Homemade granola is one of my favourite comfort foods. I love the crunch of the almonds paired with the sweet, chewy chunks of dates in this recipe.
5 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. flax seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1 and 1/2 cups chopped almonds
1 and 1/2 cups chopped dates
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and flax seeds.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, applesauce, honey, almond extract, and almond butter until thoroughly combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well until all of the oats are moistened. Spread out on to the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the granola over carefully using a wide spatula. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, then remove and turn the granola again. This ensures that the granola cooks evenly and that the edges don't burn. At this point, stir in the chopped almonds and dates until they are evenly distributed.
Return the granola to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. The granola will get crispier as it cools, so if it isn't as crispy as you'd like when you first take it out of the oven, don't worry! Don't keep it in the oven too much longer because it will burn.
Cool completely on the baking sheet. Once the granola has cooled, break it up into chunks and store in an airtight container. Serve with milk, yogurt, or eat on its own.
*Recipe by Brooke McMillan