Apple Vanilla Granola
Growing up, a bowl of cereal with a big 'ol splash of cold milk was my breakfast of choice. Chances are, it was your's too. Cold cereal might just be the official breakfast of busy families, as it is literally a two-step process of getting breakfast on the table (pour and pour). However, check out the ingredient list on that boxed cereal hanging out in your pantry. Do you recognize all of those ingredients? Can you pronounce them? Are you thrilled they are being poured into your morning breakfast bowl? If you have managed to find a truly healthy, minimally processed boxed cereal, then bravo! Keep eating it! If you haven't, then allow me to point you in a new, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy direction for quick breakfasts. Homemade granola.
When I first started ditching processed foods, I held tight onto my boxed cereals. How could I possibly find the time in the morning to do anything besides pouring cereal into a bowl and adding milk!? Since then, I have found many other easy breakfasts to get myself and family out the door with full (and nourished) bellies. But, when I was hugging those boxes of Cheerios in desperation, the only thing that pried my fingers off of them was my introduction to granola.
Granola is amazing. It sounds complicated to make, but if you have 10 spare minutes on the weekend, then you have time to make homemade cereal for your family to eat all week long. The best part is, you can make it any flavor that you fancy. Try lots of recipes and find your families favorites! Make those in large batches during your weekly meal prep and freeze the leftovers for weeks when you don't have time to cook. A breakfast of homemade granola with a little milk is just as easy as any boxed cereal you and I grew up on, but holds so many more nutrients in that little bowl than pretty much any cereal advertised on television.
Since fall is slowly (and I emphasize slowly, since San Diego is currently enjoying 90 degree weather in the middle of September) creeping its lovely way in, my Maine roots are showing and I'm infatuated with all things apple. I couldn't help but flavor any and all my recipes with a taste of fall and breakfast is no different.
4 cups rolled oats, uncooked (if making gluten free, be sure to buy gluten free oats)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped almonds
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degree F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix well.
- In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well until all of the dry ingredients are well coated.
- Spread evenly between the two lined baking sheets and smooth out until the granola is a single layer.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and flip the granola with a metal spatula. Return to oven for 15 more minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container for a week. To keep fresh longer, store in freezer.
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