Apple Butter Granola

Last week I lost someone special in my life.

It was really hard to work up the initiative to sit down and write this post. I mean, I still can’t think about it without getting blubbery. Especially when I’m sitting alone, like I am now. Luckily this past week I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, which I think has been helping us all get through it. I even laughed the other day when my 98-year-old great great aunt came over and amused us all with her quick wit and stories about her past.

Apple butter granola - vegan and sweetened only with apple butter! #breakfast #recipe

Turning to cooking has also been helping me. The day after we got the bad news and were all feeling a bit foggy headed, I did the only thing I knew I could do to help: I got to work in the kitchen whipping up a cheddar and scallion strata for lunch. It was my way of taking care of everyone.

On Sunday I made a big batch of date squares to serve at the lunch after the funeral the next day.  There was already food provided, but I just felt like it was something I needed to do – because date squares were his absolute favourite.

Apple butter granola - vegan and sweetened only with apple butter! #breakfast #recipes

Well, other than apple pie, which was his other favourite.

So to honour his memory, I want to share with you today my apple butter granola recipe that tastes like apple pie. Apple pie that you can eat for breakfast. But made with whole grains, healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and no added sugar, it’s a whole lot healthier than apple pie, while still tasting delicious. I’m pretty sure he would have liked it.

Apple butter granola - vegan and sweetened only with apple butter! #breakfast #recipe

Apple butter granola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Light, crisp granola made with apple butter that's as healthy as it is tasty. Vegan, peanut free, soy free.
Yield: 3 cups
  • 2 cups rolled oats*
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup apple butter (not apple sauce - this should be a thick, sweet spread)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°C.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set the raisins aside until later.
  3. Then in a small saucepan on the stove, heat up the apple butter, vanilla, and canola oil, stirring until combined. Pour into the dry mix and stir until everything is well coated.
  4. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to stir it halfway through. Then remove from the oven and let cool completely. Add in the ½ cup of raisins, then store in an airtight container for up to a month.
*Use certified GF oats to make recipe gluten free.

Apple butter granola - vegan and sweetened only with apple butter! #breakfast #recipe


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35 Responses to Apple Butter Granola

  1. So sorry about your loss, Chelsea. You’re right, being surrounded by family during times like that definitely helps to ease the pain. It’s great that you were also able to find comfort in cooking. I find myself doing that too – it’s just so therapeutic sometimes.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Tracey! I love how the act of cooking is therapeutic, but also the final result. There’s nothing like some homemade baked goods to make you feel better. ;)

  2. I am sorry Chelsea, it is always hard when you lose someone you care about. But I am sure he left with many warm memories of you, and that you can be happy about. That is beautiful that this was made for him, and what a delicious looking recipe. I am sure he is very proud of you.

  3. Am so sorry for your loss, Chelsea…keeping you and your family in my thoughts & prayers! I remember how lost I felt when my granddad passed away and looking back, I am grateful that I got the chance to create so many memories with him (as you did with yours)- not everyone gets the opportunity. I have no doubt your granddad is watching over you and smiling down…and probably drooling because this granola sounds deeeelish!

  4. So sorry for your loss Chelsea. I think baking and cooking can be so cathartic as well. This recipe sounds amazing and I love the use of apple butter to sweeten it!

  5. sorry about your grandpa xo this granola looks amazing! :)

  6. oh it looks so good! i’m so sorry for your loss but glad to know you have a special recipe for when you are missing him.

  7. So sorry about your less Chelsea! Baking is definitely cathartic at a time like this, and it’s great that you whipped up something he would love.

  8. So sorry, love <3 Been thinking about you and hoping that you're doing okay. I'll turn to baking a lot of the time when things get rough as well… That and exercise, writing, reading, and talking to friends/family are what get me through the hard times.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Amanda. :) I’ve definitely found exercise has helped – particularly in the form of long walks. Now that it’s getting cold and snowy though I’ll have to take my walks to the treadmill at the gym. Ugh!

  9. How awful, Chelsea. I’ll be thinking of you and your loved ones. Cooking, baking and eating are all wonderfully therapeutic. Take good care of yourself.

  10. Sending you the biggest hugs and lots of love! Hoping you and your family get through this rough time. I always find cooking very therapeutic, and I can see you do too. What a lovely tribute. xo

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much Allison! I was thinking of you because my grandparents live in Simcoe, so I’ve been there quite in a bit in the past two weeks. Hopefully better circumstances will bring me there next time and we can meet up! :)

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Chelsea. Goodbyes (whether they’re unexpected or not) are always so tough. xoxo

  12. Sweetie I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad to see you have been surrounded by family and doing one of the things you love most to honor his memory. You and your family are in my prayers <3

  13. Sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking of you. xo

  14. So sorry to hear about your loss. This granola would make him proud I’m sure – perfect breakfast fuel.

  15. Oh Chelsa, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. xxx

  16. julia

    This looks delicious! What’s your favorite apple dessert? Share it on your Besty List!

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