Oh So Apple Saucy Granola

The other day Andy and I were talking about making some more items ourselves here at home. I already make my own garbanzo flour (it’s loud, but a Vitamix does a great job on dried garbanzo beans), and a few times I made my own almond milk, though I decided that was simply too labor intensive. One of the foods we realized I had never made was granola. It’s one of the easiest things to make and yet I had never even attempted it. Andy eats granola every  morning for breakfast, and growing up his mom often made it. Today I decided to give it a go.

Here was my hangup: Granola is insanely sugary and fattening if made regularly. I don’t mind the fat coming from the nuts but many of the recipes I saw included both a bunch of sugar and or butter to make it clump. Gulp. No thanks.

I had this absolutely delicious granola a long time ago baked with applesauce. It was sweet, low in fat, and contained only a little sugar. I knew I needed to replicate it. I was okay with using some sugar, and some agave nectar as long as total it didn’t exceed one cup (with at least have of that cup being raw agave nectar, and the sugar being raw brown sugar). After some googling I came across this recipe at Fake Ginger.

Her recipe is as follows:

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey and oil over low heat.
  4. Mix the applesauce mixture into the oat mixture and stir to coat everything. Spread the mixture onto a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is a deep brown. Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Cool completely before enjoying.

This is what it looks like before baking. I messed up the focus on my camera so just look at that tiny strip of in focus mix *hits self in face*. This is what happens when I don’t use my camera very much for a couple months.

Since we limit animal products in our diets, and I already had raw agave nectar on hand I decided to make the switch from honey. My other changes included using cake spice instead of cinnamon since I was out, choosing pecans and walnuts for my nuts, and adding about a half teaspoon of vanilla.

Here are a few notes:

  • I did about 4 1/2 rounds of 10 minutes – meaning 45 minutes and it was a little browner than my personal preference. I’ll do 30 minutes next time but I have to say it did sets up to a nice crunch and adding the raisins in made it a lot tastier. I think it honestly just comes down to preference on this one. Andy thinks it’s fine.
  • Next time I will also either cut out the salt all together, or cut to 1/8 of a teaspoon. I found 1/2 to be too much. I’m fairly salt sensitive though, in general a little amount is plenty for me. It didn’t taste salty at all to Andy.
  • Be careful turning the granola every 10 minutes so you don’t break down the clumps too much. It’s not a clump intensive granola like some, and I don’t think you will get that with an apple sauce granola. It still clumped nicely though, but if you are too aggressive during turning you’ll break them up.

It’s held up really nice, and once it was entirely cool I put it in a tupperware. The key is to make sure that it is entirely cool. Very Very cool. You don’t want any residual heat or else it will turn chewy and blech.

One of the things I really enjoy about this recipe is that it’s pretty versatile if you follow the basic recipe. Next time I’ll likely go with almonds and dried raspberries. Mmmm so tasty.

Verdict: There’s no need to ever buy granola again. This was both super cheap, and super easy. Give it a try!

xo,

Heather

5 Comments

  • Anna
    October 9, 2012 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, looks yummy! It’s a pity here “old fasioned oats” are not so cheap and difficult to find (cheap & easy to find ones are so sugary!) and there is not any unsweetened appleasuce, unless I make it.
    Feel curious about you use the word garbanzo… is a Spanish word, and in my English classes I was teached to say “chickpea”.
    Is your wood stove working? Envy your cold weather. Here today we have a heath wawe ( 87.8F)
    :-( too hot for October, even here in the Mediterranean.

    • Heather
      October 9, 2012 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

      You should know, Anna, when I see that you’ve commented it makes me go “yay!”. I have always referred to chickpeas as garbanzo beans. Some people don’t know what I mean, but the good majority do. If they don’t it’s because they’ve never seen or ate one. In the stores here they are sold as garbanzo beans most of the time (I have photographic proof of this if your teacher doesn’t believe it!). So whoever taught you English, you can tell them an American told you that many many people here refer to them and know them as garbanzo beans. They’re rather interchangeable I’d say. About oats: It’s a bummer plain old fashioned oats aren’t cheap there. I think you could use plain quick cook oats too, it might be worth a try (if they are available and reasonable). I can get a very large container of them for about $2-$3 U.S. dollars. You can easily used sweetened apple sauce for these though, I would just cut back on the sugar to account for it. As for the wood stove, it is finally working! My brother in law is currently building a fire as I type this. 87 in the summer and I feel like melting inside. Our house is normally about 70 or so in the winter and it’s perfect.

      xo,
      Heather

  • Anna
    October 10, 2012 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    You’re so sweet, thanks!
    I willl bring your answer to my teacher. ^__^ Maybe he doesn’t say garbanzo because he is oh, so brit??
    I don’t have any problem in making unsweetened applesauce; my only concern is my daughter could eat the whole thing in a blink before I make the granola. Applesauce x May-chan = empty pan.
    Enjoy your cool weather and your wood stove on our behalf! ;-) — (today we are melting again! boo)

    • Heather
      October 10, 2012 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Ooh you’re being taught proper English, not American! That might be why. We definitely use words they don’t and vice-versa.

  • Anna
    October 11, 2012 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, “proper English”. But The Internet is teaching me all the other English :-D :-D

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