Let’s talk about Monday, which threw me off my normal schedule so much that on this Tuesday afternoon, I’m still thinking, “Man, Monday was wack.”
I needed to go to the gym to swim for that little triathlon we’re training for (only 6 weeks to go!). This was the longest swim we’ve done so far, at 3000 meters (that’s 4 laps short of 2 miles, folks, and I’m still overwhelmed). I walked down the street to the gym where we swim, only to find that the pool was closed for an emergency cleaning. When I inquired about this at the front desk, the girl said someone threw matches into the pool (because apparently that’s a thing someone would do), and she didn’t know when the pool would be open again. I turned around and walked home.
I took to texting Eric to see what I should do (a Monday morning problem solver, I am not), and he suggested going to another gym in town. The next closest gym was a few miles away, so I opted to drive, rather than spend my already limited Monday morning energy walking several miles before swimming.
So I drove to this second gym location, only to find there was nowhere to park. After circling the building 4 times, I decided to drive home.
Now, at this point, I thought I could get home without the use of my GPS. The streets in Portland are numbered, and obviously I know my street number, so how hard could this be? Hard. Especially when the street I just happened to be driving turned out to merge with the highway before I realized I needed to turn to avoid leaving the city. So, into the suburbs I drove, with no way to turn around for several miles. A not-so-quick pit stop in the zoo parking lot to confer with my GPS told me I was about 15 minutes from a gym in the suburbs, so I headed there.
Once I arrived at this particular gym, I expected parking to be pretty easy, since the suburbs are big and spacious and full of parking, right? Wrong. There was one tiny parking lot next to the gym, with all reserved spaces. So I drove around the entire complex not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times before I found a parking garage. Then I got to swim in the weird, dark, mood-lighting of the suburban gym, with a giant photo of a girl with a surf board hanging next to the pool. I successfully swam all 60 laps, and I only got lost 6 times on the way home, as my GPS has started announcing the turns just as I drive past them, and somewhat amusingly pronouncing “Oregon 217” as “Origin 217.”
Mondays are the worst.
So let’s celebrate the fact that it won’t be Monday again for a whole week. And what better way to celebrate anything than with peanut buttery goodness?
This peanut butter granola has been our daily breakfast for the past 7 months. As in, we eat this EVERY SINGLE day. And we still aren’t tired of it. In fact, some nights before we go to sleep, one or both of us will say, “I can’t wait for peanut butter granola in the morning.” That’s how much we love this.
This peanut butter granola recipe is just slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum’s Big Cluster Peanut Butter Granola. But now that I’ve made this approximately every other week for the past 7 months, I have our version of the recipe memorized and down to a science, where I can make the entire thing in the time it takes for the oven to heat to 275 degrees. This recipe is also the reason why we convinced our friend to take us to Costco. Bulk peanut butter and oats! What, what!
This isn’t really your traditional super crunchy, hippie-style granola (which I also love 100% and would gladly eat every single day of my life). It’s somehow crunchy and chewy at the same time, with big peanut buttery clusters that you can either break into smaller granola pieces, or just shove into your mouth whole (this is very dangerous if your couch happens to be a mere 2 feet from a pan of freshly baked granola). If we’re being honest, this stuff kind of tastes like a mix between granola and peanut butter cookies, and that’s probably why we love it so much. But, lucky for us, there’s no refined sugar in this goodness, since it is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup (a.k.a. the greatest thing to flow from a tree).
We’re doing a double whammy recipe extravaganza today, with the recipe for our all-time favorite peanut butter granola, along with how to make your very own version of The Daily Ringer, which is the super exciting name I just picked for the bowl of yogurty goodness we eat every morning.
So let’s welcome the fact that it’s Tuesday, not Monday, and eat some yogurt and granola. The breakfast of champions and third-time’s-the-charm-gym-visitors.
- 4½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup milk (I use skim)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, canola oil, milk, and vanilla.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until everything is wet. Spread mixture evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Stir and break up large clumps, and bake 15 minutes more.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet before storing in an airtight container.
-8 oz nonfat Greek yogurt
-1 teaspoon chia seeds
-1/2 teaspoon honey
-3/4 cup peanut butter granola
-1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries