Ever since I met my husband Brett I've known him as someone who makes conscious decisions on what he eats. In fact, when I first started to get to know Brett I remember thinking, "Yes! A guy who actually cares about eating healthy!" He ate yogurt and granola for breakfast, drank fruit and veggie juices instead of soda, and had frozen fish in his freezer. Most of the guy friends I had at the time scoffed at the idea of granola and either skipped breakfast or grabbed McDonalds on their way into work.
Yeah, it was love at first sight...or, uh, grocery list.
Yet as I've continued along my vegan/plant-based journey, I've learned so much more about what actually constitutes as healthy (at least in my opinion). Now I don't care about the nutritional claims that packages make, such as low-fat, sugar-free, zero carbs, but instead I care about ingredients. To be honest, I ideally like to eat foods that don't even require ingredients labels. You know, foods like sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, spinach, rice, oatmeal, etc. Brett, however, still has some favorites that he'd rather not give up anytime soon. Granola is one of those things. He loves it and eats in most mornings on top of greek yogurt and sometimes even with milk before bed.
Let me be clear in the fact that I don't think there is anything wrong with granola. But certain brands of granola can have quite a bit of processed sugar, and that's something both Brett and I like to stay away from.
Enter in: Date Sweetened Nutty Apple Granola!
Dates are amazing aren't they? Chewy, sweet, sticky, and straight from the earth. They are a dessert on their own in my opinion and can be jazzed up so easily with your favorite nut butter drizzled on top.
Or...you can sweeten granola with them!
I'm so happy with how this Date Sweetened Nutty Apple Granola turned out. I was worried it would be chewy and not crunchy--which is how Brett and I like our granola--but it hardened up beautifully and is just sweet enough for my taste. You can easily personalize this granola by choosing your favorite nuts or dried fruit to add in. Get creative!
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix together the oatmeal, flaxseed and salt. (Don't add in the nuts!)
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat combine the chopped medjool dates, chopped apple, water, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat the date mixture until the dates practically dissolve and the apple becomes soft, stirring often. Place the date and apple mixture into a food processor or blender and process until a smooth paste forms.
- Pour the date/apple mixture over the oats and stir well to make sure all of the oats are coated.
- Spread the oat mixture evenly over your two prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Stir, rotate the pans, and bake for 10 more minutes.
- After 25 minutes of baking, remove the pans and add in your chopped nuts. Stir. Bake 20 more minutes, stirring half way through.
- Remove the pans and allow the granola to cool. Add in the raisins and store in an airtight container.
*I used ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup almonds, ½ cup pecans.
**Use whatever dried fruit you like best!
Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat - Pack of 2
Coachella Organic Medjool Dates
Bob's Red Mill Old Fashioned Regular Rolled Oats
Hamilton Beach Food Processor
Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade, Self-Cleaning 64 oz Container, Black - 001372
Plant Biased: 90+ Easy Plant Based Recipes and Essentials Guide for Beginner's by Faith VanderMolen
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size ½ cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 98Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 102mgCarbohydrates 8gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 2gSugar 5gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 3g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.
As always love hearing from you guys, so tell me:
What's your favorite way to eat granola?
Have you ever made granola from scratch?