My adventures in raw and vegan dessert and the occasional savory recipe creation!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Chunky Monkey Granola
It had been far too long since I had made granola I decided last Saturday. It used to be every other week or so I was whipping up a batch to have on hand to snack on and share. There is something comforting to me about home made granola, and also something addictive as when it is cooling a large portion of it always seems to go missing. I have made about 20 different varieties of the crunchy munchy snack, and that is what I love about making it myself.
Being able to add ingredients which fit the mood I am in and satisfy my cravings at the time. I have added just about every fruit and nut at one point or another, but there is one thing I hadn't tried...peanut butter! Peanut butter sounded so good to me on Saturday, I had to add it to granola!
I also had some dried bananas, and since bananas love peanut butter I thought it would be a perfect pairing! I wanted it to have plenty of crunchy munchy things in it, so peanuts, pecans, and cashews along with some coconut for sweetness were added as well! I had some cacao nibs which joined the nuts for a hint of chocolate, as well as a good dose of vanilla and maple flavor to make the granola even more delicious smelling! I love the smell of baking granola, it always smells like oatmeal cookies while it is baking and the aroma fills every corner of my house for hours!
It is so hard to wait until it is cool enough to sample, but when it just barely is I have to always taste it to make sure it is good of course! It is funny as well, every time I make a batch of granola I always say to myself "This is the BEST granola I have ever eaten!" I know that is not possible unless it gets better every time, but maybe in between batches I forget how good it is right out of the oven.
I always make plenty to share, because who can resisit a bag of home made granola? I called it "Chunky Monkey Granola" this time, because of the large amount of bananas and the delicious chunks of granola goodness due to the peanut butter causing it to stick together more (my favorite part). Not only that, I felt a little like a monkey the way I was devouring it like a barbarian right off the pan as it is so addictive. You should make some for yourself since I have included the recipe, I can guarantee you will love it as well along with whomever you share it with!
Chunky Monkey Granola
Makes about 14 cups of delicious granola
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3 cups peanuts
2 cups pecans
1 cup cashews
2 cups large flake coconut
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp maple sugar
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups dried bananas
2 cups cacao nibs
Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil, and spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 and set rack at the medium position. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and coconut, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together oil, agave nectar, peanut butter, maple sugar, sea salt, maple extract, and vanilla extract until well combined, then pour over oat mixture and toss to coat until completely blended. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes or so until the granola is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in bananas, and cacao nibs and enjoy!