My favorite season is fall! Cinnamon and nutmeg in the air, all pointing to the upcoming holidays filled with family gatherings. I won’t say I never stress about the holidays but I can’t help but love a little hustle and bustle as we inch towards my favorite holiday in the world – Christmas. 🙂
And it’s never too early to grease those holiday gears with some cinnamon spice granola which can be gobbled up in moments or packed in your lunch box for later. My daughter will eat this by the handfuls and it sure beats Cheetos. Alas, I still like Cheetos. #justkeepingitreal.
Puffed Rice Cereal
As we look down the ingredient list you might be wondering about puffed rice cereal. It’s super plain puffed brown rice cereal and it tastes just like you’d think. Plain. But it adds to the texture quite a bit after it’s all made into cinnamon spice granola so I recommend buying a large bag like this one below by Arrowhead Mills from your local grocery store.
Preheat your oven to 300º F and go ahead and add all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl – 1 cup puffed rice cereal, 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (hulled), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Set that aside and get ready for the wet-ish ingredients next.
In a small saucepan add 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons honey (love me some raw honey), and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (see the vanilla bean paste I love here). Warm these ingredients up over medium heat until melted together. Remove from heat and whisk to combine. Then add 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce to the wet mixture and whisk a little more.
Mix it around gently until just combined. Grab a parchment lined baking sheet and dump your cinnamon spice granola mixture out and spread it around evenly. So easy, get the kids to help here!
Bake for an hour, turning the granola with a spatula every 15 minutes. After one hour check it to see if there is still moisture left. It will likely feel slightly soft and that’s fine because it can finish drying outside the oven while cooling on the baking sheet. But if you think it needs more time don’t be afraid to pop it in for another 5-10 minutes! Just keep your eye on it so we don’t go burning the goods.
See how nice and golden this cinnamon spice granola is!
Could this be considered comfort food?
After the granola has cooled on the baking sheet you can go right into snack mode. Seriously, I ate a bunch in a bowl with milk while it was still warm. Comfort levels increased 🙂 The rest is in an airtight container in the pantry where I can’t constantly see it and be tempted. Sure, it can last up to 2 weeks but I’m betting on 2 days before my family discovers and devours the rest.
Listen, you gotta package this cinnamon spice granola up and wrap it in cute little bags for holiday gifts this year. Easiest (and cheapest) gift idea ever.
Another fall inspired recipe includes my pumpkin cheesecake with vanilla whipped cream!
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup puffed rice cereal
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (hulled)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan melt coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract together and whisk for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add unsweetened applesauce and whisk to combine.
- Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Spread out cinnamon spice granola onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
- Turn granola with a spatula every 15 minutes until done. Check the moisture level, might need another 5-10 minutes if still damp.
- Let cool right on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight contain at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Great on top of your morning yogurt or just as a tasty fall scented snack!