Thursday, May 20, 2010
Pictured above you will see what is often the breakfast of choice in this household: Creamy vanilla yogurt topped with sliced or chopped fruit and sweet, crunchy granola. My daughters love it too...and I feel good that they're getting calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins in a breakfast that they so enjoy. I usually pick up a box of granola every other shopping trip. Holy cow, granola is expensive! When I saw this recipe for Peanut Butter Granola on Kim's blog, Stirring the Pot, I knew that I had to make my own. This was so easy to make and really yummy! I loved it over my yogurt and sliced bananas. If you ask me, peanut butter and bananas are a match made in Heaven!
Bonus! I made this recipe with ingredients that I already had in my pantry: Old fashioned oats, pecans, peanut butter, pure maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. That's it! The original recipe did call for coconut and dried fruit, but I knew that my kiddos wouldn't go for that and I personally have issues with chewy dried fruit alongside fresh fruit in my breakfast dish of choice.
You are supposed to do the first step in a roasting pan on the stove top. If you have a roasting pan, I'd encourage you to follow this step described in the recipe below. It makes for less dirty dishes. However, I do not have a roasting pan, so I just used a soup pot. Heat the roasting pan or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to change color and become fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Toasted oats, right? Then, add the nuts and seeds(if you're using seeds) and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Add the cinnamon, salt, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
Let's deviate from the granola and talk about that pure maple syrup for a moment.
This is my Uncle Bart. How's that for a segue from granola to syrup? I'm going somewhere with this, I promise...
My Uncle Bart is my dad's youngest brother...actually he's tied for the youngest brother position with my Uncle Bret (his twin). My Uncle Bart makes some amazing maple syrup. (I told you that I was going somewhere with this.) People go crazy for it. Even me...and I didn't used to like maple syrup.
After I poured a cupful of maple syrup into my granola and put it into the oven, I "facebooked" my Aunt Becky, his wife, and asked if it would be possible to purchase more of this maple syrup online and have it shipped. She replied back that she'd set something up. (She's computer savvy like that). If you are in need of some pure Indiana maple syrup or if you just need a good laugh, click on Bart's Maple Syrup. The syrup is awesome, the price is right ($15 for a quart, $25 for a half gallon), and every time I read the home page and the "contact Bart" link, I crack up. Heck, while I'm plugging family businesses, I might as well give a shout out to my aunt's website, The Original Soap Dish. If you're in the market for soap making supplies and lotion making supplies, then check it out.
Okay, now back to the granola. If you're using a roasting pan, you can just pop it into a 300 degree oven. I spread mine over two baking sheets. I stirred the mixture a couple of times over the next 20 minutes as it baked to make sure that the peanut butter didn't burn.
After 20 minutes, remove the granola from the oven and cool on racks, stirring occasionally while the granola cools to room temperature. My toddler descended upon the cooling granola. We found her cramming fistfuls into her mouth. Granola was everywhere! It's safe to say that this recipe gets her vote of approval.
Transfer to a sealed container (I used a gallon-sized freezer bag) and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.
This was breakfast the next morning. Mmmmm.
Peanut Butter Maple Granola adapted from Stirring the Pot (original post found HERE) who adapted it from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Makes About 8 Cups
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (I used chopped pecans)
1 cup shredded coconut (I omitted the coconut)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 300F. Put a 9x13 inch roasting pan (you will need one with high sides) over medium-low heat (put the pan over 2 burners if it's convenient). Add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to change color and become fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the nuts and seeds and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the coconut and cook, stirring 2 minutes more. Add the cinnamon, salt and maple syrup, 1/2 cup peanut butter and put in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice so the peanut butter doesn't burn.
Cool on a rack, continuing to stir once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.
If you're following my meal plan, then you realize that I should've posted Tang Grilled Chicken tonight. I have been to 3 grocery stores and I cannot find Tang anywhere. I'm still looking. Also, I know that I promised, promised that I was really going to make the Asian Braised Short Ribs this week. Well....I might still make them. They are thawing in my fridge right now. However, I am taking an unexpected trip to my hometown in the morning.(Maybe I'll pack those short ribs in a cooler and take them with me.) My youngest sister is in labor! By tomorrow at this time I will be an aunt for the 6th time! I am going home to hold that baby! Please pray for a smooth delivery and healthy baby!
I'll see you back here on Sunday! (Do I need to use another exclamation point or can you tell just how excited I am?)