Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Spice Granola

It's finally October. The official month of fall. And if you live in the Midwest, you are still wearing shorts and flip flops and debating whether or not to turn the air on.

But despite it being 83 degrees yesterday, I needed something distinctly fall to remind me that yes, it IS October. 

I have multiple recipes lined up to post about, but after making this I had to share immediately. It smells AH-mazing and tastes just the same.

I've been wanting to try new flavors of granola but hadn't gotten around to it yet. And then yesterday while scrolling through Pinterest I found this apple spice granola. Perfect.

Luckily I had (almost) all the ingredients so to the kitchen I went. 

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients. BUT there usually are when you make granola. The thing that I have learned with eating clean is that once you have been doing it for a little while, you usually have everything on hand that you need. I use maple syrup all the time, so I always have a backup. Same with honey and vanilla. You just learn as you go.

I made two additions to this recipe, chia seeds and ground flax seed. Adding these boosts the nutrition aspect. Chia seeds and Quinoa (keen-wa) are both considered super foods and flax seed is just plain good for you. I also switched out the dark brown sugar for honey and molasses, making it a completely clean granola. The original recipe seemed to be for vegans, but since we aren't vegan it was okay to use honey. 

This is made very similar to the Homemade Granola recipe I posted a few months back.

 Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mix your wet ingredients. I whisked mine, and I had to whisk them good to get the coconut oil to mix in. You can see in the picture how it's separated from the other ingredients.

Then pour your syrup over the oat mixture and mix well until everything is coated. 

Spread granola over two parchment covered cookie sheets and bake at 325 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning.

Once it is cooked, let is cool for 20 minutes. This helps it get crunchy. The apples stay soft and add moisture to the granola, so this granola doesn't last quite as long as the homemade recipe. But I honestly don't think that will be an issue since this will probably be eaten within days of making it. 

You can eat it with milk or add it to some vanilla yogurt or greek yogurt with some stevia. Or you can just eat it by the handful as a snack. Anyway you eat it, it's delicious!

Apple Spice Granola
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup almonds (whole, slivered, chopped, whatever you prefer)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  •  1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • a little less than 1/4 cup honey w/molasses*
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix all of your dry ingredients - oats, quinoa, chia seeds, flax seed, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Do not add raisins yet.

In a medium bowl whisk together all of your wet ingredients - oil, vanilla, applesauce, honey w/ molasses, maple syrup.

Pour syrup onto oat mixture and mix until everything is coated. Spread onto cookie sheets and bake for 45 minutes. Stir granola every 10 minutes to avoid burning.

Cool granola for about 20 minutes. Add raisins. Store in air tight container.

*Here's the deal with the honey. What I have read about converting brown sugar to honey is that you want to use a little less honey and then add molasses to finish your measurement. I usually eyeball it. You also want to use less honey than sugar. So if your recipe calls for 1/4 cup sugar, then you use a bit less than 1/4. If you want to get really technical, you can buy a kitchen scale and convert it by weight, but that's too involved for me so I wing it. So far I haven't messed up too badly.
For this recipe I measured out somewhere between 1/8 cup and 1/4 cup of honey and then since the recipe calls for DARK brown sugar, I added a good glob of molasses. It all comes down to taste, so it might be trial and error for you. Let me know if you have any questions about it!

If you want to make this gluten-free you can use gluten-free oats.

Like I said before, if you want it to be clean, use the honey conversion. If clean isn't a concern for you then check out the original recipe for the brown sugar measurement.

 Happy Fall my friends!

Now here's hoping for fall-ish weather coming our way soon!

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