I try not to go into Whole Foods but I live very close to one and find myself there far too often.
When I’m there I especially try to avoid the bulk bins or at least try to recreate bulk bin items at home.
A sample of this and that and I could make a dinner out of bulk bin and hot bar samples. No shame.
One thing that I don’t just sample and actually buy is the ‘PB & J Granola’. It’s very chewy, a little bit gooey, slightly crunchy, and highly addictive. I love it and decided to try a DIY version.
It’s a one-bowl, no mixer, easy recipe and after studying the label on the bulk bin, I learned the granola is made with peanut butter, honey, oats, oat bran, chopped peanuts, raisins, and dried strawberries.
I used conventional honey-roasted peanut butter and haven’t tried using natural or homemade peanut butter or other nut butter such as almond butter. They tend to be runnier, thinner, and adjustments to the dry ingredients will likely need to be made.
Rather than using dried strawberries because they’re ungodly expensive and would require a special online order for most people, I used dried cranberries. I love the chewiness and natural sweetness the dried fruit provides but I know some people loathe raisins. If you’re not a fan of raisins or dried cranberries, substitute with an alternate dried fruit.
I used a bit of oat bran which I buy from the bulk bins, but if you don’t keep it on hand or don’t want to buy it, grind old-fashioned whole-rolled oats in your food processor or blender for about 30 seconds.
The granola will keep for up to a month and I suggest giving lots of it away because it’s pretty dangerous to have around. A nibble, a handful, and seven handfuls later. So good.
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- heaping 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used conventional honey-roasted peanut butter)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant because they behave like flour and will make mixture too dry)
- 1 cup finely chopped lightly salted or salted peanuts (love my Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup oat bran (often found in bulk bins or substitute with 1/2 cup oat flour by grinding 1/2 cup whole-rolled oats in food processor or blender for 30 seconds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (the saltiness level in peanut butter and peanuts varies greatly)
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the peanut butter (haven’t tried using natural or homemade peanut butter or other nut butter such as almond butter; they tend to be runnier, thinner, and adjustments to the dry ingredients will likely need to be made), honey (haven’t tried with agave or maple syrup), heat on high power for 30 seconds to soften, and stir to combine.
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. If you don’t like raisins or dried cranberries, substitute with an alternate dried fruit or you may possibly be able to omit dried fruit entirely if you add more dry ingredients, although I haven’t tried so cannot comment on exact measurements.
- Turn mixture out on prepared baking sheet. It’ll take up the entire baking sheet and while you don’t want to hard-pack it, make sure it’s a fairly flat layer and all pieces are of uniform height because higher pieces will have a tendency to burn. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes.
- Remove tray from oven and using a spatula (like you’d use to flip eggs or burgers), flip sections of the granola over until it’s all been flipped. I prefer flipping to stirring because I think it cooks more evenly.
- Return tray to oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until granola is lightly browned, keeping in mind that granola will cook a slight bit more as it rests and cools on baking tray. Keep a watchful eye on it after you’ve flipped it because it can be prone to burning. Granola firms up as it cools. Allow granola to cool for at least 1 hour on baking tray (or overnight and exposed to air if you prefer it to be drier) before serving. Granola will keep airtight for 3 to 4 weeks.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g
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