Throwback to a classic sandwich with these crunchy PB & J granola clusters. Nuts and seeds make this a filling, healthy breakfast topping or by-the-handful snack.
Are you sitting down? You might want to before reading further.
Okay, are you ready? I have a confession to make. I’ve never, not once in my life, eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Come on, get all the shock and gasping out of your system now so that I can explain. As you may have gathered, my house was a nut-free zone growing up. Well, nut-free in a dietary sense. The people are a whole other story.
But when you can’t have nuts in the house, you face a serious problem trying to make a proper PB & J sandwich.
Anyway, I was never such a fan of jelly. Even the word induced shuddering and a strong desire to wipe my thoughts clean of the sticky, sugary mess. The aversion only grew stronger as I got older. Have you ever seen the ingredients on a jar of jelly? Forgetting about the absurdly high sugar content, the fact that I couldn’t pronounce a handful of things listed was enough to turn me off.
Making my own is an appealing idea. I even went so far as finding a recipe to use, on Cookie and Kate‘s website. We’re not in berry season, though, so that plan will have to simmer patiently on the back burner.
Despite the lack of this dietary staple, I’d say I’ve gotten pretty far in life, yet I want to make up for lost time. You can find me at the drawing board, scribbling ideas.
In the meantime, let’s talk granola. This is my favorite aisle of the grocery store, second only to the nut butter shelves. My high granola standards mean that you can find me closely examining various bags to uncover the one with the biggest clusters. It’s all about the cluster game, man.
Numerous attempts at granola-making resulted in a motley crew of cluster-less batches. It’s been a long (albeit tasty) journey, but I’ve finally discovered the trick of the trade. (This Hot ‘n Spicy Coconut Granola was one of the successes.) Unfortunately, it requires extra patience, which is difficult to come by when there’s the evocative scent of PB & J tickling your nose. Trust me, though, it’s worth it. And coming from someone whose level of crankiness if directly proportional to huger, that’s saying something.
So, now, moving onto the secret.
Consider other recipes you follow. Most tell you to rotate the pans in the oven halfway through. Flip the vegetables or chicken or what-have-you over, so that the other side can get equally cooked. Well, time to toss all that out the nearest window.
For the chunkiest granola clusters you need to LEAVE IT ALONE. That’s right. I am ordering you not to futz with the oven. Ignore it. Go take a walk. Do some yoga. Watch TV. Anything but stir the granola at any point while it bakes. Then, when you take it out of the oven, restrain yourself just a little while longer so that it can cool. Patience is tough, I get it, but a) it’s a virtue and b) I’m saving you from inevitably burning yourself when you overeagerly chomp on a handful of this PB & J granola that I’ve been yammering about for ages.
Even though I have no idea how you’d have missed it, I have a soft spot for granola and peanut butter. Can you blame me for bringing the two together? It makes me want to burst out singing “You’ve got the beeeeest of both worlds!” Part of me is cringing at the Hannah Montana reference, but most of me is just going to embrace it because excited anticipation has me on top of the world.
Although the nice thing to do is share the goodies, I wouldn’t judge you for munching it all yourself. In fact, I’d probably even applaud you. But, on the off chance that there’s a holiday spirit zipping around your home, and you’re feeling generous, place some PB & J granola in a mason jar (for that hipster look) and tie a ribbon around it, then go deliver cheer and delicious breakfast possibilities.
I can see the blossoming friendships already: ‘Hey friends, got granola?’
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup peanuts
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup dried raisins, cranberries, blueberries, goji berries
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and seeds. Set aside.
- Put the peanut butter, honey, oil, cinnamon, and salt into a small pot. Stir over medium flame until smooth and just beginning to bubble.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix to ensure everything is fully coated.
- Spread out in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. DO NOT TOUCH UNTIL COOL.This allows the granola to form clusters.