I have a secret. I don’t buy cereal anymore, and I make most of my snacks at home.
Well, I use one simple ingredient – granola.
Granola is great for homemade cereal, and it’s also wonderful on homemade yogurt with fresh fruit from the berry patch as a parfait.
However, during the fall, it seems everyone prefers either apple or pumpkin. I’m going to share with you my easy granola recipe, adapted for autumn. It all started years ago when I was learning how to cook.
I came across a delicious recipe for honey granola. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it with different flavors to match the season.
The autumn granola is apple pie flavored, easy to make, and inexpensive too. Here’s how you can make apple pie granola:
- 3 cups of quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup of honey
- ½ cup of butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons of apple pie spice
- Apple powder (optional)
1. Melt the Dairy
To make your own granola, the process begins with your trusty pot. I’m not sure if it’s only me or if everyone has a favorite pot to cook with in the kitchen.
If you have said pot, pull it out. Now is the perfect time to use it. Place it on the large burner of your stove, turn on medium-high heat, and place a half-cup (or 1 stick) of butter or margarine in the pot.
Use a spoon to gently stir the butter around the bottom of the pot to keep it from popping out of the pot and onto your stove.
Keep a close eye on the butter because when it melts, it’s time to move quickly to add the other ingredients.
2. Add the Texture and the Sweetness
When the butter has fully melted, add 1 cup of honey to the butter and stir it until it all dissolves. You can use store-bought honey.
However, if you raise bees (like we do), this is a great time to use fresh honey. It’s also a great way to make it less expensive to make this granola.
When the honey and butter are mixed, it’s time to add 3 cups of quick-cooking oats. It’s important they’re the quick-cooking variety to make sure they will tenderize in the liquid fast enough, but still hold their shape for the granola.
Be sure to mix the oats thoroughly in the liquid mixture. When the ingredients begin to clump together, you’ve stirred enough. Turn the heat off and remove the pot from the stove.
3. Spread and Smother
Pull out a cookie sheet but don’t grease it. Instead, spoon the granola onto the cookie sheet and smooth it out.
Be sure to preheat the oven to 375°F while prepping the granola. When the granola has been spread out on the cookie sheet, sprinkle the apple pie spice over it. You can add more or less depending upon your taste and preferences.
If you prefer other spices, you could add cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice. There are many variations to this style of granola.
During Christmas, you could choose to add some ginger in the mix too for a gingerbread variety. I added as an option on the ingredient list to toss in apple powder.
Apple powder is made from dehydrated apple peels. You grind them in a grinder or food processor until they form a powder.
You can add as much as you desire to the top of your granola for a stronger apple flavor.
4. Make It Toasty
Once the granola is prepped, pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. There’s not much to this step besides watching the granola to make sure it doesn’t burn.
If it isn’t placed on the middle rack there’s a chance it could be too close to the top of the oven and scorch it.
Keep a watchful eye to make sure everything is cooking as it should, but otherwise, wait until the timer beeps.
5. Wait and Crisp
When the granola is ready to come out of the oven, it’ll be a golden-brown color. Place it on a scorch proof surface to cool.
Don’t touch the granola until it has cooled sufficiently. The idea is for it to remain on the cookie sheet and crisp as it cools. This is what makes it granola instead of cooked oats.
Give it approximately 10-15 minutes. Hold your hand over the top of the granola to see if it feels cool. If it still feels warm, allow it to rest for a few more minutes.
6. Store Properly
Once the granola has cooled, use a spatula to remove it from the cookie sheet. Depending upon how old and used your cookie sheet is, it may require more or less elbow grease.
I’m not ashamed to admit; I’m still using the same cookie sheets I received as a wedding gift over a decade ago.
Needless to say, when I remove my granola from the cookie sheet, it takes quite a bit of oomph to remove it.
Yet, it comes loose eventually. It’s okay if some of the granola comes loose in chunks while others come as stray pieces.
As long as you remove it from the cookie sheet is all that matters. When the granola has been removed, store it in an air-tight container.
The container can be a plastic or glass bowl with a lid. It can be an air-tight canister, or the granola can even be stored in a mason jar with a lid.
If you choose to double up on the recipe, you may want to use a larger canister to store it. It’s up to you. The idea is to store it where it’ll remain fresh.
7. Ideas to Utilize
Your granola is stored, but how are you planning on using it? I gave you a few rough ideas at the beginning of the article, but I’d like to share a few more ways in detail to enjoy granola. Here are a few ideas:
- Use granola as a cereal. Place it in a bowl and pour milk over it
- Serve on yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit as a parfait
- Mix with nuts or dried fruit as a healthy snack or trail mix
- Toss some chocolate in with the granola for a sweet treat
- Eat by itself as a healthier alternative to chips or other greasy snack foods
Granola is an easy and inexpensive way to create your own snack food or breakfast cereal. This version of it with the apple pie spice is a great way to celebrate fall, by enjoying fall flavors in your foods.
There are a variety of ways you can utilize this granola recipe and alter it with different spices as the seasons’ change.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as my family and I do. It’s hard to get bored with a snack you can use in so many ways!