Vanilla Almond Butter Protein Granola

 

A few years ago my niece (the other part of our duo!) got me hooked on a crazy workout called Insanity. From there, I fell in love with about every workout from Beachbody (okay, except the dance ones…somehow I just can’t get into them despite really enjoying dancing, I swear I do enjoy dancing…okay, maybe it was just in my 20’s…).
Anyways, I digress. Back to working out. So after Insanity, I thought what’s next?
Cue. P90x.
Whew. That was a tough one. Challenged me to do things I never thought possible.
So many push – ups. So many pull – ups!
But I loved the challenge! It was different and I really liked my toned arms. (yes, this is somewhat vain, but it’s true – do a lot of pushups and pullups and your arms will have definition – but I think the overall proud feeling of I can do this was the best feeling of all…I have always liked to challenge myself even if I am the only one that knows about it!).
I digress. Again. LOL.
One thing about P90x though- I was super hungry. So I wanted to ‘up’ my protein.
Cue. Protein granola.
I am not even sure where I got the original recipe. I made it so many times, the base of it just stuck with me. Because I kinda love cereal. And crunchy things.
So I took that base recipe and thought, how can I ‘healthify’ this even more?
How about no added oil. Or added sugar.
Bam. Vanilla Almond Butter Protein Granola.
For those days when you need some extra protein. Or some extra crunch. Or both.
I kinda need crunchy every day.
The Essentials:
½ cup apple juice
⅔ cup vegan vanilla protein powder
2 Tblsp almond butter 3 Tblsp baking date paste
¼ cup applesauce
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
¼ tsp salt
How to:
Preheat oven to 325. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Combine first 7 ingredients in saucepan on stove, stir together – it will be paste like consistency.Combine oats and salt in large bowlPour your saucepan ingredients into your oat bowl.Mix really well! This will use a little muscle to do, but can be done.Pour onto prepared pan, spread out, break up clumps.Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes – this is a key step! It prevents the edge pieces from burning and also as you stir you can continue to break up the clumps so it bakes evenly.After 60 minutes, if it is still not your desired crispness, add another 10 minutes. But check! You don’t want it to burn.Let cool.Enjoy as a snack by itself or in your favorite smoothie or chia seed bowl! I love to sprinkle mine on a chia seed pudding bowl with some homemade fruit jam and bananas!
Enjoy!
Xo, Sarah

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