I don’t believe in diets. You may be thinking, ‘Has she looked at her recipes lately? Clearly, she doesn’t believe in diets.’ Yeah, yeah. Seriously, though. I used to believe in diets – stretches of time where I would eat lots of salads and count my calories (something my lazy self is really not cut out for).
In the past couple years or so, though, I changed my food philosophy. I wanted a sustainable, healthy eating lifestyle with ample room for splurges. Like, perhaps, eating three pastries a day? Probably the biggest splurge ever.
Oh, and also, the food consumed this past weekend? Whatever. Everyone knows that birthday weekends are the single biggest allowable splurge in the year.
Okay, so maybe I’m not such the healthy lifestyle model. But who is?
The point is, I’m now trying to make more healthy, delicious food, in order to eat more healthy food. Genius, right? So, in the spirit of healthy eating, I made these granola clusters!
I used applesauce to replace a lot of the oil, plus I used figs (love) to help bind the granola together. In a twist of events (me not reading the labels of products I purchase), I ended up with steel-cut oats instead of my regular rolled oats. And…they were delicious. But, you can use whichever oats you prefer.
Also, with this recipe, you can break up the granola into whatever size chunk you desire. I now have 1) granola bars, 2) granola clusters I can grab by the handful, and 3) small breakfast cereal-sized granola. Perfect for an indecisive person like me.
Notes: This granola may be a little less sweet than you’re accustomed to. If you’d like, you can definitely increase the amount of honey.
- 3 cups steel-cut (or rolled) oats
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup whole dried figs (about 10)
- 1 egg white
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, chocolate, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to blend.
- In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients and process for about 1 minute.
- Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until dry ingredients are well coated.
- Spread mixture evenly onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a donut shape (leave a hole in the middle of the sheet to prevent an uncooked center – thanks to Frantically Simple for this tip!)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (without stirring) until golden brown.
- Cool for 20 minutes on sheet, then break into desired cluster size and enjoy!