbed that the second ingredient after oats is almost always sugar? Did you know that it is almost silly how easy it is to make your own granola at home? And guess what! You can make it as healthy as you want.

I love making my own granola. It's one of those great foods that starts out with a basic recipe with which you can substitute your own ingredients to suit your tastes. You can make it crunchy or chewy, filled with fruit or nuts (or both!), you can add tons of ingredients or keep it to a simple 3 or 4. It's also great if you have a lot of bulk items in your pantry that need to be used up. Just throw them in your bowl!

One of my favorite recipes for granola is held together with peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate. These three flavors meld so well together, and sometimes I throw in some coconut for an extra exotic twist. Many recipes call for oil, but I find that peanut butter is a great oil alternative that adds many more beneficial nutrients (such as vitamin E) to the mix. The banana helps add flavor and helps bind the oats together without adding extra fat, and the chocolate comes in the form of cocoa powder to add antioxidants. Well, here I am getting all excited about this nutritious granola and you're thinking, "Just give me the recipe already!"

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Granola

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips (you can use shredded coconut as well)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF and grease a cookie sheet with butter. Place oats, cocoa powder, cinnamon, walnuts, and coconut chips in a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds until everything is combined.
  2. Place peanut butter, honey, and banana in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into mixer bowl and mix on medium speed just until the oats are moistened.
  3. Place granola mixture on cookie sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes until brown and crisp. Leave on cookie sheet until cool and place in airtight container.
The granola should be good for two weeks (or possibly longer).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I demand more of this.