Sometimes, when we rush through life, we forget to feel our pain. I feel like I’ve been rushing and stressing for the past few weeks, getting used to living away from home, starting work for the first time in my life, stepping into real adulthood and having to deal with pension funds etc., getting my first paycheck. I have enjoyed it all, but I feel like today, now that I’m able to sit and reflect, I am in pain. It seems there hasn’t been enough room to feel fed up, scared and stressed out the past weeks, and it’s all hitting me today…but I am trying to embrace it, and not to let myself be swept up in it. I figure it’s what always happens when we get a breather – the reality of life can hit you quite quickly.
Despite the philosophical slightly melancholy beginning of this post, I actually am happy to share a new recipe with you today. I haven’t been able to cook for myself for over a week, which has truly been a test of sanity…I am so dependant on my own kitchen, it’s crazy.
But, what better way to deal with heartache and a crazy mind than to make a delicously crunchy and nostalgic granola? I feel like anything peanutbutter takes me back to my years in Tanzania, surrounded by American friends and Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups and Peanutbutter Cookies and real peanutbutter ground from plain peanuts. I loved the peanutbutter-banana combo before I even knew it was a thing, and peanutbutter-jelly-toast was my favorite thing for breakfast without having grown up in the States. In Germany, peanutbutter is definitely not a big thing; most people don’t care for it whatsoever.
I do, though, and after seeing an oatmeal bowl with peanutbutter granola on Instagram, it wouldn’t leave my mind to make my own (especially since I recently ran out of my granola). The recipe I came up with is anyting but low-fat, but it is so utterly delicious that I really don’t care. It could definitely be lightened up, and perhaps one day I’ll make a version lower in sugar and fat, but since I mostly use granola to sprinkle my oatmeal with and don’t eat it in cup-sized portions, I don’t mind it being a little bit on the unhealthier side.
Needless to say, it’s still “clean”, refined-sugarfree and wheat-free. And vegan – though, honestly, it’s not hard to keep granola vegan, so don’t be too proud of me. 🙂
I didn’t opt for any add-ins this time, but I am sure this granola would taste perfect if you mixed in some cranberries, chocolate chips / cacao nibs or goji berries after baking. It isn’t too sweet, which I like, but feel free to add some more maple syrup!
Peanutbutter Granola Clusters
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup spelt flakes (or corn flakes)
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 5 Tbs. salted peanutbutter
- 5-6 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Mix the oats, spelt flakes and peanuts in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanutbutter, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well-combined.
3. Pour the peanutbutter-maple syrup mix into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix until all the oats are coated.
4. Line a baking tin with baking parchment, then spread the raw granola out on top.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, taking out the granola after 15 minutes and stirring it to make sure the top layer doesn’t burn.
6. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Add dried fruit like cranberries, dried bananas, or goji berries for a pb&j granola, or add some chocolate chips for an extra decadent breakfast!
I used all-natural, smooth and salted peanutbutter for this recipe, without any added oils. I liked that it was salted, mostly because I prefer salted peanutbutter, but if you’re watching your salt intake, you could use salt-free peanutbutter instead.
Once it is baked, your whole house will smell like peanutbutter love. I couldn’t resist munching on a few spoons ful of both the raw and baked granola…so good!
I am thinking of making another batch for Christmas presents, and then adding in a bunch of chocolate chips and banana chips – because what goes better with peanutbutter!? I love how simple this granola was to make, and how easily it can be adapted. It really fit my mood today, too, as I really was and am caught up in my emotions, for whatever reason. Do you know what I mean? It’s like there’s just too much going on in my heart and head today for me to feel good. Let’s hope that by tomorrow my brain has processed it all, and I’ll be back to my normal self.
In case I’m not, at least I know my morning will be perfect because I have this awesome granola to wake up to! Let me know if you make it, and how you like it…though I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll be shoving it in your mouth just as I did today. 🙂