The classic combination of apple and cinnamon enhances this quinoa-pecan granola, creating a bowl of comforting goodness to help get you through your day. Perfect for breakfast, a snack, or continuous munching!
I know, I know, it’s not pumpkin. But I just became so inspired by my autumn food love post that I couldn’t help but concoct a new apple recipe of my own! What can I say? I’m easily influenced by food photos. So today we are meeting because of our mutual love for apples, cinnamon, and granola. Really, could anything be better at this time of year?
Granola is one of my favourite snacks. It’s so easy to make and even easier to eat. I am totally all about the snacks that don’t require dirtying more dishes. You just grab, shovel into mouth, dust off hands, and continue merrily on your way. That is the kind of snack I dream about. And this Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Granola checks alllll the boxes. It’s portable, sweet and savory, protein packed, and easily shoved into the mouth. Trust me. It’s been tested. I’m only thinking of you.
I love making homemade granola because it’s SO EASY, and I know exactly what goes into it. It doesn’t contain any of those icky preservatives, unhealthy fats, or crazy amounts of refined sugar. For this apple cinnamon version, I’ve decided to use sunflower seeds, pecans, and quinoa as my extras because I feel all three complement the classic flavour really well. The pecans add a slight sweetness, the sunflower seeds give you a dash of savory, and the quinoa adds some nuttiness as well as tons of protein and crunch.
I’ve used almond butter in this recipe because it doesn’t overpower the cinnamon and apple flavour as much as peanut butter does. However, if you only have peanut butter, I won’t stop you from using that in its place — apple and peanut butter is also a winning combo! Honey is my chosen sweetener mostly because it was the first thing I grabbed, but I think it brings out the sweetness of the dried apples better than maple syrup or agave would. Again, feel free to change up the honey for maple syrup or agave if that’s what you prefer. This granola is completely adaptable to your taste!
Just one thing? Don’t leave out the coconut oil or egg white, okay? There’s only a quarter cup of oil in this recipe, and it’s a super healthy fat. The coconut oil adds a touch of richness and crunch to the granola that was seriously lacking without it. And the egg white binds the granola together. You know those little clumps of granola that you always save until last because you just know they’re going to be a carefully constructed explosion of flavour in your mouth? (<– run on sentence) Those amazing bits are created because of the egg white sticking it all together. No egg? No delightfully delicious clusters of apple-cinnamony goodness. How sad would that be? I’m sad just thinking about it.
If you’re as big a fan of apple cinnamon as I am, you need this granola in your life right now! If you prefer pumpkin, maple syrup, and almonds, you’re gonna want to check out my Maple Almond Granola. It’s da bomb. Munch on, friends!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup pecans, very roughly chopped
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup dry, uncooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups loosely-packed dried apple, diced
- Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C) and line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, toss together the oats, pecans, seeds, quinoa, spices, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Whisk together the honey, almond butter, and coconut oil in a medium, microwavable bowl. Melt the ingredients together in 30 second intervals, whisking after each interval, until emulsified. Allow to cool for 5 minutes so that you do not cook the egg white. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in the egg white and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well, making sure all the dry ingredients are well coated. Spread the granola mixture out evenly on the prepared baking sheet. (If it looks like you have too much for one baking sheet, use two. It’s better for the granola to have too much room rather than too little for the cooking process.)
- Bake the granola for 40 minutes, tossing it every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for at least 30 minutes. Once cool, stir in the dried apple and store at room temperature in an airtight container or lidded glass jar. The granola will keep up to 3 weeks.