I love everything when it comes to food. Well, almost everything.
There are a handful of food words I simply do not like. It’s not the typical offenders- calories, fat, and sugar. In fact, I love those words. Instead, food words such as: kale and beets, drive fear into my hungry tummy. I’m here to say those infamous foods have topped my “I don’t like you” list for way too long. Oh, and quinoa…poor popular gal. It’s nothing personal.
Finding new ways to enjoy these foods has not been easy, but I’m making a valiant effort. Beet smoothies, chips, salads, and even juice have won kale and beets on the “I just might love you” list. In case you’re wondering, I have lots of lists. Even quinoa has found her way over there. I love you, girlfriend.
Just because the doctors and nutritionist of this world claim a food as a “must eat” doesn’t mean I’m planning to start a non-stop kale fest. Okay, maybe if it involves chips! Afterall, aren’t the same people preaching all-things kale, the same “don’t eat butter, it’s the Devil” folks? Just sayin’.
P.S. I love you, docs and nutritionists. No hard feelings.
Now, back to the “I don’t like you” list. It’s a list for food, not people. Please, don’t panic…no people, just food.
Since kale, beets, and quinoa found their way to the happier party side, chia seeds top my infamous list. In response to my complete dismay at the tiny seed that resembles a bug, I’ve been told, “Just add those babies to some water or a smoothie. So delicious!” I’ve tried that spectacular method and I have a four letter word to describe my experience of chia-drinking…yuck! Remember, we’re wholesome and family-friendly around here.
Behold, today I stand before you to declare “I love chia seeds!”.
Why the sudden change? Nope, I didn’t add them to water or my favorite smoothie (which contains beets). Mixed with a good amount of butter, creamy peanut butter, oats, coconut, and the right amount of honey, it turns out chia seeds are pretty darn good! So good, I’ve been scooping handfuls of this peanut butter coconut granola (with chia seeds) for days. And each time thinking about the new romance this tiny, bug-like seed and I have managed to foster. It’s beautiful friends, much like this granola.
- 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (where to buy)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 2 TB chia seeds (where to buy)
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (homemade or good-quality store bought)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (homemade)
- Preheat oven to 325F
- In a large bowl combine: oats, chopped peanuts, coconut, and chia seeds.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat add: butter, peanut butter, and honey. Melt the ingredients, stirring frequently. Once melted remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the melted peanut butter mixture over the oats combo.
- I find a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment works great for this next step. Turn on the mixer (fitted with paddle attachment) and combine the peanut butter mixture and oats combo for about 1 minute on low speed. If you don't have a stand-mixer use a wood spoon and elbow grease.
- Pour the granola on a baking sheet (use parchment paper, if desired). Bake for 25-28 minutes, until the sides are golden. The granola will feel a bit soft. The granola will harden as it sits on the counter. Remove the granola from the pan by breaking chunks with your hand or wood spoon.
- Store in an air tight container for two weeks, or freeze for longer use.
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