We love to snack. Everyone should eat at least every 3 hours, if not more. We need healthy snacks. We need wholesome and cost effective snacks. Make this 5 minute granola - it's great, and the whole family will love it.
Don't go get the measuring cups - this doesn't have anything specific. It is more or less to spark an idea to create your own.
First of all, don't limit yourself to the list here.
- 1/2 Jar of Natural or Organic Peanut Butter. Yes, go natural. Don't you dare get that sugary icing stuff they call peanut butter. Yummy, yes. But this is going to be sweet regardless, so even if you don't like the taste of sugarless peanut butter (even though sugarless is actually *good* for you... unlike the sugar-filled kind), the honey is going to add any sweetness you'll need.
- 1/2 The amount of Peanut Butter in Honey (raw and/or local if possible)... As in, I have no clue how big your jar of peanut butter is... mine is huge, yours may not be... judge how much peanut butter you added to the bowl and half that for the amount of honey to put in. I just squeeze, you can't go wrong, trust me.
- ~1/2 to 1 tblsp Cinnamon Optional
Now, add this all to a large mixing bowl and stir really well. Taste it. If you think it isn't sweet enough, add just a *little* more honey. If it is too sweet, add more peanut butter. It is best to fix your flavor now than have to dirty up another bowl in a few minutes.
Ok, have that done? Add:
- 1 (+) Cups Rolled Oats (Uncooked.. or toast it at 350 for 10-12 minutes if you like... I don't because I like to make this quickly.... Quick or Old Fashioned... Old Fashioned is healthier because it is a whole grain). You're going to start with a cup and add as you need to until you get the consistency that your family likes.
Now, get your kids involved (and their hands washed) and just squeeze and squeeze the oats into the peanut butter mix until it is nicely incorporated. Don't bother with a spoon or mixer... really... this is part of the fun. If it feels really moist, then add more granola. It should be a little clumpy, but you want this to have a consistency of something you can pick up with your hands without getting peanut butter smeared everywhere. If I use a large jar of peanut butter, I use close to 3 cups of oats. It is a little dry, but that's how I like it.
Now, let your imagination run wild.
We mix and match depending on what is available in our kitchen when I'm making a batch. Throw in any combination of the following and toss it together. I suggest at least some dried fruit and dark chocolate.
- Dried fruits (love cherries... but raisins, cranberries... whatever you like. Try to get ones that don't have added sugar - fruit is super sweet alone)
- Kale Chip Pieces (yea, granola that gives you your dark greens... awesome, no?)
- Candy/Chocolate Pieces
Dark Chocolate pieces - candy coated or not - whatever you like - and few handfuls of this is all you need
Mint chocolate pieces
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
- Flax Seed
- Grape Nuts
- Toasted Wheat Germ
- Puffed Rice
- Rice Crisp
- Cereal Flakes
- Chopped or Whole Nuts - Almonds, Cashews, Macadamia
Do you see the possibilities?
This makes a large batch that will last quite a while. I never buy granola any more. Have this base, and you can add a variety of flavors to fit your whole family's tastes. If you just can't get away from the "bars" (or want it as an alternative) - just make it a little more moist with a little added honey and pack it nice into a glass baking dish (or whatever you use at your house) and bake it at 350 F for 10-15 minutes (depending on if you like yours chewy or crunchier)
Makes the perfect on the go snack.
Makes a perfect breakfast (you could toast it to make your own cereal)
Add it to yogurt
Spoon a bit in some peanut butter for a peanut buttery fruit dip. Mix in some cream cheese if you like.
We eat this so much that I'm embarking on a journey of making my own peanut butter to save even more money. I hate buying things I can grow or make myself... especially when the price is outrageous. Yes, buying peanut butter, oatmeal...etc. in bulk to make granola in bulk may feel like you're spending a bit, but you're definitely saving (and controlling ingredients) with making your own granola. Be sure to store this in an airtight container, and you're good to go.
Make it - and tell us what you put in it, and how you used it.