Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chunky Granola

DSC_0054

That title is a mouthful.  But I wanted you to know exactly what this granola is all about.  I’m a granola fanatic, check out my other recipes  – Apple Blueberry, Orange Chocolate, Tropical, Coconut Curry, with more to come.  I find it the perfect on the go snack with endless customization capabilities.

But even as much as I love granola, I’m sick of granola.  I don’t mean I’m sick of eating granola, because like I said, it’s the perfect snack.  I mean, I’m sick of the concept of granola.  Every time I get an idea for a granola I Google it to see if someone has already done it.  To this day I’m still hopeful I will find a recipe that sounds so amazing I will follow it to the letter.  It has yet to happen.  Instead I’m bombarded by granola recipes using 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of honey/syrup, and 1/2 cup of oil for 3-4 cups of oats.  Now some of you are thinking, well just add “healthy,” or “low oil” or “low sugar” to your search title and that should get rid of those recipes.  No, see this is a morning of ranting.  Those other people should have to add “high sugar,” “preposterous amounts of oil,” or “under the guise of healthy but really not”  to their search titles to get the granolas they desire.

The problem with most granolas recipes, and I’ve said this before (but it’s worth repeating) is that people turn it into candy.  Which is fine if you want candy, but then call it “Candy Granola.”  But why would people take something as wonderfully good for them as oats or nuts and coat them in oil and sugar?  Is it some game they play with themselves?  What level of deceit can I pass by my own mind today?  Stop with the foolishness.  If you want to eat candy, eat candy.  There’s no shame in it.  If you want to eat granola, eat granola.

These are snipped reviews from the most popular regular granola recipe I could find because I really just did not have anything better to do.  In actuality I just didn’t feel like doing the things I should be doing.

Reviewed Regular Granola (1/2 cup serving)

Calories 370
Fat 19 g
Carbohydrates 44 g
Sugar 20 g
Protein 8 g

“…wholesome & healthy & tasty”
“Will make it often for a healthy snack.”
“My toddler loves this too and keeps asking for more.”
“I try to give my kids food that are healthy, homemade and as natural as possible and I have tried many different granola’s but could never find one my kids would eat until now. They love it and ask for it every morning, they even help me make it. Thanks for having such healthy foods that I can feel comfortable making and giving them.”
“If you want to get the kids to eat it, substitute 1 cup of chocolate chips or m&m’s for 1 cup of raisins (not quite as healthy, but still MUCH better for you than a candy bar and boy is it good! Kind of a trail mix granola.) With the shredded coconut and the chocolate chips, it tastes like a healthy magic cookie bar.”
“Yummy, healthy and not too sweet.”

Mind you I only had to go about 20 reviews in to find this many claims of healthiness and how good it is for children.  Yeah this snack is better for your kids than a Snickers bar, but conning them into eating a pseudo healthy snack is in my mind way more detrimental.  And that whole thing about getting your kids to eat something.  My father wouldn’t let me leave the table until I finished my dinner or if I decided I didn’t want to eat whatever he was making I didn’t get to eat.  I feel like I’ve grown up into a fairly well adjusted adult despite that traumatic upbringing.  They’re your children, you’re not their catering service.

Edit: at first I took that one’s reviewer’s word for it, that whole “…MUCH better for you than a candy bar…” thing.   But then I thought about it and thought maybe it’s not, turns out it’s really not.

Snickers Bar (regular size 52.7 g)

Calories 250
Fat 12 g
Carbohydrates 33 g
Sugar 27 g
Protein 4 g

My Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Granola (1/2 cup serving)

Calories 215
Fat 10 g
Carbohydrates 26 g
Sugar 5 g
Protein 8 g

The average American eats 22-28 teaspoons of sugar a day (that’s 110-130 grams or 350-440 empty calories).  Dietitians recommend we cap our added sugar intake to about 6.5-9.5 teaspoons a day (32.5-47.5 grams or 100-150 calories).  The popularly reviewed granola has 20 g of sugar in one serving, which is about half of the total consumption you should be aiming towards in one day.  And chances are you’re going to eat more than one serving of that.  My granola has 15 g of added sugar in the entire recipe, plus 3-5 g if you decide to use a sugarized peanut butter.

With the addition of peanut butter and banana I find this granola to be an excellent breakfast item when you’re in a rush.  It’s got a balanced amount of nutrients and with the huge chunks it turns into it’s easy to eat in whatever mode of transportation you take to whatever you’re going to.

My goal is to make this recipe look as easy as possible so everyone will start making their own granola.  Excluding baking time I can get a granola batch going in 5 minutes, that’s less time it takes to actually go to the store.  Unless you’re pulling a Natalie Portman in Home Is Where the Heart Is, but then I don’t think you would have access to a working stove…

Recipe:

1 banana (mashed)
3 1/2 cups oats (old fashion)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanuts (raw, chopped)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup banana chips

Baking time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours

Preheat oven 300°

Add all your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl: nuts, seeds, oats, flour, salt.

DSC_0002

Mix.

DSC_0003

Add all your wet ingredients to a pot over low heat: water, applesauce, peanut butter, cocoa powder, banana.  Heat just until everything is well integrated.  If you need it a little more sugary I would add 1 tbsp of brown sugar.

DSC_0006

Take off the heat and add your vanilla.

DSC_0008

Add your wet to your dry and mix.

DSC_0009

Mixture should clump in your hand without being too sticky.  You can really add as many nuts or whatever, add more/less peanut butter, more less chocolate to this recipe and any of these granola recipes.  As long you get this texture at the end everything should set up the way you want.

DSC_0013

Spread onto lightly oiled baking sheet.

DSC_0015

Mixture should be as flat as possible.  Sprinkle with your 1 tbsp of white sugar.  This is how I get away with not adding any sugar into the wet base.

DSC_0016

Bake at 300° for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.  I start checking on it at about 40 minutes to make sure nothing is starting to burn.  If it is I take it out, break it into medium large chunks, redistribute, yell profanities at my shitty stove, then check regularly until done.  You have to do the yelling part or it won’t work.  Crappy stoves only respond to negative reinforcement.  I’ve tried to be nice.

DSC_0031

While it’s cooling break apart into smaller chunks and add your banana chips or any other fruit you desire.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chunky Granola

  1. I can’t wait to try this…. I think my duaghter will love it… I eat a lot of homemade granola that I add protein powder to.
    Could you replace the white sugar with honey?

    • You could replace the white sugar with honey. I sprinkle the sugar on at the end before I bake it so the granules stay intact. If you do honey I would probably add it before you mix everything together and do 1-2 tbsp (if you want to keep it at the sweetness level that I do), if anything it will just change the cooking time but only slightly.

      Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s