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Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola in the Slow Cooker

Makes 8 cups (serves 16).

Note: This makes a loose, not too chunky granola, with all the peanut butter flavor you crave. If you want to mix it up, use another toasted nut, like almonds or walnuts, instead of peanuts. This works best in an oval slow cooker, which has more surface area on the bottom. You will need to place a wooden spoon or other implement under the lid on one end of slow cooker, which will keep the lid open about an inch. From Robin Asbell.

• 5 c. rolled oats

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. maple syrup

• 1/2 c. canola oil

• 1/4 c. light brown sugar, optional

• 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter, unsweetened

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 tsp. almond extract

• Vegetable oil spray or canola oil

• 1 c. roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the oats and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, canola oil, brown sugar (if using), peanut butter, vanilla extract and almond extract. Whisk until smooth, then pour over the oats. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat the oats evenly.

Lightly spray or rub oil on the insert of your slow cooker, and sprinkle the oat mixture in loosely. Turn the cooker to high, and place a wooden spoon across the top of the slow cooker on one end. Then put the lid on (the spoon will hold the lid ajar about 1 inch on one end).

Cook for 45 minutes, then stir and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Then stir and cook for 30 minutes more. Stir the chopped peanuts into the hot granola, then transfer to a large, rimmed sheet pan to cool.

When completely cool, store the granola in jars or zip-top bags. Keeps for a week at room temperature, a month in the refrigerator, and four months in the freezer.

Nutrition information per serving of 1/2 cup:

Calories 285 Fat 17 g Sodium 185 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 2 g Added sugars 7 g

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 carb, 1 medium-fat protein, 2½ fat.