Actually, this recipe not only had me hunting for nut-free apple rings (which I could not find, and had to resort to making), but also nut free pumpkin seeds as well. I searched high and low, at 5 different food stores for pumpkin seeds....just when I had given up, I found them. Winners (the Canadian 'Marshalls') had them at the checkout line....I swear, they litter that last aisle with the best things. Although they were not the plain variety of seeds I was looking for, Salted and Cinnamon Sugar was something I could work with. Pumpkin seeds are a great replacement for nuts in granola for us.
This is my new favorite granola recipe. It has far less sugar then others, the use of apple sauce sweetens it naturally. It was easy to make and definitely a keeper.
Mix all the dry ingredients. As you can see, I used the Cinnamon & Sugar flavored seeds so I cut back on the brown sugar a bit.
Heat the applesauce, honey, oil, and vanilla until just warmed (this will make them easier to work with when mixing). Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread onto a baking sheet...I used 2 small pans, but this all will fit on one half-sheet sized pan. Bake stirring every 10 minutes. This is crucial to avoid it burning and sticking to the pan. I had to set a timer, I tend to get distracted.
Once cooled, add the chopped apple pieces. I had to add some rasins to make the measurement because had eaten most of the apples.
This will make about 5 cups of granola. If you want to stretch it, it pairs well with Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.
Apple Cinnamon Granola, adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
3 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats, not instant
1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 Cups Applesauce
1 1/2 TBS Honey
1 TBS Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dried Apples, chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Warm the wet ingredients until easy to stir; pour over dry ingredients, mix well. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet, bake for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to avoid sticking. Cool completely then add apple pieces. Store in an airtight container. This will keep for several weeks.