Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mighty Make-Aheads: Low-Fat Granola

My due date is here and I'm still waiting, though I would not describe it as patiently--occasionally with resigned acceptance and occasionally with tantrum throwing frustration. Regardless, I am waiting.
I've managed thus far to pass the time with cleaning projects, reading books on child care and development, and stocking my freezer with easy meals to heat up in the early, chaotic days of new parenthood. As of a few days ago, however, I've read all my books, deep-cleaned the house twice over and my freezer is full. Dear Lord, my freezer is full...
So, in addition to watching endless hours of Netflix, napping the days away, and attending to the ever-accumulating dust-bunnies under the bed (it happens so fast!) I've been thinking about non-perishable Mighty Make-Aheads.
Here's a recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson's book Feast for tasty low-fat granola. I've altered a few ingredients to my taste and convenience, but the real innovation, using applesauce to replace a significant amount of fat, is hers.

Low-Fat Granola

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups chopped pecans (or nut of your choice)
2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300F.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (or foil if you haven't any parchment.)
In a very large bowl, stir together oats, nuts, coconut, wheat germ, brown sugar, spices, and salt.
In a small saucepan, heat applesauce, maple syrup, honey and oil over medium heat, stirring until warm and well combined.
Pour the applesauce mixture over the oat mixture in the large bowl and stir well to coat.
Spread the granola evenly over the two baking sheets and bake 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and rotating the position of the pans in the oven, until well toasted. Granola will crisp as it cools.

Store in an air tight container up to one month.