APPLE GRANOLA

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This year will be different! Instead of making sugary treats to give away for the holidays, I am making an apple granola that is simply delicious, with just the right sweetness and a hint of salt! It’s super simple to make and very addicting. I had to make a second batch after my husband and I ate most of the first one before I could take any pictures. It is perfect for holiday gifts in creative little boxes, bags, or mason jars. It is also great as a topping for apple pies, vanilla ice cream, parfaits, fruit salad or simply on its own. Make it as a snack for those busy holiday shopping days when healthy options can be difficult in shopping malls. So easy to make, it can be done in between wrapping gifts. Turn it into a fun afternoon and have family or friends help make it!

YIELDS: Depends on how you package it. It makes a very large batch, enough to make about 10 small mason jars.

TOTAL COOK TIME: Prep 10 minutes, cook time 20 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 1/2 cups of dried apple pieces

• 4 cups of old fashioned oats

• 2 cups of puffed rice cereal

• 2 cups of mixed nuts salted

• 2 cups of raisins

• 1 cup of pumpkin seeds shelled

• 2-3 very ripe bananas

• 2 Tbs ground cinnamon

• 1/2 cup of maple syrup

• 1 Tbs vanilla extract

• (Other possible add ins: coconut, flax seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, vegan chocolate chips, be creative!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.  Lay out parchment paper or silicon sheet on a baking sheet. 

2. Put all the wet ingredients in a blender to mash up the banana. It should look like a thick liquid now. If it is too watery throw in another banana.

3. Mix all the dry ingredients in an oversized bowl. Mix in the wet ingedients.

4. Spread out on baking sheet evenly (I had to use 2 sheets). If it is too thick it will not cook evenly and it will burn on the edges and stay wet on the bottom. 

5. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Rotating with a spatula about half way to make sure edges don’t burn.  As soon as it starts to turn a golden brown remove from oven. Let it cool off for a while on top of stove.  It will get crunchy as it cools.

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