Peanut Butter Granola (Refined Sugar Free + Gluten Free +Vegan)

Do you love granola?? I do! It’s one of my favorite foods to have at breakfast in a smoothie or yogurt parfait. And what’s better?? It’s so easy and affordable to make.

If one of your goals is to make more foods from scratch, meal prep/plan, or just cook more at home, this peanut butter granola recipe NEEDS to be on your list. I know I have shared lots of granola recipes on here, but trust me. This one is the best yet!

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Lots of store bought granola’s can be high in fat and sugar. This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to help bind the ingredients to make a good, chunky granola (they’re my fave!). Other fat sources are found in natural peanut butter–a heart healthy fat to keep your hormones happy and your body fueled for the day. Instead of traditional granulated sugar, I use maple syrup and monk fruit sweetener. The maple syrup also adds a binding agent to the granola ensuring we get those chunks we want!

Why Monk Fruit Sweetener?
Have you ever heard of monk fruit? Since the Keto Diet emerged, monk fruit sweetener has been “on trend” because research shows it does not spike blood sugar like table sugar, making it a good alternative sweetener for those with diabetes, PCOS, or other chronic diseases. According to Michigan State University, monk fruit sweetener is derived from a southeast Asian fruit called “luo han gu” and is chemically processed (usually combined with eryitritol) to form a calorie free sugar alternative. Like stevia, monk fruit sweetener is a lot sweeter than regular cane sugar, so you can use less in a recipe (although most packaging companies state monk fruit has a 1:1 ratio with table sugar).

**Disclaimer: While I do like using naturally derived sweeteners (like maple syrup, honey, stevia, sugar alcohols, monk fruit, etc) because I can use less in a recipe compared to table sugar, I also believe that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle when not used in excess. I would not recommend someone use any of these alternatives in excess but to focus more on whole, natural, plant based foods.

Now onto the recipe! 
This peanut butter granola recipe is comparable to my favorite store bought brand, but I like making granola from scratch because it’s economical, easy, and minimal ingredients.

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • If you do not have monk fruit sweetener, no fear! Use 1/3-1/2 cup of maple syrup (instead of 1/4 cup) to give the granola the sweetness + binding factor for the chunky granola
  • Feel free to use any oil you have on hand–I like using coconut or avocado oil (high smoke point to decrease production of free radicals).
  • To make granola chunky: Pack the granola into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper lined sheet pan. If the granola is not packing well, you may need to add more maple syrup or coconut oil. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes, take out of oven and allow to cool completely. This is a crucial step to make the granola chunks.
  • Additional add ins: Once granola is cooled, you may add any toppings you like! Some ideas:
    • dark chocolate chips
    • raisins (or any dried fruit)
    • chia seeds
    • nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc)
    •  freeze dried fruit (like strawberries or apples)
  • To make a complete & balanced meal, add granola to protein smoothie bowls, Greek yogurt parfaits, or protein oats.

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Peanut Butter Granola

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/3-1/2 cup of not using monk  fruit)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add oats. Set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, add cinnamon, vanilla extract, coconut oil, peanut butter, monk fruit, and maple syrup. Microwave for 30-45 seconds until smooth–OR heat over stove top.
4. Pour peanut butter mixture over oats and coat well.
5. Pour granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. For chunks, press granola into a rectangle, 1/4 inch thick.
6. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Allow granola to cool completely (1 hour).
8. Break granola into chunks and store in air tight container.
9. Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite flavor of granola? Let me know in the comments section! As always, tag me on IG @balanced.nutrition.dietitian if you try!

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Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

Sources:

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/sweetener-stevia-monk-fruit-sweeteners

Maple-Almond Granola

Ah, granola. Such an easy thing to make and yet many people buy it in the store out of convenience.  However, typical store bought granola is high in fat, sugar, and overall calories for a very little serving.

I am SO excited to share my granola recipe with you all. It’s sweet, crunchy, and contains heart healthy fats. The best part? All of these items are probably in your pantry! Oats, almonds, ground flax seed, salt, cinnamon, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla! You can make it in no time.

*Nutrition fact: flax seed is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which is a heart healthy fat. To get nutrient benefits from flax seed, you must pulse seeds in a blender for your body to digest properly. When the flax seed is whole, it passes through and is not properly digested, so make sure you grind it up!

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Maple-Almond Granola

  • Servings: 8-10 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped Almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Flakes, unsweetened

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix oats, almonds, ground flax seed, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. In a separate, microwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add maple syrup mixture to oat mixture and mix well until fully incorporated.
  5. Spread over parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes (flipping halfway through).
  6. After 30 minutes, add coconut flakes if desired. Bake additional 5 minutes
  7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes-1 hour before storing in air tight container.
  8. Serve over Greek yogurt parfait, on top smoothie bowls, or enjoy dry for a quick snack!

 

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My favorite way to enjoy this granola is in a Greek yogurt parfait. Mix 2/3 cup Greek yogurt with a dash of vanilla. Add in your favorite berries and sprinkle some granola on top! Perfect for breakfast or a pre-workout snack.

 

What is your favorite way to eat granola?

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing,

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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