Teach Eat Love

Chewy Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

I love pumpkin, but if I’m honest, my favorite fall flavor is apple cinnamon. I’ve always been an apple girl – I think one of the first desserts I taught myself to make was an apple pie. So, it’s no surprise that I decided to make an apple cinnamon granola.

I have nothing against really crispy granola, but since it’s harder for my toddler to eat, I wanted to make a softer, chewier granola bar that’s delicious for grown-ups but manageable for little eaters. Both my husband and daughter loved these, so I think that’s a win.

How to Make these Baby-Friendly
If you want a snack that’s awesome for little ones, up the applesauce to 1/2 cup and leave out the nuts. The increased applesauce makes the bars soft and cakey – a great snack for little eaters.

Granola Bars with Actual Nutrition
And these aren’t your storebought granola bars – these actually have nutritional value. When I looked at Nature Valley bars, I noticed that they’re filled with nothing more than various types of sugar and oats.

These, on the other hand, have some unbleached sugar (which you can cut back on by maybe 2 tablespoons if you want or sub honey or maple syrup), oats, real spices and vanilla, nutrients and fiber from apples and applesauce, and protein and lots of vitamins and minerals from hemp, and omega 3s from walnuts. These are the real deal.

And if you haven’t used hemp before, it’s a great way to add some serious nutrition and protein to your food. I buy hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds), which look kind of like a cross between quinoa and a sesame seed and taste kind of nutty. It’s a great way to give some texture to granola.

 

Soft and Chewy Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

Ingredients:

2 T. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar* (or honey or maple syrup)
1/4 c. applesauce
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. allspice
1/8 t. cardamom (or cloves)
1/3 c. oat flour (just blend 1/3 c. oats until it's powdery)
2 c. whole rolled oats
1 c. dried apples, pulsed in your blender or food processor, organic if possible
1/3 c. hemp
1/3 c. walnut pieces (or other nut - almonds are yummy, too!)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and spices. Stir well.
2. Add the oat flour, oats, apples, hemp, and walnut pieces.
3. Press the mixture down WELL into a prepared 9x9" pan (or use a sheet of parchment paper). I took maybe 1 minute to really press it.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
5. If you're using parchment paper, use it to pull the granola out of the dish and then slice it into desired bars.
6. Let the bars cool entirely - they will continue to firm up as they cool and sit out.
7. Store in the fridge for a week or so (not that they'll keep that long). I'd imagine these would freeze beautifully, too.

*Use brown cane sugar to avoid sugar made from genetically modified sugarbeets.


   

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