Friends? Get yoselves ready because here come the Big Clusters marching down bloggy avenue. Your snacking, breakfasting, and crunchy-sprinkled-topping will never be the same. These are happy granola hailstones of epic peanut-buttery-delicious proportions.
You might already remember that Bjork and I are now your weird friends who follow what we’re calling a sugar selective diet so normally granola would be kind of a treat for us. *eye roll* But the yummy-good news is that refined sugars are long gone in this granola recipe, making this an everyday snackerific awesome food that we can feel three cheers good about. To sweeten these big boys, I used a couple of different things during testing, like real maple syrup // raw honey // the newest food to our pantry: brown rice syrup <– who are we —> and it’s all just a big sugar selective granola party up in this house.
The granola itself is mildly sweet, peanutty, whole wheaty, and so satisfyingly crunchy with semi-soft centers to the clusters because I hate to launch into a bowl of granola and not be able to hear anything. But then again the crunch is necessary, right? These accommodate both the crunch and the soft yummy.
A word about the big clusters. A handful of these makes for a per-fect-o-snack. They are begging for one bite grabs every.single.time. you walk by the kitchen and have caused certain food bloggers in our family to get their hands stuck in the granola jar while digging for that one big cluster at the bottom of the jar. Dare I say they remind me of a freshly baked peanut butter cookie in crunchy snack form? Whoa now. Trouble with a capital T.
My MUST MAKE GRANOLA NOW mindset got started actually like three weeks ago. I’ve been in the granola swing of things ever since I went to the cabin and we ate like kings because my mom made like 800 gallons of homemade granola for us to eat sprinkled on everything all the time. Then it was 11pm on a Friday night last week and big fat clusters needed to happen a-sap, and so began the making of the granolas.
I made a few different batches including my mom’s for, you know, like, the recipe research and stuff? munch munch. And I settled real nice and comfy on this peanut butter granola because it’s
- irresistibly delicious,
- banana and blueberry and yogurt’s best friend,
- totally EZ to make, and
- absolutely guaranteed to give you all the sweet clusters that your heart desires.
The whole party pan of granola is basically one big cluster when it comes out of the oven, so you get to control the clusterabilty when you stir it all up in there like-a-so.
In addition to this granola being the highlight of my week (and its only Monday! genius) I would have to say that having a new sidewalk is basically the best thing that could have ever happened to our front yard and I feel unnaturally happy when I go stand in the street like a creeper to admire our house and its new smooth grey cement. Next up on the list of house things: dirt, trees, grass seed, and other things that no one wants to spend money on.
On the list of fun things that is a little better to spend money on is the impending kitchen remodel. Yes yes yes yesss! We’re talking about the knocking down of walls and the installation of real appliances that have more than one heat setting and the picking out of non-orange cabinets and things of that sort. Here’s a little rough phase one drawing of what’s to come. When I look at this I squeal in my head. Or outloud. Or both.
Okay, so maybe it’s a little anticlimactic unless you remember how our kitchen currently looks and how there’s a big wall that’s in the way and that’s going to be knocked down to make this all happen. EEEEE
This plan is currently being reworked a bit already – the visible microwave is getting kicked to the curb and the oven is moving under the cooktop because my dreams are going to come true when we put a dishwasher there instead. The fridge area will have some cool built-ins and it’s actually not pictured here, but it will be directly across from the sink on the back wall. The counter on the cooktop side will also extend as many inches as we can possibly squeak out into the next room (which is the dining room) for a perfect place for Bjork to sit and chat with me all day every day while I’m cooking. There might be some iced coffee and zucchini muffin bribery required for that, but I dream big.
So yes – the Yum Sweet Home kitchen aka my office is small and it’s cozy, and it’s open for helpful advice. Small kitchen friends and fellow old house dwellers, please teach me how to efficiently cook in a small space! What do we NEED need? Am I forgetting something or totally messing something up here? Does it look seriously so awesome? <– you win free granola shipments.
And actual tiny house friends… oh my gosh. If you seriously live in a tiny house I am dying to stalk you. We are kind of on a tiny house documentary TV and movie binge and I’m so curious about the whole thing. I will fall off my chair if you leave a comment.
Alright alright I talk too much I get it I get it I get it. Granola time is upon us.
So everybody say hello to oats, peanuts, whole wheat flour and the gang and just let all the friendly hippie foods wrap you up in a yummy granola group hug.
- 3½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup salted or honey roasted peanuts (chopped if you want but not necessary)
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup natural peanut butter (doesn't have to be exact - messy mess)
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Mix the oats, nuts, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the peanut butter, canola oil, real maple syrup, vanilla, and milk together until smooth. Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Line a large (9x13 or larger) jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Pour the granola mixture onto the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes; stir once. Bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and dry to the touch, but check back before the timer goes off to make sure it's not getting too brown and dry. You want it to still be semi-soft. Leave the granola out for a while (2-3 hours) to cool, cluster, and crunchify. I left mine in the oven after it had cooled down to prevent the eat-a-cluster-every-time-you-walk-by problem. Serve on yogurt, with fruit, ice cream, milk, or just as a clusterific snack.
You can customize this by using different nuts, nut butters, and sweeteners. I made a honey almond version using sliced almonds, almond butter, and a combo of honey and brown rice syrup. Mmmm.