clumpy & crisp applesauce granola

applesauce granola

Having a food blog is a completely odd thing. I’m sure my neighbours wonder why I’m taking photos of my food on the balcony on at 8pm on a Wednesday evening (hello neighbours, it’s because there’s still some good light outside, duh!). My friends are patient when we’re out to dinner and I have to take a few snaps of our meals before we dig in. And even when I’ve found the quintessential granola, the granola par excellance, I find myself whipping up another totally new kind of granola. That’s what you do when you have a freezer full of homemade applesauce and you need another post for the blog.

I have a few different granola recipes on the blog, but the recipe from the Baked cookbook was the only one to have the revered Clump Factor. But it’s the amount of sugar & butter in this quintessential granola that creates all that wonderful clumping. I wanted to try something a bit healthier, so I used applesauce as a kind of natural binder to see what would happen. I was a bit worried, but after I let the granola cool overnight (I always bake granola before bed for some strange reason), I had reached clumping success! However, this granola isn’t for the impatient. This stuff requires some serious tending, stirring, flipping and swapping trays from the lower rack to the middle rack and then back again. It’s wet stuff and it needs time in the oven to dry out. But if you are into that kind of commitment, then it will be a win-win situation because this granola is good.

Take warning however. This granola isn’t dessert and it’s not very sweet. It does make a lovely breakfast especially when served alongside some vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries. If you like things sweeter, then by all means add in more sweetener to the mix. The apple flavour is rather subtle but I think you could pump up that more by adding in dried apple bits instead of raisins or dried cranberries.

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34 comments to “clumpy & crisp applesauce granola”

  1. 1
    Adrienne   May 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

    GENIUS. Now I know what I’m doing with my cupboard full of homemade apple sauce.

  2. 2
    Aimee @ Simple Bites   May 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Clumping success! Ha ha! You make it sound like kitty litter–but of course we all know what you mean.
    Looks delish. I’m due for a new batch.

  3. 3
    af   May 27, 2010 at 11:30 am

    nothing can beat your quinessential granola. nothing. but, this looks like it could be an alternate…like perhaps sitting on the bench for when the quintessential granola gets injured!

  4. 4
    Nicole   May 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

    The Baked granola is also my go to granola. I used to use a family recipe, but once I tried Baked I never went back. Recently, I was swayed by Michael Ruhlman’s applesauce granola which looks very similar to this one. I probably would have like it if I had not ever made the Baked one. Mine seemed to take forever to bake up and not be “wet” anymore. I still like Baked better!

  5. 5
    monika   May 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    The clump factor is what’s always driven me to the Harvest Crunch box at the grocery store, but it always gets the milk too sweet by mid-bowl. I’ll have to try this one; granola clumps are worth all the effort in the world!

  6. 6
    beth maher   May 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I have banned myself from buying anymore cookbooks at the moment (I have dozens! And I mostly just use the internet!) but have been really intrigued by the Baked book for a while now.

    I am sooooo not up for baking anything right now though (there is a freak heatwave going on over here in Toronto, but I am going to try this granola out eventually.

    I really love the idea of using applesauce. Whenever I make cupcakes I replace the oil with applesauce, and it always turns out so moist and nummy.

  7. 7
    vanillasugar   May 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    do you know that the ONLY way i like my granola is maple/brown sugar flavor with toasted pecans. maaaaaybe some coconut. i am just so fussy on granola. but i had to say that your photos are beautiful….

  8. 8
    Bijoux   May 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I love granola for breakfast and wish I were more diligent about making my own as opposed to buying bulk granola that isn’t always fresh. I tried my hand a few years ago at making my own homemade granola and loved the results. It didn’t last long though which IS a good thing, but that just meant I would have to make a new batch more often. I just know my health nut husband would love this apple sauce granola!

  9. 9
    Joanne   May 28, 2010 at 3:17 am

    I’m so happy that this won’t send me into an early atherosclerotic-plagued grave! It looks absolutely delicious. You would never know that it had applesauce in it!

  10. 10
    michelle   May 28, 2010 at 4:16 am

    this looks great! healthy, too! i think it would be perfect with yogurt.

  11. 11
    heather @ chiknpastry   May 28, 2010 at 6:52 am

    i need to branch out. i have a granola bar recipe i make every couple of weeks for breakfast, and i like it so much, i’m afraid to try others! we’ll see….

  12. 12
    Margot   May 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Oh, I have not had homemade granola in such a long time. It is a gray day here and threatening rain – sounds like a good thing to make tonight for breakfast tomorrow.

  13. 13
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)   May 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I got into a huge granola craze over the holidays! I came up with a recipe that clumps (which is a must for me) and is low fat (another must for me)! It is so much better when you make it at home! Yours looks delicious! As always!

  14. 14
    thepinkpeppercorn   May 28, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I am definitely going to have to wake up early so I can have this ready before I am starving! Beautiful!

  15. 15
    Patti   May 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    This looks epic! I want it, I want it!

  16. 16
    The Leftoverist   May 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Yum! I’m totally into muesli these days, but once I get off that kick, I’ll be trying this.

  17. 17
    Daily Spud   May 30, 2010 at 11:52 am

    You are truly the queen of granola! I really must get my act together and start making some for myself.

  18. 18
    anne keane   May 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    this looks delish!

  19. 19
    Sues   May 31, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    This granola looks absolutely amazing!! I haven’t made any in foreverrr and this looks like the perfect recipe to try next!

  20. 20
    k8ie   June 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    totally random comment but had to say I love the “&” symbol in your headline typeface. Also looking forward to trying to make my own granola for the first time soon. I am sure I will incorporate some yumminess from this recipe.

  21. 21
    CookiePie   June 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    That granola looks divine! I like that it isn’t too sweet — too often granola is so cloying, too sweet for breakfast. I’m excited to try this!

  22. 22
    redmenace   June 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    First, congratulations on the new site! It’s fabulous!!!!!! And, second, thank you for the recipe. This looks sooo delicious. I’m excited to try it. Finally, I think my neighbors think I’m a big weirdo too. They see Kirk standing on a chair with his camera on the dinner all too often!

  23. 23
    GlowbugGirl   June 3, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Looks so incredibly yummy! I just ran out my last batch of homemade granola, and was looking for a new recipe to try. I also believe in the importance of the clump factor. Thank you!

  24. 24
    Gemma   June 6, 2010 at 7:37 am

    This looks really good. I’m always on the lookout for new granola recipes to try so happy to add another one to the list!

  25. 25
    Ashley   June 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I looooooove clumpy granola but didn’t want to add lots of sugar and oil/butter to make it that way so I am really looking forward to trying this recipe out!!

  26. 26
    Samantha   June 14, 2010 at 6:42 am

    This turned out great! It took a few hours to dry out enough, but it was worth the wait… lots of clumps! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  27. 27
    kickpleat   June 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Adrienne, this is so perfect for homemade applesauce.

    Haha, Aimee, kitty litter it is not – I assure you!

    af, this is a good low-fat option. Try it!

    Nicole, I haven’t seen Ruhlman’s one before your comment so I checked it out. It is similar so I like that great minds think alike :) This does take an extra long time to bake because of all the moisture and not a lot of fat. It’s worth the time though.

    Monika, once you make your own you’ll ignore that box at the grocery store! Try the Baked version too!

    Beth, I should try replacing more oil with applesauce – I tried it once and was quite happy with the results. As for the Baked cookbook, get it from the library as a test drive.

    I understand fussiness, vanillasugar. Thanks!

    Bijoux, get into the habit of making a batch every Sunday night. You can try new recipes weekly and it just makes the house smell so great.

    Thanks Joanne, it’s tasty and a bit appley which is just lovely.

    Michelle, it’s perfect with yogurt!

    Heather I need a good granola bar recipe. Every version I’ve tried has fallen apart.

    Margot, granola is a perfect rainy day activity!

    Sarena, this sounds like your ideal granola – healthy & clumpy!

    I hope you tried it out, pinkpeppercorn.

    Patti, it’s the most epic granola I’ve made, but only because it takes so long to crisp-up. It’s worth the time & effort.

    I never got into muesli, Leftoverist. I should try but I just love the crispness that granola delivers.

    Thanks Daily Spud, I hope to be known as the granola queen!

    Thanks Anne.

    Sues, I hope you give it a shot.

    k8ie, me too!! Glad to see another typeface lover here.

    CookiePie, I don’t love too-sweet granolas at all. This one is perfect.

    Thanks redmenace!

    GlowbugGirl, hooray for clumps!

    Thanks Gemma!

    Ashley, I hope you do give it a try. It’s a good one.

    Samantha, so glad you tried this out. Hooray!

  28. 28
    crystal_hartmann   July 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I wonder…..since banana can be added to replace oil in recipes, if it could be used as the sweetner and the oil in this? Right now, I am baking a batch of the above recipe, but I’ve already changed to see how it goes. I doubled everything but the honey and oil. For honey I used agave and added one measure more than called for in recipe. I used only the original amount of oil. I mixed it by shaking it in a large tupperware bowl. It coated it extremely well. It still tastes sweet, and I have small clumps, which I prefer over large clumps.

  29. 29
    kickpleat   July 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Crystal, I think banana would be a perfectly acceptable sub. I’ve made a no-oil granola before (http://everybodylikessandwiches.com/2009/03/low-fat-granola-with-millet/) and it worked out well…though you may need to add in a bit of liquid to help give the oats a good coating.

  30. 30
    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom   June 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve made your granola a millon times and love it every time! Thank you for brining this wonderful recipe into our life. It’s totally addictive!

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