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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 325°C.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set the raisins aside until later.
- 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.
- 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.