My husband is an absolute fiend for peanut butter. (Remember this post on eating peanut butter straight from the jar? Inspired by him.) We both also love granola; it's one of our favorite weekday breakfasts. So I have been pondering a peanut butter granola for some time now. This week, it became a reality!
This is a simple granola, based loosely on that splendid olive oil granola from Melissa Clark. But I substituted roasted peanuts for the pistachios, and I also worked in a hefty amount of natural peanut butter. I melted brown sugar with honey, whisked in the peanut butter until smooth, and then tossed it with the nuts, oats, and a cup of wheat germ. I added a little oil and some cinnamon and ginger, and then baked it up!
The result is a deeply nutty, peanut-buttery granola, rich and hefty with all that peanutty goodness. This is definitely a granola that needs milk or yogurt to balance out the richness. It isn't terribly sweet, though. I didn't think that the dried fruit of traditional granola belonged here; raisins and apricots didn't seem to fit. But I did add a handful of chopped dates, which brought a nice chewiness and mellow sweetness.
This is a granola to please the most avid peanut butter lovers out there; it's rich, nutty, and salty in that way that definitely made my husband happy! It's also a satisfying breakfast, especially with a dollop of yogurt. And if you're feeling especially indulgent, try it with one extra drizzle of honey!
Peanut Butter and Honey Granola
About 8 cups granola
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 2 cups shelled roasted peanuts 1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds 1 cup wheat germ 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil 3/4 cup chopped dried dates
Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
In a small saucepan, mix the honey and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture. Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly. The mixture will be chunky and rough.
Spread the oat mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice while baking. Transfer the granola to a large bowl and add the dates, tossing to combine.
Additional Flavors & Add-Ins: • Chocolate & PB: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, after the granola has completely cooled. • Tropical PB: 1 cup unsweetened coconut, added before baking, plus 1/2 cup each dried pineapple and banana chips added after baking. • PB & J: 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup raisins added after baking, instead of the dates.