If you’re looking for a fresh idea for what to eat with granola, consider a homemade granola in this Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl.
The granola portion of this recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate’s granola, a recipe I have modified to reflect my favorite flavors; thanks Kate!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
What to Eat with Granola – Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
Way back in the day when I worked in corporate, I’d stop at my local Whole Foods every morning on my way into the office to purchase a fresh fruit and yogurt parfait. Not only are my days working for somebody else long behind me, but my breakfast routine has also shaped up considerably.
The health benefits of making your own granola are enormous just in the sense that you’re not tossing in a bunch of added sugar. Healthy granola isn’t hard to make on your own.
Whether you enjoy it over ice cream or as a breakfast cereal as part of this Apple and Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl, the question of what to eat with granola has just been rather deliciously answered!
Do You Have What’s Needed for This Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl? Check the List!
for the granola
- old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- raw nuts
- raw seeds
- sea salt
- coconut oil
- real maple syrup or raw honey
- vanilla extract
- dried fruits
for the smoothie
- frozen peeled, chunked banana
- frozen peeled, chopped apple
- creamy natural peanut butter
- vanilla extract
- sea salt
- plain Greek yogurt
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- shredded toasted coconut
- additional peeled, chopped apple
- mini dark chocolate chips
How This Recipe Came About…
The first time I made this peanut butter yogurt, I knew it would become a daily thing. SERIOUSLY.
I also knew it resolved a problem which was what to eat with granola I always had on hand. SERIOUSLY!
I am so often NOT the gal grabbing the healthy meal. If I am honest with all of you, I grab what’s quick and what’s readily available so I can keep pushing through my day.
As a food blogger, I’m the chief taste-tester and head muckety-muck around this kitchen. To ensure I get a recipe ‘right’ I may dive in with my spoon MULTIPLE times before I’m satisfied my seasonings and the correct measures are ready for me to share with each of you.
This sometimes makes regulating my intake difficult and also often pushes the otherwise healthy snacks to the back of the refrigerator. When I perfected this peanut butter yogurt, it screamed for other healthy ingredients to be paired with it.
I’d made homemade granola before, but always for weight loss which inevitably rendered it tasteless, or for a crunchy topping to ice cream or fruit crisps. This time though, healthy fats and whole grains came together with no added white or brown sugar content, making this truly the best granola recipe EVER.
Granola Bars Versus Homemade Granola
With all of the information readily available to us from the American Heart Association regarding heart disease and gut health, making good solid choices about our nutrition is easy. High-fiber foods and whole-grain foods are up there on the good list as they pertain to foods we should be consuming.
Unfortunately, so many of my generation and the generation before me were brought up on processed food which we now use as the barometer for the way things should look, smell, and taste. Getting past artificial sweeteners and foods with high grams of sugar can be hard if you are unclear about how to read a nutrition label or struggle with portion control.
Making your own granola does not mean that you are sacrificing on taste. Sugar yes, but NOT taste. The question of what to eat with granola always plagued me because when you bake up a batch, you’ve got to eat it!
The granola in this recipe is modified slightly from Cookie & Kate’s granola, a recipe I have been making since it was first posted on Kate’s site. It is my go-to granola, it works marvelously in this smoothie bowl, and I urge you to try it.
Store-bought varieties of granola can be loaded with sugar, but this simple recipe uses several tablespoons of honey or real maple syrup to sweeten it. Coconut oil (or olive oil if preferred) keeps the fat content to a low roar, too.
What to Eat with Granola for Breakfast?
If you’re stuck on what can granola be eaten with, know first that a handful of granola not only enhances the crunch factor of a yogurt parfait, but also lends a nice crunchy topping to home baked muffins or a loaf of banana bread, sweetens whole grain cereals, punches up acai bowls, and is a fabulous coating for no-bake energy or peanut butter balls.
The above possibilities aside, the recipe I like this delicious granola paired with the best is this peanut butter yogurt. Assembled together with fresh fruits, chopped nuts and seeds, and some dried fruit for sweetness, my perfect breakfast food is an Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl.
How Do You Make a Peanut Butter Apple Smoothie?
For quick breakfasts on weekdays, rely on your trusty food processor. Because we are adding frozen banana chunks as well as frozen apple pieces, blending everything into a super smooth mixture can be tough without the right kitchen tool. A really powerful blender will work as well.
Do I Have to Use Banana in This Smoothie?
No. I use it for two reasons the first being because I want the extra sweetness without added sweeteners. The second is because banana freezes very well and gets this smoothie icy cold, but you could easily substitute frozen strawberries, blueberries, or double the frozen apple.
Do I Have to Use Peanut Butter in This Smoothie?
No. I use peanut butter because I love the flavor, but if there are peanut allergies or aversions, use sun butter, cashew, or even almond butter. Only because again, I want the added sweetness without added sweeteners, I recommend a ‘sugar added’ nut butter so there is some degree of flavor in the final product.
What is The Difference Between a Smoothie and a Smoothie Bowl?
A smoothie is that fabulous fruit shake we’ve come to love that satiates a sweet tooth. I love a smoothie and find myself cranking them out at least once a week during the summer months as an after workout treat.
A smoothie bowl is a healthy mix of fruit, yogurt, a little whole grain food granola for a snackable crunchy texture, and a dusting of cinnamon. It’s breakfast for me but can also make a for healthy eating any time of day.
Customize a smoothie bowl to limit your caloric and fat intake as you would any other meal. I skip the toasted coconut (even though I absolutely LOVE it) if I am watching calories. I am also careful not to go hog wild when dishing the granola.
What to Eat with Granola – How to Make an Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
The granola method which I am about to impart is worth the 20-minute bake it requires. Beyond the bake, the remainder of the recipe is as easy as putting everything into a large mixing bowl and anticipating the healthiest granola you’ve ever eaten.
How to Bake Homemade Granola
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a very large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the largest mixing bowl you’ve got handy, combine old-fashioned rolled oats, any combination of raw nuts and/or seeds to equal a cup and a half, a healthy pinch of sea salt and liberal ground cinnamon. Stir it well with a flat rubber spatula to coat everything with the cinnamon.
Melt some coconut oil in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for a few seconds. If you prefer to use olive oil, that’s okay, too.
Add the oil, some raw honey (or real maple syrup), and a bit of vanilla extract to the oat mixture. Again use the flat rubber spatula to stir well, ensuring every oat and nut is lightly coated in the oil and honey.
Pour out the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and use the flat side of the rubber spatula to spread it in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 22 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway through.
If you like for your granola to be less like cereal and more like sweet clusters, use the flat side of the spatula to press down on the granola. Stir halfway and press down again.
The key to successful clusters is to allow the granola to cool completely once it emerges from your oven, at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, you can gently break it up into the cluster-sized bites you want.
Add the chopped dried fruit of your choice only after the granola has cooled completely. I enjoy chunks of dried dates, apricots, and cherries, and also love freshly toasted coconut chips.
How to Make the Smoothie Base for Your Bowl
This step couldn’t be any easier. I recommend waiting until your granola is completely cooled to assemble the smoothie base as it takes only mere minutes.
PRO TIP: Make sure the banana and apple chunks you will use are fully frozen. The frozen fruit ensures the smoothie will be thick and luscious.
Place all of the smoothie ingredients into the barrel of your food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture is smooth with only a few small chunks of fruit. Taste it to be sure you are happy with the flavor and adjust the cinnamon, vanilla extract, or the peanut butter if necessary.
Assembling the Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
Scoop the smoothie mixture into (an) individual serving bowl(s). Sprinkle granola over top and add any additional toppings you desire such as toasted walnuts, toasted pecans, toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, plump raisins, shredded toasted coconut, fresh berries, additional chopped apple pieces, or even mini dark chocolate chips.
I give the finished bowl a shake of ground cinnamon to top it all off before diving in! I am also sure not to add too much granola in keeping with portion control given all of the other delicious and healthy ingredients.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- Salted Honey Yogurt Pops
- Autumn Apple And Yogurt Parfaits
- Roasted Carrot Platter with Yogurt and Sumac
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- large rimmed baking sheet
- parchment paper
- large mixing bowl
- food processor or high efficiency blender
for the homemade granola
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola
- 1 1/2 cups any combination raw nuts and raw seeds
- pinch sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup raw honey may also use real maple syrup in equal measure or a mixture of both to equal 1/2 cup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried fruit chopped, any combination
for the smoothie
- 1 large, ripe banana broken into large chunks and frozen
- 1 large apple peeled and chopped and frozen
- 1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter or alternate sweetened nut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
optional toppings in any combination
- walnuts toasted
- pecans toasted
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- unsweet shredded coconut toasted
- berries fresh, halved if large
- apple peeled and chopped
- mini dark chocolate chips
make the granola
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a very large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine old-fashioned rolled oats, raw nuts and/or seeds, a healthy pinch of sea salt and cinnamon. Stir well to coat.
- Add the melted coconut oil (I begin with 1/3 cup and add additional ONLY if the mixture seems too dry), raw honey, and vanilla extract to the oat mixture. Stir well ensuring every oat and nut is lightly coated in the oil and honey.
- Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and use the flat side of the rubber spatula to arrange in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 22 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway through. NOTE: If you like for your granola to be less like cereal and more like sweet clusters, use the flat side of the spatula to press down on the granola. Stir halfway through baking and press down again.
- Allow the granola to cool completely, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Gently break into the cluster-sized bites you desire. Add the chopped dried fruit of your choice only after the granola has cooled completely.
- This method makes more granola than you will need for a single smoothie bowl. Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature up to 10 days, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. The fruit will freeze completely so it's necessary to allow it to warm to room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
make the peanut butter yogurt smoothie
- Place all of the smoothie ingredients into a food processor with 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and pulse a few times until the mixture is smooth with only a few small chunks of fruit. Taste for flavor and add additional cinnamon, vanilla, or peanut butter if necessary. Scrape or pour the smoothie into a large individual serving bowl.
- Sprinkle granola over top of the peanut butter yogurt. Add additional toppings in any combination. Dust with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and enjoy.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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