So now with all that luscious, sweet and spicy Zapple Butter on my hands and apple season fast approaching (the farmer's market was loaded with bushels last week!), I couldn't wait to try out one of the recipes I had pinned eons ago from My Whole Food Life: Apple Cinnamon Granola. I had noted on my pin to use apple butter for more flavour, and since I also had some home-dried apples from last year's picking spree I decided to toss them in at the end for a bit of texture. I didn't add any nuts, fat or refined sugar to this either, which is easy to do if you're making granola at home but almost unheard of in the store-bought varieties!
What I love about making granola at home is that I can make it über chunky - I hate buying granola where you open the bag and just find glorified toasted oats with sugar and raisins. Granola needs chunks, people! It's also a great way to play with the whole grains in the kitchen. You're not limited to oats for granola - I've used spelt flakes, brown crisp rice cereal, even cooked buckwheat, black rice and millet to make batches. I kept to mostly oats this time, but I tossed in a whack of wheat germ for flavour and a boost of nutrition (B vitamins, potassium, iron and magnesium to name a few!). To sweeten, I broke out my favourite Grade B maple syrup for a rich Fall flavour. It really did taste like apple pie, or at least apple squares - I couldn't wait for it to cool so I could dig right in!
Apple Pie Granola
Makes 7 cups, 14 1/2 cup servings
3 ½ cups thick cut or old fashioned oats
1 ¼ cup raw wheat germ
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp allspice
¾ cup unsweetened apple butter (I used ?Zapple Butter?)
? cup maple syrup (ideally Grade B)
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup diced dried apples (choose unsulphured / no sugar added if not homemade)