This simple Apple Granola Recipe will have your home smelling amazing while it bakes! A low sugar granola recipe sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup, this is a healthy make-ahead breakfast you'll be happy to munch on throughout the week. Make this vegan granola for yourself, or give it away to some lucky friends.
Humble brag alert: you will pretty much always find a batch of homemade granola in my cupboard.
I make a big batch of this Coconut Banana Granola whenever I have brown bananas that need using up. When pumpkin season rolls around I put my homemade pumpkin purée to good use in this Healthy Pumpkin Granola. And if I'm in the mood for a super special but still healthy treat, I made this naturally-sweetened Chocolate Coconut Granola.
But today, my friends, I'm here to talk you through another homemade granola recipe, the apple of my autumn eye, this humble Maple Apple Granola.
What's so good about this particular granola recipe? Where do I even start. What we've got here is:
- Low-sugar granola, made with unsweetened applesauce and a touch of maple syrup.
- Refined sugar-free granola (durr, see above).
- Vegan granola, yes indeedy.
- Gluten-free granola, if you use gluten-free oats.
But most importantly, this Apple Granola tastes like if an apple pie and a granola bar had a clumpy little love child, and you got to eat that delicious little baby for breakfast.
Did that just get weird? Don't care. Let's go make some granola!
What's in this apple granola recipe?
Glad you asked! Here's what you're going to need:
- Oats --> Use gluten-free oats if you want to make gluten-free granola, please.
- Applesauce --> We're using unsweetened applesauce so you can control the sweetness as you please.
- Maple syrup --> Just a l'il bit of the really good stuff.
- Walnuts --> These bad boys are optional, but highly recommended.
- Olive oil --> I think the grassy flavour of olive oil pairs perfectly with the applesauce, but feel free to use a neutral-flavoured oil if you prefer.
- Cinnamon --> For that delish apple cinnamon granola flavour.
- Salt --> I used vanilla salt in this recipe!
- One large bowl --> Because multiple bowls are for chumps.
- Two large sheet pans --> We gotta spread this stuff out.
- Parchment paper --> This makes it sooooo much easier to move and stir the granola. Pro tip: you can re-use parchment paper a whole bunch of times, so unless it's looking really gross, I always save it. This unbleached parchment paper is my favourite.
- Liquid measuring cup --> I love this Pyrex measuring cup.
- Dry measuring cups --> I use my ½ cup measuring cup for 95% of my measuring needs. Tell me I'm not alone!
- Measuring spoons --> Just your teaspoon will do.
How do you make apple granola?
You'll find detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but let's walk through a quick overview.
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 325°F / 160°C and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, and olive oil. Whisk together until smooth.
Step 3: Add the oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and vanilla salt to the bowl. Stir well to combine.
Step 4: Spread the granola out on the two prepared baking sheets, ensuring that it's in fairly even layers. Place the pans in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.
Step 5: When the timer goes off, remove one pan from the oven. Carefully lift each corner of the parchment paper and use it to direct the browning granola from the edges into the middle of the pan.
Use a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to spread the granola back into an even layer. Repeat with the second tray, and when you place the trays back into the oven be sure to rotate the top to bottom.
Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Repeat step 5 twice more, rotating the pans each time you stir the granola. After 3 times (30 minutes of baking time) the granola should be nice and golden brown.
Step 7: Remove from the oven and let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets.
How long does this granola last for?
If you keep it in the cupboard in an air-tight container, your apple granola will keep for a couple of weeks. I like to keep a small amount in the cupboard so it's ready for breakfasts or snacking, and the rest I keep in the freezer in a reusable silicon freezer bag.
Kept in the freezer this granola will stay good for around 3 months .- but I guarantee it won't last that long!
Is this gluten-free granola?
In order for it to be considered gluten-free granola it needs to be made with gluten-free oats, which are processed in a facility that does not also process wheat and other gluten-containing grains that might contaminate the equipment.
Gluten-free oats tend to be pricier, but it's worth it if you have a legit gluten sensitivity, however, please note that some folks with celiac disease are not able to tolerate even gluten-free oats.
Is this sugar-free granola?
Friends, no. This is refined sugar free granola in that it's sweetened with maple syrup and unsweetened applesauce instead of a whack of sugar. I can assure you that this maple granola is a whole heck of a lot less sugary than those cloyingly sweet boxes of granola you pick up at the supermarket, while still being sweet enough to not feel like you're just chewing on a bag of oats.
Which, I mean, you kind of are, but in a cool way.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are oats healthy?
They sure are!
Oats are a cereal grain, and a member of the grass family Poaceae. What we know of as oats are the edible seed of the grass, which has been hulled, steamed, and rolled into their characteristic flat disc-like shape. Steel cut oats haven’t been rolled, but are chopped into smaller pieces instead.
More good news - oats are a good source of dietary fiber, including soluble fiber, which absorbs water as it moves through your digestive tract and help regulate the pace of digestion, which allows more time for nutrient absorption and digestion. Oats are also a good food source for the friendly bacteria in your lower intestine, where they are fermented and provide energy for our intestinal cells.
Oats are also rich in indigestible carbohydrates called beta-glutens which help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Due to the high levels of those beta-glucans, oats are also helpful in stabilizing blood sugar. In fact, eating oats in the morning may help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the entire day.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Maple Apple Granola
- Preheat your oven to 325°F / 160°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the applesauce, maple syrup, and olive oil together.
- Add the oats, walnut pieces, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Divide the mixture amongst the two prepared baking sheets, and spread into an even layer.
- Place the baking sheets into the upper and lower thirds of your oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, lift the edges of the parchment to slide the granola into the center of the pan, and stir the granola. Return the granola to the oven and rotate the pans.
- Bake for another 10 minutes before stirring the granola and rotating the pans again.
- Bake for another 10 minutes. Watch it carefully this time - I find the pan on the bottom has a tendency to burn. The granola should be golden, but not dark brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before spooning the granola into glass jars.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- The granola will become crisp as it cools.
Originally posted on October 9, 2015. This recipe was re-tested, re-photographed, and updated on September 10, 2019.
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