Saturday, April 29, 2017

PB&J Granola

My crafting is moving at a snail's pace, so I've decided to roll with an idea I've been chewing on for a few months. I'm going to start writing blogs for KatKnap Cooks as well as KatKnap Crafts. So we're going to see how this evolves, both in post content and how it  changes the look of the blog.... later... you know, sometime in the future when I look back on this post and say, "Damn, I still haven't done that."

The first KatKnap Cooks post is going to be about an ongoing obsession I have had for the past few weeks. Granola! Specifically, it's about  my recent reinventing of a kid's classic.

PB&J Granola

A Peanut Butter And Jelly Snack They Can Eat In The Car

I stood in my kitchen, refrigerator open (Don't tell my kids... or my husband. Ya know, just keep that between us ;) ), and I was looking at a container of yogurt, thinking about how delicious a yogurt and granola parfait would be for lunch. Then it occurred to me: I have everything I need to make granola! I did a quick Google search and found this basic recipe from Chowhound. It's so simple to follow. I have it bookmarked for quick reference!

After about my fourth run through of the recipe, I started really thinking about the ingredients I was using as mix-ins. Dried fruit can cut into a food budget like a machete, and nuts aren't any cheaper. Sunflower seeds are too small, fall to the bottom of the bag, and never make it into the handfuls spoonfuls of granola. Also, granola would be a fun new food for the baby to try, but it has honey in it. Not to mention, the brown sugar, even though a small amount, was something I wanted to sneak out of the recipe because my kids love this stuff as much as I do!

Stevia is almost always my answer to reinventing things as "sugar-free". To substitute the honey, I used molasses in a 1:1, boom! Baby safe! We arent worried about peanut allergies here. The beauty of granola is it is so customizable! Bonus: this is gluten free!!

Finally, the cost. I'm a Kroger shopper myself, but I'd encourage you to price check your favorite grocery store prices if this cost is a consideration you. What I found is that peanuts and raisins are the most affordable. With that, PB&J Granola was created!

Peanut Butter and Jelly GranolaRevamped from ChowHound's Basic Granola recipe
  • 3 cups ROLLED oats
  • 3 tablespoons stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried raisins
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 300°

With a wooden spoon, stir oats with Stevia, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl until it's nicely blended together.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk molasses, vanilla, and vegetable oil until it's well mixed. This takes a little work, but it is possible.

Pour molasses mixture over the oats and mix with a wooden spoon until the oats are well coated.

Spread the coated oats onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Trust me, you want the parchment paper! It's going to keep your baking sheet clean for minimal cleanup, keep your granola from sticking to your baking sheet like crazy, and double as a nifty funnel to help pack it all away!

Bake for 15 minutes, stir, then bake another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, stir in peanuts and raisins. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to keep it from clumping together.

Now, use the parchment paper and a spatula (or your hands) to get it all into a gallon baggie or plastic container. Make sure it is COMPLETELY cooled before storing. Remaining heat will cause moisture build up, soggy, stale granola, and shorter shelf life.


May muses whisper to you always,
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