Ah yes! Granola. My versatile friend. Is it a breakfast? A dessert? A snack? A topping? A base? A name for people who are health conscious? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and sometimes, yes. I was playing around in my kitchen, eating a spoonful of peanut butter here, a couple of pickles there, and so I started taking out some things to make a meal instead of just eating anything and everything. I wanted something sweet, so I was just going to start blending up oats, almonds, and maple syrup. Okay, not really a meal, but something to keep me occupied since I just walked in the door from eating lunch – Caracas for my Rockaway Beach people…crazy good arepas! (And I really need to learn their secret sauce recipe because it’s outrageously good, but I digress…)
Since I’ve been on a peanut butter kick lately, I added a delicious amount to my concoction. I used chunky, because that’s what I had, but you can use whichever you prefer. The only ingredients in my peanut butter were peanuts and salt, but salt is really not necessary. There’s no room in my cabinets for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are unfortunately found in many peanut butters, even those that claim to be “natural” – so be wary.
Like most vegan recipes, this mixture could be eaten as is, without using the oven; however, I baked this because I wanted it crunchy and granola-y.
Ingredients (makes about 4 cups, cooked):
- 1 cup oats (gluten free will make the entire recipe GF)
- 1 cup almonds
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a high speed blender/food processor, blend the oats and almonds until they form a flour. (Blend less if you’d like it chunkier.)
- Transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl and add all other ingredients, mashing with a fork in order to evenly distribute the PB, syrup, and oil. I love these warmer months because my coconut oil stays in a liquid state, requiring less dishes since there’s no “melting” step.
- Place in a large pan so the mixture is in one shallow layer. I used two 9×9 inch pans.
- Bake for 20 minutes. During cooling, about 10-15 minutes, let it sit without stirring it. This will create those beloved granola nuggets/globs. Enjoy 🙂