Friday, February 24, 2012

Apple Cranberry Granola

So, I'm pretty much obsessed with oats. I try to put them in everything I can: Zucchini Oat MuffinsOatmeal PancakesOatmeal Bread...I try to eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday. I got a little sick of it for a bit, so that's why I tried to change it up with recipes made with oats.

Here are some health benefits of Oats:

  1. Lowers Cholesterol: lots of fiber!
  2. Boosts your Immune System: Beta-Gluten
  3. Reduced the risk of Cardiovascular Disease: special antioxidants called avenathramides
  4. Stabilizes Blood Sugar: also because of the fiber
  5. Reduces Risk of Diabetes: magnesium helps the body properly use glucose
  6. PREVENTS BREAST CANCER: fiber from whole grains
  7. Gluten Friendly

I bought some really yummy granola from Sprouts the other day because it was on sale. I ate it like cereal with fresh berries and unsweetened almond milk. It was delicious! And... it was gone in 2 days! A friend made some granola at home that she said tasted really, why not? I looked up a ton of recipes online, and I pretty much figured out that I could put anything I wanted into it. I combined some of the ingredients I already had, and asked Adrian what he would want in it (so he'll eat it too!).

This recipe was pretty good. I liked that there wasn't any sugar in it. Just applesauce & honey to sweeten it. You can pretty much put whatever you like into your granola as long as you maintain the wet/dry ratio. It turned out a little chewy for me (but still good). I like next time I will exclude the fruit and just eat with fresh fruit, or add the dried fruit at the end after it's done baking.

Oops...I forgot to take a picture of it when it was done. It pretty much looks like every other granola!

Printable Recipe

Dry Ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1.25 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup chopped dried apples**
1.25 cup dried cranberries**

1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1.5 cups unsweetened coconut flakes1 tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

2 (4oz) packages applesauce (a little less than a cup)
1/2 cup coconut oil**
1 1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

**Possible substitutions:
1/2 cup coconut oil--- other oil such as canola or vegetable
1 cup dried apples---1 cup raisins or chopped dried apricots
1.25 cup dried cranberries--- 1.25 cup dried cherries, blueberries, raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with a silicone baking mat. Mix Dry Ingredients in an extra large bowl and mix well. Heat up wet ingredients on the stove top or in the microwave in a glass measuring cup. (I did the microwave so I wouldn't have to clean sticky honey out of one of my nice/new pots). Pour the hot, wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. Spread evenly over the two greased cookie sheets. Bake for 40-60 minutes,or until golden brown. Stir mixture about every ten minutes. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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