Every morning throughout the summer, I eat a bowl of thick plain or vanilla yogurt topped with crunchy homemade granola and fresh berries — raspberries from my sister’s back yard, blueberries from the market or tiny strawberries from the U-pick farm or, if I’m lucky, my backyard. I recently came across a new granola formula – one that’s light, crunchy, and contains one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter. It’s clumpier than my usual recipe, and easier on the teeth – and it turned out to be even better for snacking on out of hand, so I can pack some in baggies or small containers to take hiking, boating, or on other summer adventures. Granola is perfectly portable – it doesn’t get crushed, soggy or wilt, and lasts for weeks. It’s also a perfect balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats-ideal fuel when you’re active.
Use whatever combination of nuts and seeds you like, as well as dried fruit; granola is easy to customize according to your own taste.
Chunky Peanut Butter Granola
4 cup old-fashioned (large flake) oats
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 cup seeds (such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin or a combination)
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup, liquid honey or golden syrup
1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped dried figs, dates or apricots (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, walnuts, seeds, coconut and salt.
In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, brown sugar and syrup over medium heat and stir until everything is melted and smooth.
Pour over the oat mixture and toss until well combined. Spread the mixture out onto a large rimmed sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until pale golden and crunchy/clumpy. Let cool and if you like, stir in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container or in individual bags. Makes about 6 cups.