How Instagram’s Granola King Earned His Name

Like so many millions of people, Tom Bannister developed a new hobby during the pandemic. But Bannister didn’t opt for sourdough baking or weaving. Instead, the advertising executive started experimenting with baking homemade granola for his wife—who h…

Like so many millions of people, Tom Bannister developed a new hobby during the pandemic. But Bannister didn’t opt for sourdough baking or weaving. Instead, the advertising executive started experimenting with baking homemade granola for his wife—who happens to be former beauty editor Eva Chen and his “granola muse”—and their three kids. After a few months of experimenting with his recipes and sharing the results on Instagram, he began to receive DMs from followers asking if they could buy his granola. He wasn’t anywhere close to selling—nor did he even have intentions of doing so—but he realized there was a huge demand. His social media presence grew and Bannister, who was affectionately known as the “Granola King” among his followers, eventually found a commercial kitchen in Queens that he started renting so he could test his recipes on a larger scale.

He mixed and matched dozens of different flavor combinations, with the first success story being “Ginger Zing,” which is granola made with ginger-infused Vermont maple syrup and candied ginger.

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Homemade Granola Bars

This chewy homemade granola bars recipe is so much tastier than store-bought! It’s one of our top healthy snacks to…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This chewy homemade granola bars recipe is so much tastier than store-bought! It’s one of our top healthy snacks to make at home.

Granola Bars

Here’s a DIY healthy snack recipe that’s 100% worth making at home, if you’re got the time: Homemade Granola Bars! Packaged bars are ultra convenient: we buy them for on-the-go snacks. But the flavor of a homemade bar is infinitely more delicious! The secret here? Lightly toasting the oats brings out a delightfully nutty undertone. Mix them with honey, peanut butter and cinnamon for a pure, wholesome flavor: and add any mix-ins you’d like. Mini-chocolate chips are our favorite: they add a hint of sweetness to what still qualifies as a healthy bar (we think).

Ingredients in this chewy granola bars recipe

This granola bars recipe results in a chewy bar: it’s a no bake recipe that’s the opposite of the crunchy, baked variety. But there’s one spot where you’ll fire up the oven: for toasting the oats. Otherwise, it’s a dump and stir method! Here’s what you’ll need for this healthy granola bars recipe:

  • Creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • Honey (or agave syrup for vegan)
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Mix ins: nuts, dried fruit, seeds, or mini chocolate chips
Granola bars recipe

The flavor key: toasting the oats

This recipe is for no bake granola bars: with the exception of a quick 10-minute stint in the oven for the oats! Don’t even think about omitting this step. Here’s why:

  • Toasting the oats adds major nutty, irresistible flavor. You might be tempted to skip this part, but it’s absolutely worth it! The flavor it adds is incredible.
  • You’ll need just 10 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s quick and simple, and easiest in the oven because it lets you place all the oats in a single layer in a pan. (Technically you can toast oats on the stovetop, which we do in our Toasted Oatmeal recipe.)

Important note on granola bars mix-ins

Mix-ins are where you can get creative in these granola bars! A wide variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit will work. But here’s an important thing to remember:

  • Finely chop the mix-ins so the bars hold together. Huge nuts and seeds cause the texture of the granola bars to become more fragile, making them break more easily.
  • Use mini chocolate chips, not standard size. Same idea as above: the standard size may cause texture issues. Mini chocolate chips are just the right size for incorporating in a granola bar. Just ½ cup gives great bursts of chocolate flavor. You can chop standard sized chocolate chips if it’s all you have.
Homemade granola bars

Cutting granola bars

After you press your granola bars into a pan and freeze for 10 minutes, they’re ready to cut! You can cut them into different shapes, depending on what you’re looking for. The traditional granola bar rectangle is what you see here, but you can also do squares and get more servings out of it.

  • Cut 14 bar sized shapes: measure each to 4 ½ by 1 ¼ inches
  • Cut 20 rectangles: measure them to be 4 x 5 inches

Store refrigerated (chill a few hours before serving)

This chewy granola bars recipe is best after refrigerating for a few hours, which helps the texture to firm up. Technically you can eat them right away, but we prefer them chilled so they become more solid.

You can store homemade granola bars for up to 3 weeks in a sealed container. If you’d like, you can also individually wrap them in wax paper or parchment paper and secure them with tape.

Healthy granola bars

Granola bar flavor combinations

Our favorite flavor for this recipe? Chewy chocolate chip granola bars, of course! But there are so many more fun flavor combinations. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Peanut butter and jelly: add dried cherries or freeze dried strawberries
  • Dried cranberry and white chocolate chips
  • Pepita and cashew
  • Blueberry muffin: add dried blueberries and chopped almonds
  • Pecan pie: Add chopped pecans and ½ teaspoon allspice
  • Coconut mango: Add shredded coconut and chopped dried mango

What are you planning to add to your granola bars? Let us know in the comments below!

More healthy energy bars

There are so many ways to make a healthy energy bar recipe at home! Here are a few more to try starring peanut butter and oats:

This healthy granola bars recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, use agave syrup.

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Granola Bars

Granola Bars Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 14 to 20
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This chewy homemade granola bars recipe is so much tastier than store-bought! It’s one of our top healthy snacks to make at home.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added; substitute sunflower butter for nut free)
  • ½ cup honey (or ½ cup agave syrup for vegan)
  • 3 ½ cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Up to 1 cup finely chopped nuts, dried fruit and seeds, or ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Toast the oats: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oats in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them for 10 minutes until lightly golden. (This step adds incredible toasty flavor to the oats: don’t skip it!)
  2. Mix the ingredients: Transfer the oats to a large bowl and mix in the peanut butter, honey, oats, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in mix-ins.
  3. Form into bars: Add a sheet of parchment paper to a 9″ x 9″ pan, letting the edges drape over the sides. Place the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer. Add a few more mix-ins to the top of the bars, if you’d like. Use a small glass to roll over the top to make them as smooth at possible.
  4. Freeze and cut the bars: Freeze the bars for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the freezer and use the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut them into 20 rectangles (that are 4 x 5 inches) or 14 bar sized shapes (that are 4 ½ by 1 ¼ inches). Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The texture is most solid after you refrigerate for a few hours, so if you have time do that before tasting the first bar. If you’d like, you can individually wrap the bars with parchment paper or wax paper and secure the wrapper with tape.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Snack

Keywords: Granola bars, Granola bar recipe, Homemade granola bars, Chewy granola bars

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

No Bake Cookies are one of my all-time favorite cookies. If you’ve had one, you know they are super delicious. If you haven’t had one, you are for sure missing out. Think chocolate, peanut butter, and oats combined in one little cookie. YUM…

No Bake Cookies are one of my all-time favorite cookies. If you’ve had one, you know they are super delicious. If you haven’t had one, you are for sure missing out. Think chocolate, peanut butter, and oats combined in one little cookie. YUM! Well, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola reminds me of my favorite no…

The post Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Homemade Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used …

The post Homemade Pumpkin Granola appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used up because it is so tasty, but you have no excuse not to make it if you have a half-used can of pumpkin puree waiting to be stirred into something.

This granola recipe is a bit unusual in that it only contains a very small amount of added fat, just a tablespoon of oil. The rest of the moisture in this recipe comes from the pumpkin puree itself, which binds all the granola components together. You might think that this would result in a soggy granola, but it bakes up to be perfectly crisp in the oven, just as you would want it to! The granola is packed with rolled oats, pumpkin pie spices, sugar and maple syrup. It also has generous quantities of both slivered almonds and toasted pumpkin seeds, which add a great texture to the granola. You can use untoasted nuts in the granola, since they will toast in the oven, however toasted nuts can also be used and they should hold up to the additional baking time without a problem.

I usually use puffed rice cereals in my granolas to lighten them up and give them a bit more crunch, however I opted to use a chocolate cereal in this batch of granola. Specifically, I used Count Chocula cereal, which is a cocoa flavored seasonal cereal that you can find around Halloween. It has a great texture and flavor (though I remove all the little marshmallows that come in it), and the chocolate adds a little complexity to the granola. If you don’t have Count Chocula available, you can use something like chocolate rice krispy cereal or simply use plain puffed rice cereal and you will still get a delicious granola.

This granola has a nice blend of flavors and is perfect for breakfast or a snack anytime during the fall. It keeps very well in an airtight container, so you can also consider packing it up as a homemade gift for pumpkin-loving friends and family members!

Pumpkin Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate puffed rice cereal (such as Count Chocula or Cocoa Krispies)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup real maple syrup (pref. Grade B)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with nuts and pumpkin seeds and stir to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula, and bake for additional 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10 minutes until done.
Cool on pan or on a wire rack.
Break granola up and transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

The post Homemade Pumpkin Granola appeared first on Baking Bites.

I Can’t Sleep Much These Days—So I Make Insomniac Granola

Since the pandemic, I’ve gotten into the annoying habit of waking up in the middle of the night—usually somewhere between 2:30 and 4:45 a.m. Anytime before 4, the only sensible thing to do is open Pride and Prejudice and hope the pleasing, Victorian-er…

Since the pandemic, I’ve gotten into the annoying habit of waking up in the middle of the night—usually somewhere between 2:30 and 4:45 a.m. Anytime before 4, the only sensible thing to do is open Pride and Prejudice and hope the pleasing, Victorian-era repartee lulls me back to sleep until a more reasonable wakeup hour.

Once the clock hits 4:30, however, I can’t risk the inevitable snoozing-till-9 that will render me a zombie for the entire day. Instead I’ve started dragging myself out of bed every so often to bake...and of all things, I always choose granola. Granola is just quick and easy enough for a tired, distracted person to cobble together; plus, I almost always have rolled oats around.

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Salted Maple Granola.

Here’s how to make your new favorite maple granola! This is going to be breakfast, lunch and… snack time. Be prepared to get hooked. If you’ve been reading awhile, then you know my complete obsession with American Spoon. I mean, I’ve loved the company for as long as it’s been in existence. It’s one of […]

The post Salted Maple Granola. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s how to make your new favorite maple granola!

salted maple granola

This is going to be breakfast, lunch and… snack time. Be prepared to get hooked.

oats, pepitas, almonds

If you’ve been reading awhile, then you know my complete obsession with American Spoon. I mean, I’ve loved the company for as long as it’s been in existence. It’s one of our favorite parts about going to northern michigan!

When they released their maple granola, we were instantly hooked. It is easily my favorite granola – and it’s so simple. 

pouring maple syrup into the granola

It’s not overly clustered – but it has loose, all crunchy pieces instead. This might be an unpopular opinion but I do not need huge clusters. I am not a big cluster person. I feel like I’m getting old and big clusters will break my teeth. But I DO need all the texture in the world, so the crunchy little bits are my dream. 

There are almonds and pepitas in the granola too. Easy peasy! I always have those on hand.

granola right out of the oven

And the best part? The dried tart cherries and blueberries. I LOVE this combo. Dried cranberries are not my fave, but I am all over dried cherries every day of the week. 

salted maple granola with dried cherries and blueberries

Their maple granola has a few other ingredients – some rye, some vegetable oil, maybe a few preservatives. But I was CONVINCED I could make it at home using my favorite granola recipe ratios, butter, maple syrup, the nuts and dried fruit.

And I was right!

bowl of salted maple granola

I was BLOWN AWAY at how similar this granola tastes to the store-bought one I adore. It’s incredible.

It’s crunchy. It has a strong hint of maple, but not so strong that it makes it uncombinable. You know? 

The flavor is spot on, but it’s not offensive – you can use this granola anywhere. Eat it with milk, yogurt, on top of fruit, by the handful for a snack, anything. 

salted maple granola

This is my go-to. You can add in different nuts of fruits – I’ve done chopped, dried figs the last two times I made this and it’s great. You can use coconut oil or even olive oil instead of butter, though butter is my favorite. If you don’t have maple syrup or just aren’t into it, you could use honey or brown sugar instead. You can add in pumpkin spice, or lots of nutmeg, or even some smoked paprika to do a savory granola.

It’s really super easy to swap your favorite things in and out!

salted maple granola

Finally, a big pinch of flakey maldon salt is what takes this over the top. It brings out every flavor you taste in one bite. 

You.will.love.this.

salted maple granola

Salted Maple Granola

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Salted Maple Granola

This salted maple granola is my absolute favorite! Toasted oats with maple, vanilla, pepitas and almonds. It's a perfect breakfast or snack!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 cups - a whole bunch!
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flaked, maldon salt
  • ½ cup dried blueberries
  • ½ cup dried cherries

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the oats, pepitas, almonds, cinnamon and kosher salt.
  • Heat the butter and syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the butter mixture over the oats mixture. Toss well to combine. Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet (10x15 inch). Bake for 15 minutes, then toss and bake for 10 more.
  • Remove the granola and let it cool for 15 minutes (don’t touch it!). Stir in the flaked salt, dried blueberries and cherries. Let sit for another 20 to 25 minutes to cool completely. Store at room temperature in a sealed container or bag.

salted maple granola

Crunch crunch crunch.

The post Salted Maple Granola. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Cashew Coconut Granola

Cashew Coconut Granola- This hearty, homemade granola is great with yogurt, milk, acai bowls, and more! I love keeping a jar in the pantry at all times. Granola is one of those things that seems impressive when it’s homemade, but it really couldn’t be …

Cashew Coconut Granola- This hearty, homemade granola is great with yogurt, milk, acai bowls, and more! I love keeping a jar in the pantry at all times. Granola is one of those things that seems impressive when it’s homemade, but it really couldn’t be simpler! Once you make granola from scratch (or granola bars), you…

The post Cashew Coconut Granola appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

How are you doing? I find myself oscillating between hope and frustration. I look at the news, and promptly crave a distraction. I’ve always hoped that this…

The post Easy No-Bake Granola Bars appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best granola bars recipe

How are you doing? I find myself oscillating between hope and frustration. I look at the news, and promptly crave a distraction. I’ve always hoped that this website serves as a helpful resource. If it provides a ray of sunshine or a healthy escape, even better.

Today, I offer you my go-to recipe for granola bars. These bars are delicious and easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. They can pass as a quick breakfast, and they make a perfect snack.

granola bar ingredients

These granola bars have spared me from some hangry moments lately. They’re satisfying, just sweet enough, and stick with me for a few hours. Granola bars to the rescue!

I’ve finally found some ingredients to work with, so I’ll be back with more recipes soon. Please let me know what you’re looking for, and I’ll try to come up with something good.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Easy No-Bake Granola Bars appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Chocolate Espresso Granola

Chocolate Espresso Granola-this sweet homemade granola is made with healthy ingredients but tastes SO decadent! Serve with yogurt, milk, or enjoy by the handful! Chocolate Espresso Granola If you’ve been around here for a little while you KNOW how much…

Chocolate Espresso Granola-this sweet homemade granola is made with healthy ingredients but tastes SO decadent! Serve with yogurt, milk, or enjoy by the handful! Chocolate Espresso Granola If you’ve been around here for a little while you KNOW how much I love a batch of homemade granola. I am always trying to think of new…

The post Chocolate Espresso Granola appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with 5 Minute Chocolate Granola.

I’m about to show you how non-boring peanut butter overnight oats can be. This is one of my go-to breakfasts (we’re talking, like, at LEAST three days a week!) and I trash it up so it’s a little over the top, but still doable on a weekday morning. I LOVE IT.  It’s no secret that […]

The post Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with 5 Minute Chocolate Granola. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

I’m about to show you how non-boring peanut butter overnight oats can be.

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

This is one of my go-to breakfasts (we’re talking, like, at LEAST three days a week!) and I trash it up so it’s a little over the top, but still doable on a weekday morning. I LOVE IT. 

peanut butter overnight oats ingredients

It’s no secret that I adore overnight oats. There is entire overnight oats bar how-to in The Pretty Dish! I have a few recipes here on the blog and it’s just one of my favorite breakfasts ever. Which is funny, because as I’ve said ten billion times, I don’t love hot oatmeal!

Unless it’s a throwback like peaches and cream quaker instant oats. Oh yes.

creamy peanut butter

Overnight oats get a bad rap. I don’t find overnight oats to be mushy – in fact, I find them to be chewy! Which is what I love. Traditional hot oatmeal comes off as mushy to me, which turns me away.

But give me the cool, chewy overnight oats topped with lots of crunchy things and tons of fruit. They are satisfying and filling.

In fact, the only time I DON’T make overnight oats is when I want a savory breakfast. Because for me, overnight oats to be on the sweeter side. Not sweet SWEET, but like… nut butter sweet. You know?

5 minute grain free chocolate granola

That’s why I make mine with the best combination of all time: chocolate and peanut butter. I say this as I’m about 45 seconds away from grabbing a peanut butter spoon and topping it with chocolate chips. It’s such a classic favorite and one that just works. 

I mean, who WOULDN’T love it first thing in the morning?

5 minute grain free chocolate granola

So let’s get to it.

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

The oats! Nothing special here. I’ve added yogurt to my overnight oats in the past (and I enjoy it) but I don’t do that as often anymore. Mostly because I might want to have yogurt in another capacity later in the day! Like for a snack or something. So I go with milk (I usually do a coconut almond variety) and the oats, plus some chia seeds and hemp hearts. 

I add in a drop of honey and pinch of salt, along with some vanilla extract. 

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

Then I like to sort of swirl the peanut butter in the oats, leaving big chunks of it. This reminds me of my favorite chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Kilwin’s – the chunks of peanut butter are what make it. 

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

After it chills in the fridge overnight, I add a little more milk, a little more peanut butter, and then… this 5 minute granola. 

This is actually a grain free chocolate granola! Not because I avoid grains, but because I don’t think I need grains on top of grains. Like more granola on top of oatmeal? Kind of repetitive!

So this quick granola is made with big coconut flakes and peanuts and almonds. It’s SO crunchy and really good! Toss it in the skillet with some coconut oil and honey then let it cool. And there you go. Make a batch for the week and you’re all set.

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

Doesn’t it look like a bowl of HEAVEN? Sprinkle on some cocoa powder. Make a gallon of coffee. Your day is perfect!

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with 5 Minute Chocolate Granola

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it’s the best combo ever.

peanut butter overnight oats

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk, ((cow, almond, coconut, etc), plus more for drizzling)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 banana, (sliced)

5 minute chocolate granola

  • ½ T coconut oil
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a bowl, stir together the oats, milk, chia seeds, hemp hearts, maple syrup. vanilla extract and salt. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight!
  2. To serve, drizzle with milk and stir. Add the remaining peanut butter on top. Top with the chocolate granola and a sliced banana.

5 minute chocolate granola

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil. Once melted, add the peanuts; almonds and coconut. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they begin to toast. Stir in the cocoa, maple syrup and salt and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Spread the mixture on a piece of parchment paper and let it cool completely.

These peanut butter overnight oats are my favorite breakfast! Top with 5 minute grain free chocolate granola and it's the best combo ever.

Seriously want to dive in.

The post Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with 5 Minute Chocolate Granola. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.