Apple Cinnamon Granola

This granola is sweet with a warm cinnamon flavor and is low in fat because it uses applesauce to create clumps instead of the usual butter or oil. It’s great as a snack on its own or as a crunchy yogurt topping.

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Makes about 4 3/4 cups (164 calories per half cup serving)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups rice cereal squares, crushed
  • 1/4 cup almonds roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp sugar/sweetener

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine oats, rice cereal, almonds, and dried cranberries in a bowl. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, almond extract, sugar/sweetener, and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon. Add maple syrup.

Drizzle wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until evenly coated. Spread granola onto baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or so, until lightly toasted. Granola will crisp up more as it cools.

Apple Mini Muffins

These muffins are full of fruity flavor and because they get so much moisture from the applesauce and chopped apple, they don’t need butter or oil. I used ground flax in the place of an egg and soy milk to make these vegan and a bit healthier. These would be great served with jam or even a cream cheese frosting if you want something a bit sweeter.

Apple Mini Muffins (taken from The Moodie Foodie but changed)

Makes 24 small muffins

  • 1/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely diced apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of chilled unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp of ground flax plus 3 tbsp water, or 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of low-fat milk, soy or dairy

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 mini muffin tins and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt and and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the chilled applesauce. Mix the applesauce with the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg/ground flax. Mix in the milk and fold in the chopped apples. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir using a spatula or spoon making sure not to overmix. Place a spoonful of batter into each muffin cup.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the muffins are just golden. Remove from the oven and use a spoon to remove muffins from tin.

(At this point, my muffins were oddly gummy/soft at the bottom, so I placed them on a cookie sheet and returned them to the oven to dry out/brown up a bit more, approximately another 10 minutes. This may not be necessary, but if they seem to need it, this method helped a lot.)

Brie, Apple, and Walnut Pastry Cups

This is a quick and easy appetizer combines three of my favorite foods; tart apple, melted brie and walnut all in one flaky pastry cup. Nom, nom nom! I also added some shredded sharp cheddar cheese that was leftover from another recipe. There’s plenty of room for customization in this recipe based on cheese, fruit and nut preference.

Brie, Apple and Walnut Cups (taken from Sue Doeden’s All About Food and altered slightly)

Note: the original recipe calls for sweet/spicy nuts, but I just used plain walnuts because I didn’t end up having enough time to candy the walnuts beforehand. They still tasted great plain, but I think they’d be even better with some kind of coating like this.

Makes 15 cups

  • 4 ounces brie cheese
  • 1 box frozen mini fillo shells
  • 1/2 apple, chopped into small chunks (I used granny smith)
  • 15 walnut halves
  • Nutmeg, to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thaw fillo shells at room temperature for 10 minutes and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Place a few apple chunks in each fillo shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Top with a piece of brie and top with a walnut half.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese melts and begins to bubble. Remove from oven and serve warm.