Back In Balty and Maple Apple Granola

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Oats are one of my favorite foods. I can’t explain it but something about their chewiness and wholesome taste is completely addictive. So of course I also love granola. But granola is one of those foods that I get upset about – something that should be so healthy usually is full of sugar, process, high fructose corn syrup and fat. And even when it’s not over processed it’s usually chock full of nuts. Not that I have anything against nuts and they are healthy in moderation. But in case it hasn’t become really obvious to my readers, I don’t “do” moderation. And 1/4 of a cup of granola is never filling enough for breakfast anyways, let’s be honest. So my solution? Make my own granola!

My dog Charlie, licking her chops thinking about my granola

My dog Charlie, licking her chops thinking about my granola.

I scoured quite a few granola recipes, considered what my favorite additions tended to be, and did quite a lot of Foodgawker stalking. Finally I decided that I wanted a granola with a good amount of oats, obviously, some protein, and have it be sweet and filling. Quinoa has been popping up in a lot of granola recipes, and to me it was a perfect way to get some protein in without being to calorie dense. For the sweet I decided on maple syrup and apple sauce, a dash of almonds for extra protein, and to make it a little more filling? Cheerios! 100 calories in a cup, so it’s perfect to add some volume without guilt. The Cheerios actually toasted up perfectly in the oven too. All in all, I thought my granola tasted amazing and is way healthier than any store bought kind I’ve seen. If you have any suggestions for me though, please share!

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In other news, I’m finally back at Hopkins. With a full week before classes start I’ve been doing a good amount internship work as well as figuring out study abroad for the Fall (!!!). Unfortunately this means I’m back to my crappy kitchen, but hopefully I’ll still push myself to make more recipes. I’ve gotten quite a few recommendations to make so be on the lookout for reader’s choices!

Maple Apple Granola for Two (feel free to double or triple the recipe, but I have to make small batches because I’ll eat all of it)

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Cheerios

1/8 cup rolled oats

1/8 cup white quinoa (rinsed well to get rid of the bitterness)

1/8 cup crushed almonds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

3 tablespoon maple syrup

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix until well combined.

3. Grease shallow baking pan and pour granola onto it. Don’t spread the mix too thin because you want everything to stick together. See pictures for a reference.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for the first 5-7 minutes, then take out and mix around. Put back in the oven at 300 degrees.

5. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, taking out every 5-7 minutes to mix. If it seems like it’s getting burnt turn the temperature down even more.

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Notes: The applesauce adds a lot of moisture so be patient when baking. You want *most* of the moisture to be gone by the time it’s done. If you think it’s getting burnt but is still too wet, just take out of the oven and let it cool. This tastes amazing with soy milk and makes the milk taste all mapley and delicious.

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The weather is so beautiful here in Baltimore, I hope everyone else is enjoying a mild January.

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Color pre-baking.

Color post-baking. See how nice and golden it's become?

Color post-baking. See how nice and golden it’s become?

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