It’s definitely fall here in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia)! YAY! The leaves are just beginning to change and the days are getting cooler. Though we haven’t been apple picking yet, we’ll get there in the next week. Nothing says it’s fall like warm apples with homemade granola!
My family loves cooked apples. Both my girls still remember the cooked apples Anna’s husband, Dan made about 10 years ago when we were on a weekend trip together. They often ask me to make them. I’ve actually never asked Dan how he made them, but I will soon! See below for the recipe for how I often make cooked apples. Save the extra liquid and use it the next time you cook oatmeal or freeze it in an ice cube tray and use it in smoothies!
My family also loves homemade granola. I’ve tried various versions over the years and the hands down winner is my adapted version of Alton Brown’s granola recipe. I’ve adapted it so it’s both sweet and just a tad salty. It’s also nice and crunchy. If you prefer it on the sweeter side, you can increase the brown sugar and use sweetened coconut according to his recipe.
There’s a never ending supply of store bought granola. I’ve never found one I really love. Do you have a favorite? Let me know what it is! You can always use store bought granola over the cooked apples if you don’t want to make granola! There’s no rule that says it has to be homemade.
What better combination than still-warm (or reheated) cooked apples and granola? It’s sort of a deconstructed apple crisp! (I have an amazing recipe for apple crisp that I’ll share sometime soon, too). This granola is easy to make and it makes your house smell incredible!
Did you know there are 100s of varieties of apples?
My typical favorites for eating are Honeycrisp, Johnagold and Fuji. I tend to cook with Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Mutsu. Honeycrisp and Johnathan tend to hold their shape best while cooking. So, I’d recommend one of these varieties for the cooked apples. Most recently, I made the cooked apples with Granny Smith and cooked them a little longer than intended, so the apples were more like a chunky applesauce. They still tasted great!
Experiment with offering different kinds of apples
Do your children like apples? What kinds are their favorites? Offering different types of apples is an easy way to expose kids to different tastes and textures. Pre-covid, Toigo Orchards used to cut up all the varieties of apples they bring to our farmers market for people to sample. I miss seeing kids at that table sampling the different varieties. What a fun and low pressure way for kids (and adults) to try different varieties!
More ideas for serving cooked apples and granola:
- A side dish with quiche or other eggs at any meal
- Top pancakes, waffles or cooked (or baked) oatmeal with the apples and granola
- Topped with plain, vanilla or maple yogurt
- Top with your favorite vanilla ice cream
Have you read Anna’s most recent post?
Did you have a chance to read Anna’s most recent post? She shares important information about weight stigma and what parents need to know about it, here: 3 Facts Parents Need to Know About Weight Stigma
Did you know we also have a Podcast? You can listen to all our episodes here.
From the October Archives:
- Lentil Salad with Cheese and Salami
- Growth Charts and What to Ask of Your Pediatrician
- Weight Inclusive Healthcare: Evidence Based, Compassionate, Patient Centered
- A 15 Minute Recipe: 7 Different Ways
- Handling Halloween: A Step-By-Step Parent Guide
These delicious, cinnamon scented apples are cooked on the stove top and make a great topping to my granola. Save some of the cooking liquid to use the next time you make oatmeal!
3 lbs of firm apples (Johnathan or Honeycrisp) peeled, cored and diced
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Squeeze of lemon juice from ½ a lemon
A splash of apple cider if you have some
2 cups of water
- Peel, core and dice the apples
- Place them in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them. Add 1-2 cinnamon sticks depending on whether you want a subtle or prominent cinnamon flavor.
- Add the lemon juice and apple cider (if you have some).
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and allow the apples to simmer until they’re just cooked and still hold their shape.
- If you prefer the apples to break apart, you can cook them longer.
- Remove the apples from the liquid and allow them to cool.
- Keep the cooking liquid and use it for cooking oatmeal.
This crunchy, nutty granola is made with dark brown sugar and maple syrup. It tastes great on it’s own or topped with warm, cooked apples. It’s adapted from Alton Brown’s granola recipe.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped unsalted almonds (you can also use sliced almonds)
¾ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup chopped dried fruit (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250 F.
- If you need to chop the nuts, place them in a food processor and pulse 3-4 times until they’re chopped. Alternatively, chop the nuts with a knife on a cutting board.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the oil and maple syrup and stir to evenly coat the oat mixture.
- Spread the oat mixture evenly on 2 half sheet pans.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Feel free to give the granola a stir once or twice during the baking. Though I never stir it and it turns out great.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you want to add dried fruit, now’s the time. I dont’ add dried fruit because everyone in my house prefers the granola without.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.