As I’ve grown more conscious of my food choices as an adult, I’ve become more and more aware of my carb-centric diet. I just love my sugar and starches—what can I say?
Yet, the more I’ve realized this shift in my eating, the more I’ve been trying to make sure I get those other things by body needs—especially protein. I honestly don’t cook meat that often (maybe once a week, much to my husband’s chagrin) so it often falls on dairy products and legumes to round out my diet.
I eat yogurt practically every day, so I always make sure I have some sort of granola on hand as a mix-in. I love the texture contrast granola adds, and it’s fun to make my own flavors since I find store bought granola to either be too expensive (I love you Bear Naked, I really do, but $4 for a little thing of granola, come on! Or filled with unwanted ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils—hey store brand.)
So I make my own. As you’ve probably noticed from the “snacks” part of my recipe index. The particular version is AWESOME! The binding agent for the granola is caramel sauce, and the warm spices and dried apples (plus cinnamon chips if you have them on hand) make this granola a treat that’s great as a snack on its own as well. I think I already need to make another batch…
One Year Ago: Cornmeal Apple Bread
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup dried apples, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ½ cup cinnamon chips, roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, almonds, spices, salt, and chopped dried apples. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Let the sugar boil over medium high heat, without stirring, until sugar reaches a golden amber color. Be careful not too let it get too dark, or the caramel may taste bitter or burnt. Remove from heat and immediately add the butter, stirring until smooth.
- Quickly pour the caramel over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. You need to do this very quickly or the caramel will start to cool and harden, making it very difficult to distribute throughout the oat mixture.
- Spread granola evenly onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, until the granola is golden in color. Towards the end of the baking time, keep a close eye on it to make sure the granola doesn’t darken too much. If it does, remove from the oven, even if the 15 mins isn’t finished. Let cool to room temperature before serving or storing. Break the granola up into chunks, add in chopped pieces of cinnamon chips if using and store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Adapted from Pastry Affair