Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Okay, just because I like granola doesn't mean I'm crunchy. In fact, granola is often laden with as much fat and sugar as some of my cookie recipes! How can that possibly be good for you? But this granola is different. It's actually pretty good for you what with the healthy fats and low sugar. Plus, you can customize it a little, using your favorite nuts, adding or omitting dried fruits as you please, and there are lots of ways to serve it (I'll share one way with you on Friday). It's tasty, has a lovely nutty flavor from baking slowly, and the sweetness is perfect for eating plain, but doesn't overwhelm anything you might serve it with, like mixed into yogurt. A hearty breakfast is just around the corner. I made this twice in two days, once plain to use as an ingredient in another recipe and again with dried cranberries mixed in to serve as my "breakfast batch."
Scouring the interwebs for a granola recipe that wouldn't make glazed doughnuts look like health food comparatively, I found this recipe at Fake Ginger. You remember Amanda, right? I was paired with her for the Secret Recipe Club when I made those lovely Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies. Well, Amanda came through again with another winning recipe, fairly simple and one of the more "accessible" granola recipes out there to boot. I've said it before--I do like to eat more healthfully for meals and such because I do enjoy my sweets so much. But I hate the idea of having to shell out big bucks for ingredients I've never heard of or don't know how to use otherwise because they are healthy. There's plenty of food in my kitchen that's already good for me--I just have to learn how to put it together properly. So Amanda took me on that journey for granola. And it turned out beautifully. I opted to use part walnuts and part almonds in my first batch, then used pecans in my second batch (which were perfect with the dried cranberries). A delicious addition to breakfast, whip this up and enjoy!
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds), chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.) (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, honey and oil over low heat. Stir until combined.
Pour the applesauce mixture over the oat mixture and mix together until everything is coated.
Spread coated mixture in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. By the end the granola will be deep brown and fragrant.
Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Cool completely before enjoying or storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 5 cups.
The Cookie Princess
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