The best way to start Memorial Day? Cleaning up after a cocker spaniel and weimaraner who nose their way into your husband’s nut stash (mmmhmmm, that’s what I said) and proceed to devour their fair share of pistachios. Now, remember, just two weeks ago, their penchant for our almond jar led to a house full of fecal surprises upon our return from the Dominican. These canines are fiends for nuts almost more fiercely than we are. And that’s saying something. On several levels.
Inspired by the end of our 40 day sugar and grain ban and the aroma of cracked nuts (hahaha) wafting through our upstairs, I decided today was the day to give a granola recipe a whirl – during our eating challenge, DTH mentioned several times how much he loves granola, so, being the attentive and loving wife I am, it was at the top of my list post-challenge. Picture bananas and nuts combining with a luscious nut butter (don’t picture it too long or you’ll dissolve into a fit of giggles much like I just did before recomposing myself into the serious writer that I naturally am), oats, pecans and honey to create the consummate crunchy clusters.
Like most hearty and mostly-healthy foods, the store bought versions of ‘nola (can I call it that? Is that what cool hippies call it? See, I’m more of a preppy sorority girl at heart, myself, so I’m always trying to emulate what those cool hippies do. I bet they don’t abbrev. Sadly.) are coated in more sugar and sugar substitutes than Lil Wayne is stuffed with sizzurp. Or something equally culturally relevant. This recipe is also super adaptable and would be great with some dried berries thrown in to give it a little PB+J spin.
Peanut Butter Banana Granola
My base recipe for this granola came from See Jane Work Play Live, and I made a few tweaks to my liking (because we’re in the South, naturally I subbed pecans for almonds and walnuts, for example. I also wanted more chia seeds in ours).
5 cups old fashioned oats (NOT quick)
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 c peanut butter (I used Earth Balance coconut + peanut spread)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 300°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Drizzle with canola oil and mix around on baking sheet before placing in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.