This is an incredibly rich granola. It is not low in fat or calories, but it tastes amazing and—at 26 grams per serving—packs a powerful protein punch worthy of breakfast or a pick-me-up snack. It is a bit crumbly, tricky to eat out of hand but well suited for serving in a bowl (or teacup) with milk or yogurt.
I initially sampled this with vanilla yogurt but switched to plain because the combination was overly sweet for me. I’m definitely going to play around with this recipe a bit, so expect to see at least one variation in the future. In the meanwhile, if you want it to be less sugary, try using natural, unsweetened peanut butter. Keep in mind that my taste buds are accustomed to reduced levels of sugar, so what I consider to be a bit cloying might be perfect for someone else.
For the sake of cutting fat, calories and costs, I used brown sugar and apple juice concentrate instead of the maple syrup and oil called for in the recipes I was loosely following. I also added wheat germ and almond meal to boost the protein. Almond meal is well priced at Trader Joe’s but often over priced elsewhere. If you don’t have any, just use twice as much wheat germ instead. Wheat germ is usually available in the cereal or natural foods section of chain grocery stores.
Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Granola
Make about 16 generous half-cup servings
3 cups rolled oats, not instant
1 cup rolled barley, wheat or rye (or oats)
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 250° F.
Combine first six ingredients (oats through almond meal) in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix peanut butter, brown sugar and apple juice concentrate together in a saucepan over low heat until well blended.
Pour peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients, stirring with a sturdy spoon until well combined. (I had to switch to a stand mixer partway through because the peanut butter mixture had cooled and stiffened.)
Distribute evenly in a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Bake for about an hour and a half (80-90 minutes), removing pan to stir granola every 20 minutes.
Once granola is toasted and golden, remove pan and turn oven off.
Stir cranberries and raisins into granola and return pan to oven, which should remain off.
After 10-15 minutes, remove pan and allow granola to cool completely.
Once cooled, store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.
© Liesl K. Bohan | SavvyBaker.com