Healthy Eating Recipes: Apple Pecan Granola

From Edgewater resident Lilly Steirer:

Homemade granola made from your own hands is an extraordinary and affordable treat that makes a wonderful gift for friends, teachers and anyone who needs something a bit more special during this holiday season. Making granola is a great recipe for kids to help with, too. Even my two-year old can assist me when I make it, by measuring and dumping ingredients, stirring it together, then checking and taste testing clumps as the granola scent permeates your home.

Want even more homemade food gifts for the holidays? Check out this post that has more granola recipes and other treats both savory and sweet from Lilly’s Table.

Apple Pecan Granola

A little jar or bag of this goodness is a lovely gift this time of year. This granola recipe is lightly sweetened with just a hint of spice. It can be easily embellished with different nuts, spices, dried fruits or other treats that you just love. Have fun and make this recipe your own.

1 cup applesauce

½ cup cooking oil (I have tried olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or even melted butter with great success)

½ cup honey

1 tablespoon molasses, optional

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

5 cups rolled oats

1 cup pecans, crumbled into pieces (or add your favorite nuts)

½ cup cranberries, optional (or other dried fruit such as diced dried apricots, golden raisins, chopped dried mangoes, etc)

Preheat the oven to 325.

Whisk together the applesauce, oil, honey and spices in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted together.

Spread rolled oats in a baking pan. Drizzle and glop the liquid all over. Fold and stir until evenly coated and combined. Place half on another baking sheet if the layer of granola settled into the pan thicker than 1 inch.

Bake for 20 minutes. Flip over the granola in large pieces and continue baking 15-20 more minutes until fairly dried out. Turn off the oven and cool until thoroughly dried out in there.

Package the cooled granola in clear gift bags with a festive bow or mason jars with labels. The granola keeps well on the countertop for about a week or in your fridge for up to a month.

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