I love granola, but I can't stand how expensive it is to purchase when you consider how inexpensive it is to make yourself... and you can customize it to suit your taste. This is my adaptation of a David Lebovitz adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe - don't you love how that happens? It's pretty tasty as is, but feel free to switch it up by changing the nuts and spices, or by adding any number of dried fruits - you could even add things like wheat germ, chia seeds, ground flax, or hemp seeds. Just be sure the mixture isn't too dry when you put it in the oven - it should be wet enough to form clumps. Also, I like to add dried fruits AFTER baking.
Here we have old fashioned oats, chopped almonds, sesame seeds, grown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
Add a mixture of maple syrup, applesauce, oil, and vanilla that has been heated slightly. Stir until well mixed and no dry ingredients remain.
Divide the mixture on two half sheet pans and place in a preheated 300F oven for 45 minutes, stirring and switching pan positions every 15 minutes (the pans should be placed on the upper center and lower center racks). You want there to be some clumps, but break up any clumps that are too large.
Remove from oven and cool completely before placing in an airtight container for up to a month.
Apple Cinnamon and Maple Granola
makes 12 servings
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
In a small saucepan, heat together the applesauce, syrup, oil, and pure vanilla extract.
Pour the heated applesauce mixture over the oat mixture and mix well to combine.
Divide oat mixture evenly over 2 half sheet pans and place in upper and lower middle racks.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring and switching rack positions every 15 minutes; breaking up very large clumps as needed.
Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.