This month on TNB, we’re going Back to Basics! All month long, I’m sharing recipes and techniques for how to make pantry staples healthier and from scratch. Learn the simplest way to make granola and never have to buy it again.
Here is a classic, homemade peanut butter granola recipe – with just five ingredients. It’s customizable and well-suited to various additions, like nuts, seeds, spices, and dried fruit. But it’s equally great as is – plain, with the peanut flavor being the star.
Granola is one of those things that once I learned to make from scratch, I never bought at the store again (like salad dressing). The technique is simple and straightforward, and the granola honestly just tastes better. It’s fresher (duh) and you get to control the quality of ingredients you use and how much sweetener goes in.
Variations and Additions
This vegan peanut butter granola recipe has only five ingredients: oats, coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. But, there are countless variations…
– The nutty aroma of unrefined coconut oil is perfect for granola, but if you don’t have it, use avocado, organic canola, or even extra virgin olive oil. They all work.
– Instead of peanut butter, you can use any other nut butter you have (almond, cashew) or even tahini. Always be sure to use natural, additive-free, sugar-free nut butter – not Jif or similar brands. The only ingredient in peanut butter should be peanuts (and maybe salt).
– In place of maple syrup, you can use honey.
– If you have some nuts, chop them up and toss them in with the oats for extra protein and crunch. I typically use walnuts, pecans, or almonds. Seeds like chia and hemp are also great additions.
– Warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and cardamom amplify the sweet, toasty flavor of granola. You can add up to a teaspoon and a half of spices in total.
– Dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, and chopped apricots lend a nice textural balance to granola. Wait until the very end to add it, though. If you bake it with the granola, it’ll dry out. I like to sprinkle on the fruit right before I transfer the granola from the baking sheet to a storage container.
Important Notes for Baking Granola
First: Use parchment paper on your baking sheet to prevent the granola from sticking. It also makes for easy cleanup.
Second: Arrange the granola in a thin, single layer on the baking sheet for optimal crispness. If the granola is too crowded in a too-small baking vessel, it will never crisp up properly.
And third: If you want your granola to have nice chunky clusters – and you definitely do! – do not stir it while it’s baking and let it cool completely before touching it at all. Granola crisps as it cools.
Finally, be sure to store your granola in an airtight container and it’ll stay fresh for up to several weeks. (I use these glass canisters from Amazon.) I like to eat mine with oat milk or on vegan yogurt with berries.Print
Here is a classic peanut butter granola recipe. Keep it simple with just 5 ingredients, or switch it up with nuts and seeds, warming spices, and different oils and nut butters.
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chia or hemp seeds (optional)
- ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, and seeds, if using.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oil, sweetener, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon, if using. Whisk until smooth. Pour the oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the oats are evenly coated.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet (do not stir), and continue baking until the granola is fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely (don’t stir yet) – the granola will become crunchy and form clusters as it cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several weeks.
- Serving Size: About 3/4 cup
- Calories: 300
Keywords: vegan, peanut butter, granola, coconut oil, breakfast