I’m a cereal gal. I remember walking into my parents room late at night, begging for a midnight bowl to satisfy my forever hungry stomach. At the time my favorites were Honey Comb, Quaker Oat Squares, and Pops cereals. However, as I have gotten older my palette has changed dramatically, and I’m now more sophisticated when it comes to cereal and midnight snacking.
Cereal is not meant to be neon yellow and shaped like a honey comb. It should be tasty, healthy, and most importantly CRUNCHY. Peanut butter is also an added bonus. So instead of reaching for the box of Red number five “Os” to fill your late night bowl, why not make up a batch of your own homemade granola? Not only is it much cheaper to do at home, but this granola rivals any breakfast brand on the market. Just this past week I have made over 6 batches of granola and sent it over to my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my teachers, and my own family. Right now I’m glancing over at the countertop, and it looks like the granola stache is already running low again.
But don’t worry, this granola is so easy to make that it requires less than 30 minutes from start to finish, so you can have fresh granola without wasting time and gas money by taking a trip to the grocery store. This is extremely convenient for me because I know that if I walk into the grocery store just looking for a box of cereal, I will walk out with at least three avocados and a jar of nut butter too. This recipe also is oil-free, something that is rare in the world of conventional granola. Even without the oil, this granola is full of clusters. Just be sure to turn the cookie sheet halfway through baking and refrain from stirring. Once the granola is slightly brown on the top, pull it out of the oven and let it completely cool on the tray before breaking into pieces. It will feel soft, but the rest period allows the clusters to solidify.
This granola also makes a fantastic gift, packaged all fancy in a mason jar. If you’re super crafty, throw a bow on there with a cute food pun. The person who receives it will probably nag you to make more the next day though, so be prepared for that.
- 2 cups rolled old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
- 2 cups plain corn flakes (no sugar added)
- ½ cup salted peanuts
- ¼ cup vanilla protein powder (I used Sprout Living Vanilla Lucuma)
- ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Combine oats, corn flakes, peanuts, and protein powder into a large bowl and stir until combined.
- In a medium sauce pan, pour in the maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and runny. (about 30-60 seconds)
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over top of the oats and cereal and stir until completely coated.
- Spread mixture over a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 14-18 minutes, or until just slightly browned on top. I like to leave the granola alone the whole baking time, only spinning the tray around halfway through cooking to create large clusters. The granola will feel soft and undercooked but let it rest completely on the baking sheet.
- After about 2 hours, break the granola into pieces and store in mason jars for up to a week. If it lasts that long. 😉