Peanut Butter Granola

Ok, wow.  I realized yesterday that even though my blog is called “Granola Mommy,” I don’t have a single granola recipe posted.  Hmmm, probably has something to do with the fact that, until yesterday, I’d never actually made granola….

But now I have!  Two batches, actually.  The Toddler Taste-tester was quite impressed with both batches.  Turns out that it can be really easy, and it’s SOOO much healthier than store-bought stuff.

I found the original recipe here:

http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/06/14/peanut-butter-granola/

To give credit where it is due.  This was really good, but of course, few recipes pass through my kitchen unchanged.  So now I will tell you how I made the second batch.

  • 4 Tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 4 Tbs honey (local if you can get it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with unflavored cooking spray (you don’t use the flavored stuff anyway, do you?).

Combine the peanut butter and honey in a bowl, then microwave for about 30 seconds.  Mix them together really well, then add the cinnamon and vanilla and mix again.  Now stir in the oats until they are all very well-coated with the mixture.  Spread them out on the cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes.  Let cool, and devour!  (Or you could try saving it in an airtight container, but good luck not eating it right away!)

This is a good base recipe that you could add all kinds of stuff to — chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, shredded coconut…get crazy!  I plan to.  You could try maple syrup instead of honey (let me know if that works).  I think next time I am going to try drying it in the dehydrator instead of baking it and see how that goes.  If you guys come up with anything awesome to add to this, let me know!

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Slightly Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Lately, I’ve been all about making soup.  I’ll post some of the other recipes as soon as I have the time, but this one, co-created by my husband, is so easy to tell you about that I would have no excuse for not getting it up right away.  😉  Easy to write up, easy to make — throw stuff in the crock pot, let it make your house smell fabulous all day long!  We like the bean combination that we used, but I bet it would work with whatever dry beans you have in your cupboard.  This is also an easy and tasty way to add some whole grains, as well as legumes and veggies, to your diet.

  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup Great Northern beans
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup bulgur

Put the beans in the crockpot.  Chop the carrots and celery and add them to the pot.  The jalapenos we just seeded and quartered, and we just peeled the onion and cut it into large slices.  Add those to the pot, then add the garlic and bay leaves.  We used about 1 teaspoon of dill and about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

I recommend doing everything up to this point the night before you want to make the soup, since it’s going to need to cook most of the day.  Then, when you get up in the morning, toss in your ham bone and 8 cups of water and turn it on high for an hour.   After an hour, turn it down to low and let it cook for 9 or 10 more hours.  So, if you have to get up and go to work in the mornings, add the bone and water and turn it on first thing, then turn it down right before you leave for work.  At my house, my husband turned it on right before he left for work, and I got up and turned it down an hour later.  Anyway, after it’s cooked for another 9 or 10 hours, remove the ham bone (leave the ham that falls off the bone) and the bay leaves (if you can find them).  Turn the crock pot to its “warm” setting (if it has one) and stir in the bulgur.  This will thicken your broth to give you a nice, thick, hearty bean soup.  Give it about 30 minutes to an hour, then dig in!