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Today is the first day of #BrunchWeek, and I’m super excited to be participating. I made lists and lists of recipes that I wanted to make to share with you this week (way more than I could possibly do), and I spent the last couple of weeks drooling over the sneak peeks I got at some of the recipes my fellow bloggers have been preparing for you. I’ve gotten to work with some awesome brands – tasting new items for you and getting to play with some new kitchen gadgets.

On that note, I encourage you to do two things. First, visit this post to learn about the amazing sponsors and enter to win one of eight prize packages they provided, pictured below. Secondly, after you read my recipe, continue to the bottom of this post to check out the complete list of #BrunchWeek recipes we’ve put together for you.


Although I’ve been stoked about #BrunchWeek, life prevented me from getting into the kitchen as much as I would have liked. Last month in particular was a rough month, with a lot of houseguests and a lot of daycare cooties floating around my house. Cooties that cost me several days of work and my monthly ladies night out. 🙁

I was all ready to go – the scones were made and packaged up, but when my hubby came home from work sick, I couldn’t leave him alone with my sick daughter and super active baby. I was bummed, but my coworkers were more than happy to polish off the scones that were destined for ladies night, someone even commenting that he was unaware that scones could actually taste good. He was use to the dry, bland store-bought scones, not homemade scones – soft and full of flavor.

After that week, I went on a scone-making kick – from sweet to savory. These bacon, cheddar, and chive were a pleasant surprise to those who were not familiar with savory scones. The smokiness of the bacon and the subtle undertones of the cheddar made for a wonderful breakfast, and a great addition to this week’s #BrunchWeek.

Bacon Cheddar & Chive Scones

Bacon, Cheddar & Chive Savory Scones

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 8 Scones

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Then, gently stir in the following, just to coat:

  • 1 c. shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese (3-4 oz.)
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped cooked bacon (from 4 slices thick-cut bacon)
  • 2 Tbs. minced chives

Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut in

  • 12 Tbs. cold unsalted butter

until mixture is crumbly. Finally, fold in:

Mixture will just start to come together, but will remain very crumbly. With clean hands, knead dough until it comes together. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shape into a long rectangle (or circle), about 1 inch thick. Brush tops with

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until tops are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Check out these other #BrunchWeek recipes from over 3 dozen bloggers.

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

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What's_Baking_BadgeI feel like I just joined the What’s Baking? group and all of a sudden, it was my turn to choose the theme. Since my hubby and I have been trying to eat well (in other words, avoid the sweets) and we’ve been spending a lot of time entertaining around brunch time, I knew immediately that I wanted to go with quiche.

Unlike a frittata (my other go-to type of dish for brunch) which starts off being cooked stove-top and then is finished in the oven, a quiche is baked entirely in the oven. Quiche frequently are baked with a crust, but this time, I went with a crustless quiche, for something extra light. The zucchini was really not noticeable, making this a good recipe for picky eaters (my 3-year old daughter) and uses whole wheat flour for a nutritional boost. The star of this recipe is really whatever herb you choose to use in this recipe.

Come back next Wednesday (April 27) to see what other quiche recipes the What’s Baking? group has cooked up this month!

Mini Zuchini Quiche

Also pictured: fruit salad with mint and poppy seed vinaigrette.

Side Note: Quiche are also a wonderful, light option for a savory appetizer. I like to make mini quiche when entertaining a large crowd. Simple make ahead of time and warm in the oven before serving.

Mini Zucchini Quiche

Adapted from Weight Watchers

Makes 3-4 dozen mini quiche


  • cooking spray (optional, depends on your muffin tin)
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 small zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil or rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. If you have a silicon muffin mold, use that, placed on a baking sheet. Mini Zucchini QuicheIf not, spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside. (May need to cook in batches.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Add diced zucchini, onion, and herbs, tossing to coat in flour. Set aside.

In a small bowl, gently whisk together eggs and olive oil just to combine. Stir into dried ingredients until just incorporated.

Portion into prepared muffin cups – a heaping tablespoon per muffin cup.

Bake for 15 minutes, until quiche are golden brown and quiche are cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.

Serve hot.

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Tomato Asiago Frittata

One of the things I love about frittatas is that they’re great brunch food. Pair with a side salad for an elegant but light lunch-like brunch, or with some fresh fruit and a little sausage or bacon for a more hearty breakfast-like meal. They’re also super easy to prepare – only taking 10-15 minutes of hand-on time in the kitchen, making them a great choice for entertaining.

Note: My version is just about double the original recipe, with a couple of adjustments.

Tomato Asiago Frittata

Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2015

Serves 8


  • 4 Tbs. half-and-half
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots
  • 2-3 oz. Asiago cheese, grated (about 1/2 c. grated cheese)
  • 2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • sprigs of thyme, for garnish

Heat a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together half-and-half, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs. When pan is hot, add oil, swirling pan to coat. Add shallots, sauteing until translucent. Add egg mixture, cooking until eggs are partially set, about 5-8 minutes.

As eggs are cooking, preheat broiler to high.

When eggs are partially set, sprinkle frittata with half of the cheese, top with tomatoes, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Transfer pan to the preheated oven and broil until top is lightly browned and eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Cut frittata into 8 wedges and garnish with thyme springs.

Serve hot.

Want more eggtastic recipes? The Sunday Supper tastemakers have almost 4 dozen for you to choose from!

Appetizers & Sides

Main Dishes (Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Brinner and Dinner!)


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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I have friends who are obsessed with muffins. Any time, any time of day, they’re happy. Not for me. I have pretty high expectations for muffins – they have to be really something special for me to get excited. From first bite, I was excited about these muffins.

I first made these muffins for the teachers at my children’s daycare for a holiday breakfast. I received so many compliments that I made them again only a few weeks later. The muffins are moist and super flavorful – the raspberries are a burst of brightness and are complimented by the slightly more savory dark chocolate.

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from Valerie’s Kitchen

Makes ~18 Muffins


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. vanilla Greek yogurt (may use plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream instead)
  • 6 oz. raspberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 c. (heaping) dark chocolate chips

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins

Preheat oven to 400F, and line two muffin tins with liners.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs with a fork. Add sugar, and continue whisking with fork until sugar is incorporated. Whisk in oil and vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in salt, baking soda, and 1 c. flour until just barely incorporated. Stir in Greek yogurt, again until just barely incorporated. Stir in remaining 1 c. flour, and finally, fold in raspberries and dark chocolate chips.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins. Each cup should be about 3/4 full.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Muffins
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What's_Baking_BadgeOver the past few years, I’ve come to really enjoy entertaining for breakfast, or brunch. I tend to make easy, no-fuss items, but my guests are always pleasantly surprised with whatever I make. (Maybe they’re expecting me to pick up bagels the morning of?)

I have several go-to choices for brunch entertaining – frittatas and oven-baked eggs, scones, fresh fruit served with yogurt and homemade granola, and biscotti. While biscotti is really a cookie, I love to serve it at breakfast (or squirrel myself a couple pieces for my afternoon pick-me-up) with a steaming cup of coffee. So I was super excited when Coleen from The Redhead Baker chose biscotti for this month’s theme for What’s Baking?.

As soon as I spotted this recipe for candied pecan biscotti in my bookmarks, I knew I had to make it. It reminded me of pecan pies and late fall. The recipe didn’t disappoint. I expected a super strong cinnamon flavor, but it was fairly faint, with the sweetness of the candied pecans shining through.

What’s your favorite type of biscotti?

Candied Pecan Biscotti

Candied Pecan Biscotti

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 2 dozen biscotti


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. candied pecans, coarsely chopped
  • (optional) cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.Candied Pecan Biscotti 5

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Lower speed and add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt, a little at a time. Scrape down sides of the bowl, beating a little more if necessary. Dough will be stiff. Fold in candied pecans.

Divide dough into equal portions onto each baking sheet. Shape each into a long log, about 1 inch high.

Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Biscotti should be golden and firm to touch.

Remove from oven (don’t turn the oven off!) and set on baking sheets to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch wide pieces with a serrated knife. Place biscotti cut-side down on baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar and bake for another 10 minutes. Flip over, sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, and bake for a final 10 minutes. Biscotti will be golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Candied Pecan Biscotti


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Pumpkin Quinoa Granola from Books n' Cooks

I feel like I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t go crazy for pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, and all other pumpkin products/baked goods that arrive in stores and shops at the beginning of fall. I didn’t grow up with it, so I tend to find the textures and flavors a bit too much for me. But every once and a while, there’s a pumpkin recipe that catches my eye enough to bookmark it. And once in a blue moon, there’s a pumpkin recipe that I actually make.

This year, a recipe for quinoa pumpkin granola caught my eye. I love granola in my morning yogurt and was intrigued by the addition of quinoa, a protein-packed seed. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this recipe. The pumpkin flavor was understated enough for me to enjoy the hint of that fall flavor. I loved the crunch of the quinua-oat granola, the slight nuttiness of the pepitas, and the brightness of the dried cranberries in my morning yogurt. Maybe I’m not such a pumpkin hater after all…

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola from Books n' Cooks

Quinoa Pumpkin Granola

Adapted from A Cookie Named Desire

Yields ~4 cups

Preheat oven to 325F.


  • 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed & dried

on a baking sheet in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa with

  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. ground flaxseeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. pepitas
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans*
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar

* For a nut-free granola, I skipped the pecans and instead used 1 c. pepitas.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together

  • 1/2 c. agave nectar
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

until combined. Stir into bowl with dry ingredients, until everything is coated. Pour onto baking sheet and bake until golden, about 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Turn off oven and crack door. Allow granola to cool on baking sheet in the oven for 2 hours to get  crunch.

Store in an airtight container.

Quina Pumpkin Granola from Books n' Cooks


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Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

Ever since starting my own family, I’ve enjoyed going fruit picking. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed it. But there’s something special about watching your child eat fruit off of the bush or tree, and sometimes, become a complete and adorable mess in the process of eating the fruit.

I’m pretty new to preserving but it’s something I been enjoying as much as going fruit picking. Plus, it became a necessity when we picked such great quantities, particularly of berries, that we couldn’t eat them all before they went bad. If only berries lasted as long as apples… <sigh>

Anyway, with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in gardens, farms, and markets, the Sunday Supper Community is sharing their favorite recipes for preserving (freezing, canning, pickling, etc.) summer produce. With that in mind, this week I’m sharing a blackberry jam recipe that we enjoyed (chosen because unlike most jams, it had the minimal about of sweetener in it).

Be sure to check out the other Sunday Supper recipes for preserving your produce after the recipe.

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

 Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes about 2 cups


  • 1 lb. fresh blackberries
  • 2-3 Tbs. agave
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, bring blackberries to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat and allow berries to simmer for 5 minutes, or until soften. Lightly mash berries to desired consistency.

Stir in agave and chia seeds. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

If using immediately: Allow jam to cool before pouring into a clean, airtight jar. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To Preserve: Pour into a clean, airtight container and freeze.

EDIT: Preservation via canning has been removed from this post, as it has been suggested that canning chia seeds is not safe.

More Recipes to Preserve Your Summer Harvest







Preserving in oil or butter

And for even more help and support

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With the wonderful banana and chocolate chips, you may not even notice the oat bran, honey, and molasses in these Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins.

Today, I’m excited to welcome Maeghan from The Way to His Heart. Maeghan and I met a few years ago and have kept in touch ever since. It’s been a pleasure watching not only watching her own family grow, but also her blog. Maeghan takes gorgeous photos of family-friendly recipes and has had recipes featured by Cooking Light Magazine.

Maeghan, thanks again for posting today – Sophie and I can’t wait to try out your muffins!

Banana Chocolate Chip Bran MuffinWhen you’re expecting your second child you really focus in on what things to plan for. You’ve been down this road before and you know exactly what it will be like. I think the biggest part for me was making sure that my daughter was still taken care of and feeling loved while we welcomed her brother into the world. Back when I was expecting my son George, I took some time away from my blog, The Way to His Heart, to settle into our new life and other blogger’s helped out and wrote some wonderful guest posts. Now that Liz will be welcoming her son, she is doing the same and it is my time to return the favor.

I met Liz a few years back at the Mixed conference, along with chatting on a cooking forum. She was actually pregnant with her daughter at the time and I was away from mine for the first time. What I wanted to offer to her, and to you, is a great and delicious snack when she’s in a rush. These Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins are absolutely delicious and my daughter and husband have no clue that they are remotely healthy for them. Not that clean eating needs to be hidden, but with the wonderful banana and chocolate chips, you may not even notice the oat bran, honey, and molasses. You can feel good about snacking on these and know that when you’re in a rush, like a new mother definitely can find herself often, you have something nutritious to snack on. The best thing is that these muffins can be frozen, so Liz can make them ahead of the baby’s arrival and pop them in the freezer, then grab a few at a time whenever she wants one.

I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we do! Congratulations on the arrival of your son, Liz. I can’t wait to see and hear all about him!

Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 4 Tbsp miniature chocolate chips, divided

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and lightly coat 10 muffin cups with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine oat bran, milk, banana, and vanilla extract. Set aside and allow to to soak for at least 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together.

In a glass measuring up, stir together the melted butter, honey, and molasses until thoroughly combined. Once the oat bran mixture has soaked long enough, add the honey mixture to it. Then, add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips onto the tops of the batter and press them slightly into the batter.

Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from a slight touch. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool until cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze.

*For a vegan version, use coconut oil, non-dairy milk, and maple syrup or agave in place of the honey.

Yields 10 muffins

Source: Amy’s Healthy Baking

Banana Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins on Books n' Cooks
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Have I ever told you that I’m a terrible breakfast eater? I didn’t start eating breakfast regularly until a few years ago. Before that, throughout all of my years of school, it was maybe a granola bar mid-morning, to tide me over until lunch. When I did eat breakfast, it wouldn’t be the healthiest or most filling – bagels and bacon were my favorites. Just about everything else, I could ignore and hold out until lunch.

Over the past few years, I’ve taught myself to eat relatively nutritious breakfasts so that I’d have more energy in the mornings and in general, lead a healthier lifestyle. I still prefer bagels and bacon but those days are few and far between. Today, I still need an hour to wake up in the morning before eating, but I pack my bag with something healthier. The breakfasts most frequently found in my lunch bag (because I eat it at work as I read email in the morning) are fruit with either a whole wheat English muffin, toasted, with turkey bacon and avocado or yogurt (Greek or traditional) with granola.  The combination of carbs + protein keep me full throughout the morning.

Pecan Granola

While life with a toddler keeps me out of the kitchen more than I’d like, homemade granola is one item that I try to make on a fairly routine basis. If you’ve been reading Books n’ Cooks for a while, you’ve heard me say how much better it tastes than the store-bought stuff. It’s softer and so much more flavorful. And the combinations are endless. If you haven’t given homemade granola a shot, I strongly recommend it. You won’t regret it.

Pecan Granola

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 75 (p. 34)

Yields 5 Cups

Ingredients:Pecan Granola, Fresh from the oven

  • vegetable oil spray
  • 3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2-2 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, cinnamon, and salt.

In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, combine 1/4 c. water with brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in canola oil and vanilla extract.

Pour brown sugar mixture over dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. The oats should be completely coated.

Spread over prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and return to oven, alternating the trays on the oven racks. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until oats are golden and nuts look like they’re beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets (oats will crisp up as they cool).

Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Like this recipe or looking for something more to your liking? Try one of these great alternatives:

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Apple Cinnamon Granola

I love granola and really believe that the homemade kind is the best. It’s a softer texture than most store-bought granola and the flavors are always much bolder.

Granola is not only a tasty breakfast or snack but it’s a great gift. Put it in a cute jar and tie with a pretty ribbon or make it rustic with a mason jar and a little twine. No need for a hostess gift or prefer not to give food this holiday season? Then whip up a batch and store it for a few weeks for your own holiday entertaining.

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Two Peas and Their Pod via Southern Pink Lemonade

Makes 5 cups of granola


  • 3 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 4-5 oz. dried apples, chopped small
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil

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

In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together dry ingredients (oats, apples, sugar, spices, and salt) until thoroughly combined. In a separate small bowl, stir together wet ingredients (applesauce, honey, vanilla and oil).

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until coated. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow granola to cool completely on baking sheet.

Store in an airtight container. Granola will keep for at least a few weeks.

Serve with milk, over yogurt or ice cream, or eat by the handful on its own.

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