This week officially marks the 9th month of my pregnancy and let me tell you – my appetite is in full force. Recently I was craving a chocolate chip cookie with cold milk. As you can probably imagine, I don’t keep cookies in my house and I’m not big into baking. And really, what woman needs 2 dozen cookies sitting around her house? In typical Liz-fashion, I decided to come up with a healthy solution to my craving by creating a homemade recipe for granola that not only incorporates chocolate but also peanut butter. Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite sweet and salty combination. Add in oats and flax seed and you’re well on your way to a healthy granola.
Store-bought granola is often laden in excess calories from oils, sugars, nuts and dried fruit.
Here are a few reasons my homemade alternative will not break the calorie bank:
1) Zero Oil: Instead of using oil, I add one egg to bind the granola. Added bonus? Eggs are loaded in protein, minerals and nutrients.
2) Fresh Fruit: It is Summer, afterall, so there is no reason to use dried fruit when the markets are bursting with berries of all colors. Fresh fruit is low calorie, high in fiber and nutrient-rich. Add as much as you wish!
3) Natural Peanut Butter: As my friends know, I am mildy addicted to Koeze Natural Peanut Butter made here in Grand Rapids. Full of protein and minerals, I will use any excuse to add it to my recipes.
Your cereal bowl is waiting.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola
- 4 c rolled oats (old fashioned)
- 2 large Shredded Wheat biscuits (crushed)
- 1/4 c flax seed meal
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 c natural peanut butter
- 1/2 c honey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c chocolate chips (mini work well)
- Fresh berries to serve (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Combine oats, crushed shredded wheat, flaxseed meal and sea salt in a large bowl. (To crush shredded wheat - place in plastic sandwich bag and crush with your fist.)
- Meanwhile, melt natural peanut butter and honey in microwave for 60 seconds or until smooth; let cool.
- Combine cooled peanut butter mixture with 1 egg and whisk to combine. (Mixture must be cool or you will cook the egg.)
- Pour peanut butter mixture into oats mixture and stir well; add in chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into baking pan and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 25 minutes and let cool completely. Ideally, refrigerate overnight before breaking up into granola chunks.
- Store in air-tight container for up to 2 months.