I’ll be honest, guys.
I did not mean to create granola. Nope, I meant to make granola bars and they were an epic failure. I just cannot seem to get granola bars right!
Alas, such is life. When life gives you messed up granola bars… you make granola. (did that just work? maybe?)
I will say, this granola is pretty freakin’ fab. And its homemade and it’s healthy. You really cannot go wrong with this recipe. It’s also super easy to make so it basically meets every single criteria in my book.
Let’s start off with our dry ingredients: oats, puffed rice, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, and sliced almonds.
I know, puffed rice might seem like an odd ingredient – and you’re right – so hear me out on why I chose it…
We are VOLUME eaters in my house. Meaning that if you give us a granola bar that is the size of my pinky finger but has tons and tons of ingredients compressed in there to make it really hearty, we won’t be satisfied.
My man and I… we need volume. We need to actually feel like we are eating a good amount of food in order to feel satisfied.
That’s why I added in the puffed rice. It’s a way to bulk up the granola without adding tons of calories and density to it. That way, we feel more fulfilled eating it.
Are you a volume eater?
Moving on. Here come the wet ingredients. I used dates, butter, maple syrup and peanut butter to make a little mixture in my food processor. This is what BINDS the granola together.
And then I pulsed the sh*t outta that and took my hands and worked the binding mixture into my dry ingredients. I got all sorts of messy and it was awesome.
Then, I spread the new mixture into a 9 inch baking pan which I had lined with butter to keep it from sticking.
I popped it into a 350 oven and baked it for about 25 minutes. I took it out once I saw that the edges were getting really crispy. I then let it cool completely and TRIED to pull it off into granola bars…. but then I got granola.
Really, really good granola.
And I said fine, I shall post a recipe for granola, then.
This granola is great for:
- keep a bag of it in your purse so that you always have something hearty and healthy on you for when you’re in a bind and hungry
- gift it to others — who doesn’t like granola, especially homemade? make a big batch and separate it into mason jars – everything looks better in a mason jar
- breakfast — add a little milk and some fresh fruit and you’ve got yourself a homemade, delicious meal
- snacks, anytime
- when your sweet tooth strikes. The cherries, maple syrup, peanut butter and dates all serve to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Now, who wants to come over and help me actually make granola bars?
- 2.5 cups oats
- 1 cup puffed wheat (found in cereal section)
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 T butter, melted
- 5 dates, pitted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- dash of vanilla extract
- sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine Oats through Almonds in a large bowl. Also add in spices.
2. In a food processor, combine butter through vanilla extract. Pulse until the dates are all ground up.
3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Mix with hands.
4. Place on a baking sheet either lined with butter or parchment paper. Bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes.
5. Once done, allow to cool completely so that is gets crispy (it’s ok if it’s soft once it comes out of the oven. It will crisp up as it cools)