After Wednesday’s post, I’m going to lighten things up in here. Both in mood and with this lightened up granola. First, though, thank you for your comments and sharing your thoughts on that post. Weight is never an easy subject to tackle, but it was on my mind and I wanted to make a point about assumptions, specifically the assumption I maintain my weight thanks to luck. Many of you appreciated it, a few, as expected, did not, and all of your comments were thought-provoking for me and provided a few ideas for future posts. So, thank you!
Now, on to the topic of the day, which is homemade granola. I love store-bought granola, but it has a few things about it I don’t love. It’s usually pretty pricey, and it is also usually much higher in fat and sugar than necessary.
I found this recipe from David Lebovitz and liked how it uses very little oil and a lot of applesauce for the wet ingredients. I used his recipe for inspiration, but changed a lot of things. First, just by looking at his pictures I could tell his granola didn’t have clumps. I like a few clumps in my granola so I altered the wet-to-dry ratio. Second, I cut back on the sugar as his called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar plus liquid sweeteners. I think it’s still plenty sweet, but definitely not as sweet as what you get in the store. I also used less almonds to help keep it lighter and less expensive.
Despite being lower in fat and lower in sugar than most granolas you will find, the taste and texture are incredible. It’s lightly sweet, the spices give it a perfect flavor (don’t skip the ground ginger–it’s lovely here) and it’s very crunchy with some good clumps.
Homemade granola is one of the easiest things you will make. Give this lightened-up version a try!
Lightened Up Homemade Granola
With applesauce replacing most of the oil, this granola is much lower in fat than traditional granola. It is also reduced sugar, but is still flavorful. It’s lightly sweet, with a great crunch and small clumps throughout.
Makes ~6 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or neutral oil of choice)
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Mix together your wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add all of the dry ingredients, except the raisins, and mix together well. Spread the mixture onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until the granola is just lightly browned, 45 minutes-1 hour. Use a spatula to carefully turn over the granola after about 20 minutes so it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn on the bottom. I used two different baking sheets and they browned at different rates, so ovens and pans can vary; watch to ensure yours doesn’t burn.
When the granola is finished cooking, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before you touch it or stir it at all to ensure the clumps stay together. When it is cooled, stir in the raisins and store it in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have a great weekend!