Thursday, April 14, 2011


Oh, how I love a yogurt parfait...

I don't know if you get as excited around granola as I do.  And you don't even have to be a hippy to enjoy it!

I've always wondered why just a 1/2 cup of granola is a whopping 200 calories.  So I set off to find a healthy recipe for granola.

Didn't find one.

Instead, I created my own with about 3 different recipes as a guide.  This homemade granola is very peanutty, and also has some nice saltiness (from the pumpkin seeds and peanuts) and chewiness (from the dried currants).  It's SO much better than all the commercially produced granola...and on par with fancy granola you might find at specialty grocers.  It also makes your house smell wonderful as you bake a batch in the oven.

About 7 cups granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled, roasted peanuts
1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup sliced roasted almond I found in my pantry
1 cup dried currants
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky (I used smooth)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

***Heat oven to 275°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds or whatever nuts you like, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  Be sure to also add the dried currants (or whatever dried food you like) into this oat mixture.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey and brown sugar.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.  Pour over the oat mixture.  Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly.  The mixture will be chunky and rough.  If you feel like getting your paws dirty, go ahead and mix the oats with your clean hands.  This will allow the mixture to be spread more evenly onto the oats.

Spread the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (I used tongs) while baking.  

Allow to cool once out of the oven.

Store for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.  But I don't think the granola will last that long, given that this is a 10 out of 10 on the delicious-o-meter.

And it can only get more delicious in a parfait.  You can use any fruit you want, but berries seem to work the best.  I would also use either a vanilla, honey, or even plain flavored yogurt.  But nothing too sugary because the granola and fruit will be plenty sweet!

***Make sure your oven isn't too hot because you don't want the granola to burn.  If you like a lighter, less carmelized taste, set your oven to 250 F, but allow your granola to bake for a bit longer...around 55 minutes to an hour.  Enjoy!


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