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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola (Fish, Egg, Wheat, Milk and Soy-Free, Can Be Nut-Free)

I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of granola.  I like it on yogurt, as a cereal, as a snack by itself - I just find it quite satisfying.  Not only is it tasty, but it is quite easy to make.  And, let me tell you, homemade is a million times better than store bought.  Trust me - once you make your own, there's no going back!

For this recipe, I decided to combine my love of granola with my love of peanut butter.  Though I have tried other recipes out there, this one (which involved me taking what I liked from a few different recipes and tweaking the resulting recipe until I got something I was really happy with) is my favorite.  It is truly a winner for all you peanut butter and granola fans out there, I promise!

This granola is fish, egg, wheat, milk and soy-free (if all your ingredients are), and can also be nut-free (see variations).  It is also very customizable (see variations).  Winner-winner, chicken dinner!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola

2-4 Cups gluten-free old-fashioned or quick cooking oats, NOT instant oatmeal
(We always use quick cooking oats.)

½ Cup of soy-free, creamy peanut butter
(We normally use Jif Natural Creamy, but you can use your favorite brand that fits your dietary needs.)

¼ Cup honey
(We always use clover honey, and we get local honey whenever possible.)

dash to 1/2 teaspoon of salt
(We always use the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
(We always add this, and always use the 1 teaspoon.)

1 ½ teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract (optional)
(We prefer to leave the vanilla out unless we want a really dessert-type taste to the granola which isn't often.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  2. Measure out your oats into a large bowl and set aside. (Note: For those will Celiac's or gluten-sensitivity/allergy, please make sure that your oats and other ingredients are certified gluten-free.  If you cannot have oats at all, see my variations below for grain-free options.  Also, the amount of oats you use is up to you.  If you want a more chunky-style with large pieces of granola when it is finished, use the lesser amount of oats.  If you want it more cereal/topping-like with smaller pieces of granola when it is finished, use the larger amount of oats.)
  3. In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon (if using); heat until the peanut butter is melted.  (Note: You don't have to boil this mixture, just get the peanut butter melted to a liquid stage.  The amount of salt you use is up to you, but I much prefer it with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, personally.  Also, I always use the cinnamon, and prefer to use the 1 teaspoon amount, but you can leave it out if you don't like cinnamon or use the 1/2 teaspoon if you want less cinnamon flavor.) 

  4. Remove peanut butter mixture from the heat and stir in vanilla, if using.  (Note: Again, make sure your vanilla is certified gluten-free if you need it to be!  The vanilla will give the granola a more peanut butter fudge taste, so if you don't want that flavor, leave it out.  Without the vanilla, it tastes more like your regular peanut butter granola bars or these peanut butter cookies.  Personally, we prefer it without the vanilla, but I listed it in the recipe for all of those that like that flavor in their granola.)
  5. Pour peanut butter mixture over oats; stir to coat.
  6. Spread in a large, shallow, un-greased baking pan (think half to full-size sheet pan).  (Note: If you want to put the granola on parchment paper, you can, but it is not necessary.)
  7. Bake for around 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until lightly toasted. DO NOT OVERBAKE.  Slightly underbaking is better than overbaking.  (Note: Yes, you need to  stir it every 5 minutes or it will burn!  You can stir it as often as every 3 minutes if you are worried you will burn it.)
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the granola to waxed paper or parchment paper, spread the granola out flat, and then cool the granola completely before enjoying.  (Note: You don't want to stir the granola after this point until it's completely cooled unless you don't want larger clusters of granola.  If you want it to have a fine texture, you will have to stir it/break it up as it cools.  If you like it with more clusters (like I do), let it set until it is completely cool before stirring.)
  9. Enjoy as a topping, a cereal or a snack as is, and store any left-overs in an airtight container. (Note: I store mine in the fridge so that it lasts longer, but you can store it in the cupboard, as well.)

Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using substitutions.  Thank you!):

  • Peanut-Free and/or Nut-Free: You can make this recipe peanut-free by using a tree nut butter of choice for the peanut butter, or you can make it completely peanut-free and nut-free by substituting a seed butter for the peanut butter.
  • Grain-Free: You can leave out the oats and use quinoa flakes if you need this recipe to be grain-free.
  • Different Flavors/Add-Ins: As I've mentioned, you can completely customize this granola!  You can add in peanuts, tree nuts, dried fruits, seeds, flavored nuts and seeds (i.e. chocolate or yogurt covered, cinnamon and sugar covered, honey roasted), M&Ms, pretzel bits (gluten-free, if needed), mini cookie bits (gluten-free, if needed), chocolate chips (allergy-friendly like Enjoy Life, if needed), butterscotch chips, vanilla chips, mini marshmallows, etc. to the cooled granola mixture, if you desire and can have them.  You can even use a flavored peanut butter, Nutella, etc. for the peanut butter, too.  Whatever you think sounds good that fits in your dietary needs is allowed! :)

Here's some flavor options for you to try:

Nutty: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts

Peanut Butter and Jelly: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Dried Cranberries (You could use any dried fruit for the "jelly" part.)

Peanut Butter Cup: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Mini Chocolate Chips
Fluffer Nutter: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts and Mini Marshmallows

Chocolate Fluffer Nutter: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Mini Marshmallows, and Mini Chocolate Chips

Chocolate PB&J: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Dried Cranberries (or dried fruit of choice), and Mini Chocolate Chips
Fully Loaded: Original Recipe with Cocktail Peanuts, Dried Cranberries (or dried fruit of choice), Mini Marshmallows, and Mini Chocolate Chips
 Looks great, right?  So many options!

Enjoy, and have a great rest of your week!

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