Easy Peanut Granola

In order to combat a busy week, this recipe is always a good option. It makes for a quick breakfast/snack.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, and wheat germ.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, brown sugar, vegetable oil, water, salt, and vanilla. Stir well; then pour into the oat mixture, and stir. Spread out on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, flipping every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool before serving.

Ingredient Spotlight: Honey

Honey has become a staple in recent months. I go through jars at an alarming rate. Really. Quite alarming.

I use it as a natural, unrefined sweetener in baked goods because it is, in many ways, superior to sugar. It is simultaneously sweeter and will not cause your blood sugar to spike quite as abruptly as refined sugar.  Also, it has vitamins and minerals that sugar does not, making it sweetening, as well as a bit nutritious. Yay for “healthy” sweets!

There are a lot of sites out there on the interwebs that will give you recipes for naturally sweetened baked goods. They’re great! But, know that you don’t have to be limited to those. You can take some of your favorite recipes and easily swap some (or all) of the refined sugar for honey.

There are a few things to bear in mind when striking out on your own into the land of sugar substituting. Might I present: Honey Substitution 101.

  • Honey can be substituted for refined sugar at a ratio of 1:1.
  • After 1 cup of sugar is called for in a recipe, substitute only 3/4 cup of honey. This is because honey is more dense than refined sugar.
  • Also, since honey is a liquid, reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/8 cup for every cup of honey used.
  • Honey browns quicker than refined sugars, so reduce baking temp by about 25 degrees and watch carefully the first time you try a recipe. Burning isn’t fun 😦

The easiest recipes in which to substitute honey for sugar are quick breads and muffins. Try it in pancakes, and oatmeal cookies, and monster cookies, and….the list is only limited by your creativity!

Happy substituting, friends!

I wanna know: Do you substitute ingredients in a recipe for other ingredients?  Is it for health, convenience, taste, or some other reason?