There are a zillion varieties of apples—from Granny Smith to Braeburn

Farm fresh apples from Demarest Farms, NJ

to Gala. Whether you like them tart or sweet, you’ll love them in this recipe. Choose whatever variety appeals to you to make this treat. We’ve topped each serving with our Crunchy Granola and Walnuts recipe; because the apples are slightly warm after cooking, the result tastes just like an old-fashioned apple crisp – except now it has whole grains, fiber, and no saturated fat. The agave nectar adds extra sweetness in a natural way.

8 small apples
½ cup water
1 tablespoon agave nectar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup Crunchy Granola with Walnuts (see below)

1. Peel, core, and cut apples into 1-inch chunks.
2. In large saucepan, stir together water and agave nectar; heat to boiling over medium heat. Add apples and cinnamon; cover and cook until liquid evaporates and apples are soft, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. With potato masher, mash apples until slightly chunky.
4. To serve, spoon ½ cup apple mixture into each of 8 dessert bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons granola.

Makes 8 servings (½ cup per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 100 calories; 1.5g fat (0g sat fat, 1g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 22g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 15g sugar); 1g protein; 0mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 8% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 2% DV iron.

Crunchy Granola with Walnuts (or without walnuts due to allergies):

Crunchy Granola topped for Apple Crisp, made with love for St. Joe’s families for Thanksgiving Healing Meals

Why buy granola in a box when this homemade mixture tastes better and is so easy to make? We lowered the fat content of traditional granola and still kept the great taste. We chose oats, a whole-grain base, and added flaxseeds and walnuts for healthy polyunsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. We gave it a naturally sweet taste by finishing it with agave nectar and raisins. We bake this versatile granola in large quantities because it stores easily, and because we use it in our Yogurt Sundae, Apple Crisp and Raspberry Crumble recipes.

3 cups old-fashioned oats
⅓ cup ground flaxseeds
⅓ cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup sunflower oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In large bowl, combine oats, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (if using), and cinnamon.
3. Add agave nectar, oil, and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly.
4. Spread onto rimmed baking sheet and bake 25–35 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring about every 5-10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.
5. Cool completely in pan. When cool, stir in raisins. Store in tightly sealed container up to 2 weeks or freeze to last longer.

Makes 20 servings (½ cup per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 140 calories; 6g fat (1g sat fat, 1g mono, 3g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 19g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 10g sugar); 3g protein; 0mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) calcium; 6% DV iron.

– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

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