Who likes granola? That’s a trick question because it’s nearly impossible not to love that crunchy, sweet, wholesome, happy cereal. I went through a phase in college where I ate a ton of granola, mainly as a snack while traveling to track meets or to tide me over when I was starving an hour before dinner. While in college I was basically running and studying all the time and had little time to think or care about what was in the food I was eating on a daily basis. After graduating and entering the “real world” I realized that most granola is filled with crap like corn syrup, modified oils, and other chemicals that I defiantly did not want to be eating. I actually tried to make my own granola a few times before giving up and breaking up with my once top snack food.
Flash forward a (quite) a few years and I decided to take another crack at it. I was actually inspired because my husband was topping the plain yogurt and homemade jam breakfasts I was packing him with granola at work. Great idea, but naturally I was horrified at what was in that granola. It was time to take another crack at making the perfect crispy, lightly sweet, and truly wholesome granola.
This time I had a bit more experience with baking temperatures and how ingredients react when combined so I was a bit more confidant. I had no idea I would create such a decadent, naturally sweet treat! Made with a base of oats and seeds (sunflower, flax, and chia), sweetened with a combination of coconut sugar and maple syrup, and flavored with one of my all time favorites, peanut butter, this granola is 100% free of crap but 100% as good if not better than any granola you’ve ever had. I love that it came out naturally gluten-free and refined sugar free. If you have an nut allergy, feel free to swap out the peanut butter for your favorite seed butter. Add some dried cranberries or chocolate chips to bump up the sweetness. The flavor possibilities are endless!
Peanut Butter Granola
2 1/4 cups oats
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp flax seeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 325F and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Add the oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt to a bowl.
In a small pan, heat the coconut oil and peanut butter on low heat until melted. Stir in the vanilla and maple syrup. Pour over dry ingredients and gently toss until everything is combined.
Spread out evenly on the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes*, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Allow to cool for at least 1-2 hr on the counter before breaking it up and storing it in a air tight container. It can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a longer shelf life.
*you can tell the granola is done because it will be a golden brown and fragrant; do not overbake! The bottom will burn before you can see it from the top. The granola will harden as it cools.