Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Granola

 

IMG_9020

Last week I went to New Hampshire.

For about 12 waking hours.

Let me remind you I live in Virginia.

What? (You might ask.)  Who goes to New Hampshire for 12 hours?!

There are two reasons.

First:  I’ll go anywhere for a nice dinner, and M promised one if I agreed to tag along with him on business trip.  Anything for lovely food.

Second:  I wasn’t paying any attention to the travel arrangements, and had no idea we’d by flying to Boston and driving three hours to get to the remote corner of New Hampshire where the business meeting was happening.  (I figured it out the night before we left.)  The dear husband failed to mention that little detail.  No wonder he wanted a bit of company.

During this drive, I was reminded of how many trees in New Hampshire.  Millions and millions of them.  Lining the mountains along every road we drove upon.   Gorgeous, really.  An overwhelming urge to put on a flannel shirt swept over me.  (It was chilly up there in the mountains with all those trees, and I was still dressed for sticky Virginia weather… silly me.)  I felt sort of crunchy granola communing with all that nature driving through so many trees.

And then, my thoughts turned to updating my granola recipe.  (My thoughts always turn to food, you see.)

I had a lot of time to think about this along the way…

IMG_9019

It is a long-established fact that granola is one of my favorite foods… and the Olive Oil Granola with Dried Cherries has been my go-to for months. But my inner squirrel has been craving a change of pace.  Something a bit naughty, but could actually still be considered a healthy breakfast option.

Hmm, chocolate, peanut butter and bananas… now that’s a dream team of flavors.

IMG_9018

I didn’t want to make the mixture TOO chocolatey, so I added a kiss of cocoa powder.  I suppose if you were planning to eat this more as a snack food than as a breakfast food, you could add some chocolate nibs or tiny chips to the mix.  Even if you were to eat it for breakfast, I wouldn’t tell… Peanut butter in anything makes me happy, and those crunchy banana chips are just so much fun.  (Love the Trader Joe’s Organic ones…)

So, I will admit, New Hampshire was a long way to go for dinner (though it was very nice).

Now that I know how long the drive is, next time I’ll bring a bag of this granola along.  And wear a flannel shirt.

Oh, and I’ll stay a little longer… the coffee was great up there. (A girl must have her travel priorities in order…)

photo 2 (1)

 

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Granola

  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cup pepitas (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried bananas (or a bit more, to taste)
  • Optional: 1 cup cocoa nibs or tiny chocolate chips.

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, coconut and flaxseed.  In a separate bowl, combine the honey, olive oil, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.  Pour the liquid mixture over the oat and nut combination, making sure all of the nuts are evenly coated. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add dried bananas, tossing to combine.

Yield: About 9 cups.

Advertisements