Friday, May 1, 2009

Banana Peanut Butter Granola

This recipe is, once again, compliments of: Annie's Eats.  <--For a fabulous photo click that link.  I have had this on my "to do" list all week (or maybe longer) and I'm so glad I finally got in the kitchen to try it.  Now, I must explain that it wasn't so much a lack desire or a fear of failure that kept me from this recipe, but between being sick and baking up a sandwich roll and cookie storm (see previous posts), I just didn't have time or energy.  

But just so you know, this was extremely quick to throw together.  Just be sure that you keep a watchful eye over the granola as it cooks--you don't want it to burn!  Follow the directions carefully. :D   


Note from the 2nd time through this recipe:  I found that the honey was a rather unnecessary addition of sugar.  I keep with the smallest amount of pea. butter as possible--in fact I just toss in a couple spoonfuls that equal approximately 1/3 cup.  1/4 cup brown sugar was more than sufficient.  And I left out the banana chips, chocolate, and peanuts.



3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
2 tbsp. honey (optional)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup mashed bananas
1/3-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, warmed slightly
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup is sufficient for my taste)
1-1 1/2 cups dried banana chips, optional
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, optional
3-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats and puffed rice cereal.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the  honey, applesauce, mashed banana, peanut butter, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar until smooth.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the oat mixture is evenly coated.  Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a thick even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Then, using a large spatula, turn the granola over in segments.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center may not be fully dried.  If necessary, remove the edges of cooked granola and bake the remaining granola for 10-15 minutes more or until done, being careful not to over-bake.  Cool on a wire rack.

Once the granola has cooled, crumble it into a large bowl or plastic bag.  Add in the dried banana chips, honey roasted peanuts and bittersweet chocolate, if using.  Mix well to combine.  Store in an airtight container. 


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