Applesauce with Love

At the beginning of the fall, I took a weekend off from school and went to Maine with my foodie friend, Sam. Both of us love the fall; we love the leaves, cozy LL Bean sweaters and apples. I know, I know, we’re pretty cute, I don’t know what I’m going to do without her when she goes abroad next semester 😦

When the days are shorter this time of year and the sun sets around 4 o’clock, I need a pick-me-up. Luckily, Sam lives right around the corner and comes by for tea some afternoons. A few days ago, she brought me a little jar of applesauce from Joan, her mom. Of course, Joan is a huge foodie too; she’s an amazing cook and she’s our go-to woman for any cooking advice.

I tried to save the jar of applesauce for finals week, but that was not going to happen. From the moment I unscrewed the lid, I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m a sucker for homemade and sentimental gifts, so it made the applesauce that much better. Joan’s applesauce was made from of the apples that Sam and I had picked earlier this fall, and was cooked with Joan’s gentle and loving touch. It was slightly tart and just the right amount of sweet; the cinnamon added warmth to this fall staple and cranberries made it a pretty pink.

To play along with the seasonal flavors, I decided to make my own pumpkin granola to eat with the applesauce. The flavor combination complimented each other well and I decided to make a breakfast parfait with a layer of Greek yogurt at the bottom, Joan’s applesauce next and pumpkin granola on top. I’m not revealing Joan’s apple recipe because it’s TOP secret 🙂 but any recipe for applesauce would work too.

Recipe for Pumpkin Granola

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • 3 and 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined.
  4. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined.
  5. Pour over dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Spread it onto the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, making sure to stir the granola every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
  7. Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheets.

The granola won’t be crunchy right out of the oven so give it some time to cool. The granola will keep for up to two weeks in an air tight container at room temperature.

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