Clearly I absolutely love granola. I have my favorite brands, sure, but with homemade batches you can control the amount of fat and sugar… both of which are notoriously high in most commercial granolas.
For this Apple Cinnamon Granola, nuts contribute a modest dose of healthy fat and pure maple syrup lends a small amount of unrefined sugar.
In anticipation of the impending fall season – which is finally discernible in the Boston air – I used autumnal flavors for this granola recipe. Dried apples pay homage to the season of orchards, cider, and pie; a generous amount of cinnamon contributes a fragrant aroma and spicy-sweet flavor. The applesauce-coated clumps of granola turn crunchy in the oven, and are nicely complimented by the chewy dried apples.
Healthier and less expensive than grocery store granolas, this homemade version tastes every bit as good. Whether you stir it into creamy yogurt, scatter it over hot oatmeal, serve it with ice-cold milk, or eat it by the handful, you are sure to enjoy this Apple Cinnamon Granola.
Apple Cinnamon Granola
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- 6 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (yes, it’s a lot of cinnamon, but you want this to be the predominant flavor!)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds (I used walnuts)
- 1 cup chopped dried apple rings, preferably unsweetened & unsulfured
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure the oats and rice cereal into a large bowl, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until very smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the nuts into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove granola from the oven, toss with the dried apples, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.