Fall is in the air. No matter how much I love Summer and dread the cold cold days of winter, Fall is always a welcomed season. I love everything about it – pumpkins, blue skies above warm colored landscapes, change of clothes, cozy-ing up with a warm drink and a good book and… – especially the fall food!
When the cool enters the air, my baking instincts kick in and I have the oven warming up. One cool weekend recently a best friend and I made my granola recipe together enjoying hours of laughing, the glorious smell of warm cinnamon and great conversation over our preparation of this healthy and delicious recipe. I hope you enjoy baking and sharing this special recipe of mine as much as I have over the years.
Granola is one of those “health foods” that if you’re not careful can do you in for a days worth of calories, sugar and fat in-take with one tiny meal! Yet if prepared correctly and eaten with moderation, granola can be a very nutritious and addition to your favorite meals and snacks. Several years ago I was determined to create a perfect granola recipe that would have little to no added fat and sugar so it could be thoroughly enjoyed without hindering anyone’s diet or conscience. After much experimentation this recipe was created and has been loved by many over the years.
The beauty of my granola recipe is it has zero added sugar. By processing several fruits and flavors, you get a liquid to coat your oats and add-ins that through slow-baking creates a deliciously sweet, crunchy and deeply flavorful granola.
Another great thing about this recipe is you can make it your own with the add-ins you select and it makes so many servings you can pack it up beautiful and give as homemade holiday gifts.
- 2 bananas, peeled and diced (the riper the banana the sweeter the flavor)
- 1 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 applesauce
- 1/4 hot water
- 1T vanilla extract
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 8 oz blanched sliver almonds(or nut of your choice)
- 8 oz dried fruit or add-ins such as coconut, nuts and seeds (optional)
Preheat the over to 250 degrees.
Line three or four baking sheets with tin foil for easy clean up.
Puree bananas and dates in a food processor.
Add applesauce, water, vanilla, and cinnamon and process until smooth.
Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add oat, nuts and add-ins such as seeds and coconut if using.
It is best to mix with your hands – this gives you the ability to massage the liquid into the oats to ensure it’s even distribution which will lead to the most crunchy evenly flavored granola.
Spread evenly in one thing layer among baking sheets.
Bake at 250 for 1-1 1/2 hours stirring every 15-20 minutes.
By stirring the granola and rotating the trays you create air flow that will bake the granola evenly and maximize crunchiness.
For crunchy granola, bake until dry but not burned
– just keep watch! – for chewy granola, take out before completely dry.
Keep granola uncovered until completely cooled
(if closed before the cooling process is finished, the granola will lose its crunchiness.)
Enjoy! I love mine as the perfect topping to fruit and greek yogurt in the mooring. Mmmm!