Ever have one of those days where just the thought of going outside in the winter air makes you want to blockade all doors, pull on your double layered cabin socks, wrap a blanket scarf around your face, and then plop yourself on the couch and call it a day?
With weather.com telling me it "feels like 3 degrees" here in DC as I write, I think it's safe to say you know where my head's at. However, might I add that the thought of freezing my bones off also makes me crave warm, delicious scents to be wafting through the house.
Thus, peanut butter banana bliss was crafted.
For those that know me, it's no surprise I decided to whip up this combo to warm up my insides. There is rarely a day in the year I go without consuming some form of peanut butter & banana, so naturally this granola was da bomb. This recipe is uber simple to make, and you likely have the majority of the ingredients already lurking around in your kitchen cabinets.
The super star in this recipe? Quinoa Flakes.
Quinoa Flakes are essentially a pressed version of quinoa itself, therefore they still contain all the amazing nutrients and health benefits that quinoa has. This version serves as a great alternative to your morning oats, as they have the same cook time as quick oats! They are also naturally gluten free.
For health's sake, let's do a quick run down of the benefits of consuming quinoa:
- Protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles, making it a complete protein. Aka, great for vegans!
- Magnesium. A key mineral for many bodily processes, some of which deal with muscle relaxation and regulating blood pressure.
- Fiber. Helps ease elimination and tones le colon. Hello, healthy digestive tract.
- Manganese. Protects against free radicals.
My #1 Top Tip for Making Granola: KEEP AN EYE ON IT!
I'm a sucker for this one. Too many a times I've let my granola sit in the oven a minute or two longer than needed and end up with burnt crunchies. Yuck! Be sure to stir your granola around in the pan a few times while it's heating, and be extra careful if it has nuts in it as these tend to burn the easiest! You ultimately want a light golden brown color; nothing more!
Peanut Butter Banana Granola
2 C. old fashioned rolled oats
1 C. quinoa flakes
1/2 C. walnuts
1/2 C. pecans
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C. coconut oil
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/3 C. honey or maple syrup (use maple if vegan)
1 medium, very ripe banana mashed
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, quinoa flakes, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and nuts. Over the stovetop, heat the coconut oil, vanilla, peanut butter, and honey in a sauce pan on low for a few minutes. Once blended nicely, add in your mashed banana and stir well. Add hot mixture into the dried and stir well. Spread wet mixture on a baking tray evenly, and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the granola cool on the pan for awhile if you enjoy a clumpier-type granola. If you like it more uniform like oats, then scoop off pan relatively quickly.
Store in an air-tight container up to a week.
Just what you need on a cold winter's day, right? Yum!