It’s full-fledged apple picking season in Michigan and the crop is bountiful this year! A couple of weekends ago we made a trip out to our favorite orchard and stocked up on apples. We love this location because they use natural pest control and do not spray their fruits. They actually encourage you to eat the apples right off the tree, which makes my hubby very happy!
I love picking a big bunch of apples for snacking, as well as for stocking up my pantry for apple treats throughout the winter. I’ve been canning applesauce and apple butter for years and often give some as gifts for Christmas. This year I decided to play around with my dehydrator and come up with some tasty ways to incorporate apples into some other yummy treats.
This grain-free granola is great to have on hand for a quick snack, a satisfying breakfast with some homemade almond milk or coconut milk, or a little treat after dinner. I highly recommend mixing up the apples that you use – I love to use 2-3 tart Granny Smith apples and 2-3 sweeter apples, like Galas or Fujis. I also suggest that you don’t skip out on the Cardamom. To me, it’s what makes Apple Pie Spice different than Pumpkin Pie Spice. Cardamom has a slightly peppery and gingery taste and a beautiful fragrant smell – perfect with the nuts and apples in this granola.
One more note before we get to the recipe. I always soak and sprout my nuts before consumption. Please see this post for more info. To make this granola, you need to plan ahead just a little bit. I usually place the nuts in the water with the sea salt in the morning and then finish making the granola in the evening. By the next morning, your house will smell amazing and breakfast is ready to eat!!
- 6 cups of a mix of raw nuts, chopped (I like to use 2 cups of slivered almonds, 2 cups of pecan pieces, and 2 cups of walnuts pieces. Trader Joe's sells each of these raw and already chopped.)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Filtered water
- 6 small or 4 large apples, peeled and diced (I like to use a mixture of tart apples such as Granny Smith and sweet apples like Galas or Fujis.)
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup of chia seeds or 1/2 cup of chia seed meal (If you are using chia seeds, you will need to grind them up in a spice grinder before using.)
- 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (here or here)
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (here or here)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- Place the nuts in a large bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the sea salt. Add enough filtered water to cover the nuts by an inch or two and stir to dissolve the salt. Cover and place in a corner of the kitchen for 8-12 hours.
- After soaking the nuts, pour them into a large strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add the nuts and the rest of the ingredients (1/2 teaspoon sea salt, apples, coconut, almond flour, chia meal, applesauce, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves) to a large mixing bowl.
- With a large spoon or rubber scraper, thoroughly mix the granola.
- Spread the granola out onto the trays of your dehydrator and set the temperature to 105 degrees. Dehydrate for 12-16 hours or until it is completely dried and crunchy.
- I've never made this in the oven, but you could certainly try this. I would recommend spreading the granola out on parchment lined cookie sheets and placing in the oven at it's lowest setting. Check for doneness every few hours.
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