It has come to my attention that not everyone eats granola, and I have a problem with this. Granola is so delicious, so easy, so customizable, and makes yogurt so much more edible. In an attempt to eat more protein and less sugar, one addition to the fridge has been Greek yogurt. I know I’m so behind the trend on this, but seriously, that stuff is gross. My kids thankfully barely notice, but, being a bit of a texture snob when it comes to things like pudding, mashed potatoes, regular yogurt and smoothies without a straw, I find the thick creaminess slightly gag-inducing. Introduce granola, though, and we have a whole ‘nother story.
I make super simple granola semi-regularly, and we also love my sister Erin’s peanut butter chocolate granola, and she has about 5 granola recipes in our new family cookbook that I’m itching to try. This slow cooker granola is the newest addition to my granola rotation.
Why add to an already much-loved rotation, you ask? Well, there are a lot of people in my house, and all the kids like granola, so we eat it pretty regularly for a quick, healthy breakfast or lunch. I don’t have a convection oven, so you can imagine how quickly one baking sheet of granola gets gobbled up, whether on yogurt, in wraps, or just by the handful. The big batch aspect of this granola was what sold me.
It’s also slightly less crunchy than regular granola, eliminating the problem I sometimes have of over-toasting my nuts into slightly-burnt territory. So there’s still stirring involved, and then spreading it out to cool, but at the end you have a huge container of granola – I store half in the freezer until the first half is gone, then whip out the second half and pretend like I just made granola again when I actually I spent the time it would’ve taken blogging about it instead ;)
If you like oatmeal, you’ll like granola so much better – remember that texture issue we talked about earlier? As you might’ve guessed, I don’t really do traditional oatmeal either :P This granola is fairly soft when it’s freshly finished, so you can enjoy it that way, or lay it out to cool and let it crisp up before storing it. Make this your own – I’ve thrown in things like hemp seeds, flax seeds, all kinds of nuts, any kind of dried fruit, chocolate chips and coconut shavings – I’d love to hear your favourite mix-ins!
- 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- ½ - 1 cup almonds or other nuts/seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup honey
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup dried fruit
- Lightly grease crock-pot cooking spray or a bit of oil. Add the oats, nuts and salt. In a large measuring cup or small glass bowl, combine the honey, oil, peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Microwave for a minute to soften, then stir until very smooth.
- Pour the liquids into the crockpot and stir well to thoroughly coat the oats. Place the lid on the crockpot, leaving it slightly vented. Cook on HIGH for 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring well every 30 minutes. Stir in the dried fruit right at the end - this is when I also like to stir in ½ cup mini chocolate chips for an extra treat. It can be eaten right away, warm and slightly soft, or dump the granola out on a large baking sheet or two and let it cool completely before transferring to an airtight container - it will crisp up more as it cools.
- This keeps for up to a month in the fridge, and can be frozen for longer storage - transfer to fridge overnight to thaw.
- Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen