Apple Cinnamon Granola

My house smells amazing right now, thanks to this granola.  My house smells amazing… and my daughter just dumped a cup of pears, with a bit of juice no less, onto the floor.  And now she’s taking the remaining pears that were still on her tray, putting them into the cup, and then dumping them onto the floor as well.  Not sure what developmental milestone this is, but obviously it’s some sort of cause/effect thing happening here.  We’re learning about gravity people!  My floor is trashed, but on the bright side, it smells amazing in here!

I’ve finally come to realize what it means to let yourself go after you have kids.  I must say, I got to three before I let it happen, so I call that a win.  But now, I just don’t care anymore.  Not in a depressing way, it’s just, what’s the point?  Why spend time doing my make-up when I’m not leaving the house?  Why do my hair just to have a banana-hand grab it in five minutes?  Why put on nice clothes when peanut butter is going to be smeared onto them by noon?  Why, people? Why?  Ok, so it’s not everyday that I ignore these aspects of grooming, and yes I do shower everyday, but I’m just at a point in my life where apparently I’ve surrendered.  You win, kids!  And don’t even get me started on mopping the floors…

My mom is famous for her granola.  Seriously, her recipe has been published in like two newspapers.  I can’t wait to blow her mind with this granola.  You use apple pureé, or applesauce, to flavor the granola.  I’m not sure she has that trick up her sleeve!  With the mountains of apples in her house, she may just be excited to try this!  And now my mind is wondering, what other fruit pureés could one use to make other flavors of granola?

Oh, and if you’ve never made granola, and you like granola, and you buy granola.  Stop.  Stop buying granola.  Make your own granola.  Its easier than making rice krispie treats.  It’s cheaper in the long run and it makes your house smell amazing.  Also, it’s endlessly customizable.  For instance, use whatever nuts you like in this recipe.  I had a few partial bags of nuts left in my freezer so that’s why I used walnuts, pecans, and almonds.  But if you don’t want to buy three types of nuts, just use your favorite.  Don’t like coconut? Leave it out!  Love coconut? Add more!  Anyway.  Just make the granola, ok?

APPLE CINNAMON GRANOLA

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 granny smith apples, cored and diced with skin left on (OR 1 1/2 cups applesauce)
Combine oats, coconut, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and flax seeds in a large bowl.  In a blender or food processor, blend apples, brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Blend until smooth like applesauce (if you don’t have a very powerful blender, you may have to add a little water to get it to blend, you will then have to bake the granola a little longer.  Alternately use applesauce instead; whisk together applesauce, brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.)  Pour the apple puree into the bowl with oat mixture and stir until well combined.  Spread onto two cookie sheets lined with silicone mats, parchment paper, or that are well greased.  Bake at 250° for 1 hr 15 min – 1 hr 30 min.  Stirring every 20 minutes or so.  You will know when it’s done when everything is light golden brown, the oats are no longer soggy, and there is no more steam coming from the granola when you open the oven or stir it.  Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  It will last about a month well sealed, longer if frozen.  
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