Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Granola Goodness Part Two!

As is true with a lot of my recipes, this idea started when I wanted to use up something that I had hanging around in the fridge; in this case, it was some jarred applesauce I had bought to make zucchini bread a week or two ago. Given my granola kick, I wondered if anyone had ever thought to use applesauce in granola instead of oil, like you would do with a cake or other baked good.

Lo and behold, the Google revealed to me that others had this thought, too!

Because I'm still on my pumpkin kick, I used pumpkin spice as my seasoning rather than just plain old cinnamon for some seasonal interest. This recipe is on the sweeter side as far as granolas go, which makes it really yummy for direct snacking and also great on plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey. Om nom nom.

 Granola for the whole week!

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce Granola

Significantly altered from Baking Bites

Yields approximately 5 cups of granola

3 1/2 cups old fashioned (NOT quick cooking!) oats
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (regular, not the chunky kind)
1/8 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 - 3/4 cup mixed nuts (I used 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces and 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds)
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used raisins, but cranberries or just about any dried fruit would be great here, too)

1) Preheat oven to 325 F, and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin spice, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.

3) Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add nuts and stir to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.

4) Bake for 20 minutes, then gently stir, rotating the granola from the edges into the middle to ensure even baking.

5) Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the granola is dry and crispy. It will get crispier as it cools. It might be necessary to stir the granola again at this stage if you need to bake it for a much longer time.

6) Set pan on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, break up granola as desired, and stir in dried fruit. Store in an airtight container to retain crispiness.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Almond Butter Granola AND Peanut Butter Granola

Okay, how come nobody told me how easy and awesome it is to make your own granola? Seriously, kids, where has this been all my life?

Most of the recipes I've found online involve lots of oil (isn't granola supposed to be healthy-ish?) or laborious stirring, to which I am greatly opposed. I found these two recipes on the site Peanut Butter Fingers (which is a really great read, by the way), and they couldn't be easier. I'm partial to the peanut butter version, but both are very yummy and great to eat with yogurt or by the handful. You're just 15 minutes away from delicious crunchiness!

 Giant clusters!

Almond Butter Granola

From Peanut Butter Fingers
Makes about one cup of granola (I halved the original recipe)

2 tbsp. almond butter
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional, but a nice healthy addition!)
1 c. old fashioned oats (not quick cooking!)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and spray cookie sheet (I used a jelly roll pan with edges for fear of dropping the granola everywhere) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine almond butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until almond butter is slightly melted (about 30 seconds). Stir almond butter and honey together.
  3. Add cinnamon and vanilla to almond butter mixture.
  4. Stir oats and chia seeds into almond butter mixture, completely coating oats in the mixture.
  5. Spread oats onto cookie sheet and bake for eight minutes before tossing oats and baking for another eight minutes until granola is slightly brown.
  6. Let cool until granola is crunchy (it might not be immediately crunchy when you take it out of the oven, but give it time and it will be) and enjoy!

Almond butter granola

Peanut Butter Granola

From Peanut Butter Fingers
Makes about one cup of granola

2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. old fashioned oats


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.
  3. Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture.
  4. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
  5. Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until granola is slightly browned. Stir the granola once halfway through baking.
  6. Let cool until granola is crunchy and eat!