As I sprinkled the last of my bulk-purchased (and carried from Texas) apple pie spice into my coffee mug this morning, I couldn’t help but think back to all the happy times we’ve had together.**The apple pie spice, not the coffee mug. Although I’ve had a lot of happy times with that as well.
Because not only do I have three more (even tastier) Penzey’s tubs of apple pie spice left on my pillow by Stepmama Smart….it’s really easy to make your own.
I’m not sure if quinoa has the same nutritional benefits dry as it does cooked, but at least we can be sure the ground flax seed was doing some health boosting.
You could mix the oats and whatnot now, which I did…but really only for photographic effect.
Because then you’ve got to add in your walnuts or pecans (or a combination thereof).
Since the granola makers in The Smart Kitchen* tend to believe oil-free is the way to be, applesauce adds the necessary wetness.^
*That would be, um, me.
^Not to be confused with necessary roughness…or unnecessary wetness (resulting in the need to change your pants and wash the sheets).
Which makes a lot of sense, as, well, this is apple pie granola, and the more chances to get apple in there, the better. (Duh!)
I was, tragically, working without my inherited magical granola pan…but any metal pan will suffice. (Not really, but I’m willing to pretend.)
While you’re gettin’ the granola groovin’ in the oven, dice up some dried apple rings for ‘finishing.’
Usually what happens is I get frustrated trying to cut apple rings and just pull them apart with my hands instead. Go ahead. I won’t tell on ya. [Although based on this picture, I actually spent a long time slicing these little rings of yum.]
Once you’ve cooked the granola to near-crisp perfection, stir in your dried apples and drizzle a bit of honey or agave nectar over the whole mess.
It will crisp up a bit as it cools, and then be ready for nibbling, mixing in yogurt, sprinkling on your nighttime snack bowl of cereal, or mailing off to your December Blogger Pen Pal!
[I look at this label and think, “How did I ever think I wasn’t meant to be an elementary school teacher?]
3 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp. ground golden flax
3 Tbsp. sucanat, demerara, or brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
6 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dried apples, chopped
1 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey (optional)
1. Combine oats, flax, quinoa, sugar, spices, and walnuts in large mixing bowl.
2. In separate small bowl, whisk together applesauce, water, and vanilla extract.
3. Pour applesauce mixture over the oat mixture. Stir well to coat.
4. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove granola from the oven and mix in dried apples and agave nectar (if using).
6. Bake 5-10 more minutes and allow to cool (if you can) before eating!