Michigan Apple Blog

Apple Pie Granola Clusters

Michigan Apple Committee posted on September 12, 2016 |

An easy back-to-school breakfast from The Chef Next Door!
School is back in session for the kids and summer is coming to an end. Although it still continues to be warm here in Michigan, we've had some cool nights and I can see the leaves on the trees already changing. Fall is definitely my favorite season. Between the gorgeous colors and near perfect temperatures, I can't wait to grab my sweater and boots and go for a drive on some back roads to see what Mother Nature has to offer.

Fall also signals apple season here in Michigan. Every week it seems you can find a new variety that's ready to be picked. Whether you're headed to an orchard to pick your own, or grabbing a bag from your local store, there is so much to do with apples. Eating them fresh right out of your hand, in desserts, in savory dinner dishes, and even enjoying them for breakfast. 

These Apple Pie Granola Clusters are a delicious and nutritious way to start the day. Crumbled over a bowl of yogurt or even eaten by the handful, they’re great for not only breakfast but as a snack, too. The recipe is quite simple and uses a beautiful Michigan Ginger Gold Apple. This sweet and spicy apple is rich in flavor and pairs perfectly with the oats and walnuts, making these granola clusters a hit with the whole family. Another one of my favorites is the Michigan McIntosh. With its lightly tart flavor, it would be another great option to use in these granola clusters.

Apple Pie Granola Clusters

Makes 4 Cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Flax Chia Coconut Blend (or use flax seeds only)
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Michigan Ginger Gold Apple, finely chopped (substitute with a McIntosh or any of your favorite Michigan apples)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and set aside. 

2. In a small sauce pan, bring the oil, syrup and brown sugar to a simmer over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. To a large bowl add the rice cereal, oats, flax blend, apple pie spice and salt and stir to combine. Fold in the chopped apples. Pour in the syrup mixture and carefully stir until everything is coated.

4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread it out in an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the granola is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

Sarah is the author behind The Chef Next Door blog and is a passionate baker and home cook who enjoys sharing food with family and friends. A mother to two teenage sons, she keeps busy with school and sporting events, and loves spending time with her family. Most days you can find her in the kitchen creating new recipes, but she also enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time outdoors. 

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