Granola adds a tasty final touch to a fruit and yogurt parfait, but packaged varieties are loaded with calories, fat, and sugar. Making your own granola is surprisingly simple. This version uses fruit and peanut butter to reduce the sugar and oil that cause packaged granolas to be so high in calories.
Tips for the cook: The best thing about granola is that it can easily be modified to fit your preferences. Use almond butter, add walnuts or sunflower seeds, and swap the cranberries with raisins or dried apricots. If you like your granola on the sweet side, consider adding two tablespoons of maple syrup or honey to the applesauce mixture for only a slight increase in calories per serving.
Yield: About 5 cups, 20 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
½ medium banana, mashed
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.
In a small saucepan, combine the banana, applesauce, and peanut butter. Heat on medium, stirring the ingredients to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, peanuts, and cranberries or raisins. Pour in the applesauce mixture. Stir to to coat all ingredients. Stir in the cinnamon and salt.
Pour the granola out onto the baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool on the pan. Once cooled transfer to an airtight container.
Nutrition information for one serving (1/4 cup): Calories 92; Total Fat 2.9 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 22 mg; Carbohydrate 14.7 g; Fiber 2.2 g; Sugar 2.8 g; Protein 2.9 g