Tag Archives: homemade

crunchy applesauce granola

I will never buy granola again.

Store-bought granola is often high in fat, overpriced, and generally lackluster. Homemade granola on the other hand is AMAZING. I get to control the fat, the nuts and the dried fruit that goes in. It couldn’t be easier, and is actually fun to make! It is also 100% adaptable and completely fool proof (exact measuring unnecessary).

I decided to make a low fat granola that swaps in unsweetened applesauce for oil, and is sweetened with brown sugar, agave negtar, and maple syrup instead of white sugar.

I combined three different recipes, but I would say I most closely followed David Lebovitz’s recipe.

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
handful of pecans (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
2 tbls maple syrup
1 tbls olive or vegetable oil (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F
2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, almonds, pecans, coconut, wheat germ, flax meal, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

dry ingredients

3. In a saucepan warm the applesauce with the agave/honey, maple syrup, and optional oil. Just heat until the mixture starts to breakdown.

Wet ingredients

4. Mix the applesauce mixture into the oat mixture until well dispersed and all the oats are covered. Then divide and spread the mixture on two baking sheets covered with parchment paper (for easy clean up). I find it’s easier to use baking sheets with sides (sometimes called jelly-roll pans), because when you shake it up the granola doesn’t go flying onto the floor.

ready for the oven

5. Bake for about 45-60 minutes, stirring and switching the position of the baking sheets every 10 minutes until granola is a deep golden brown color and dry.

6. Remove from the oven, mix in the dried fruit (i used dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, and dried currants, but you can use whatever you like/have). Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

This was honestly the most delicious granola I have ever had. Every morning since I made this I have had 0% Fage greek yogurt with half a banana, some granola, and a drop of agave nectar-it is sheer perfection.

Make this immediately, you won’t regret it. Don’t waste any more money on store-bought granola!

And please post comments letting me know how yours came out and what you mixed in!

Homemade Pizza!

When visiting friends, I always try to schedule one night when we can make dinner at home instead of going out to a restaurant. So my Northeastern friends and I decided to make homemade pizza with an arugula salad on the side. It was a perfect hands on meal that got everyone involved in the dinner process, and was equally delicious to eat!

Jill and Miles help roll out the dough

Fresh cherry tomatoes and mozzarella with an herb crust

Jill and Courtney getting started on the second one

Arugula salad with Mediterranean feta, cherry tomatoes, and avocado

We did this this  meal the “semi-homemade” way (for all those Sandra Lee lovers/haters). With a quick trip to Trader Joe’s we picked up the two different types of pizza dough, and the rest of the ingredients we needed. With slightly more time/effort we could have made our own dough and tomato sauce, but then again, we are college students after all.

After a quick bake in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is nice and crispy, we all sat down to a lovely dinner.

Tomato, mozzarella and mushroom pizza

Jill, Jordan, Courtney and I

The remnants

Two night later, I was invited to my friend Peter’s house out in Concord, MA for dinner. Peter and I met at Cornell last fall when we both transferred in to the ILR School. His family loves to cook, and it was such a treat to join in on their family dinner-grandma and aunt included! They are lucky enough to have a brick oven built into their kitchen!! So we decided to make (how could you guess?) homemade pizzas!

Pizza oven built into the wall

This was pizza done the real way. Dough made from scratch. Fresh tomato sauce. An assortment of mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheeses. Thinly sliced potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and caramelized onions. And lastly prosciutto or spicy salami. For each pizza we played around with the different toppings.

tomato sauce, spicy salami, and a sprinkling of mozzarella

Asparagus and mushroom

Thinly sliced potato, fontina cheese, caramelized onion, and prosciutto-by far the best one of the night

There must have been others, but they were eaten too quickly to snap pictures of.

the kitchen.

It was a wonderful night filled with good food, good friends, and a loving family.