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We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! When paired with a cup of Bigelow’s American Breakfast tea, this Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Granola is a nutritious, energizing breakfast to power me through my morning. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make! The crockpot has truly revolutionized my homemade granola.
I think that by this point in my blog writing adventures, I have firmly established my love for hot beverages – especially during the cold weather months. And while I love the warm, cozy feeling that a cup of tea or coffee offers, I also rely on that added caffeine kick as a way to start my engine in the morning!
That’s why I was so excited to grab a couple of boxes of Bigelow’s new American Breakfast tea on a recent shopping trip at Walmart.
Not only does this tea have 50% more caffeine (zing!), but the purchase of this flavor helps support our U.S. service men and women. It’s made in America, by an American family, and for the American consumer (hence the name!). And I can get it at an American retailer – Walmart!
I found the tea right smack in the middle of aisle 6, which also happened to be the resting spot for Pizza, Coffee, Creamer, and Snack Cakes. Hey, what more could anyone want in life?!
This tea not only tastes delicious, but I love that the 20 individually, foil wrapped tea bags have a higher caffeine content. After all, we all know that my life is just a tad bit insane these days and I’ll take all of the help that I can get! Plus, tea gives us a different kind of lift than we get from coffee. Tea gets help from Theanine, a naturally occurring compound unique to tea. This in combination with caffeine gives us a sustained energy boost along with a feeling of relaxation and focus that only tea can provide. Sign me up!
Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation is America’s largest working tea garden. Guests are invited to the Charleston Tea Plantation for weddings, tours, and even a variety of music festivals. It’s a tea-riffic way to experience historic Southern culture and a living piece of American history!
And I just love this American company’s patriotism and generosity. Almost 4 million bags of tea have been sent to troops overseas with Bigelow’s Tea for Troops program! You can find out even more about Tea for Troops here.
So, you know that if I have a caffeinated cup of hot tea in one hand, I’m also going to have a healthy, homemade breakfast to accompany it in the other hand! And when I think of energizing, wholesome foods, granola instantly comes to mind. I have always loved homemade granola as a breakfast or snack, but in recent years I have resorted to the store-bought stuff more often. You know why? Because my life is so darn busy, that I can’t seem to properly bake a batch of granola without burning it! If you’ve ever made homemade granola, you know that you have to stir the stuff regularly while it’s in the oven…otherwise it can quickly go from soft and moist to charred and black! I’m so often distracted or interrupted by one of my many young, needy offspring that homemade granola just hasn’t happened much around here. BUT, that has all changed now!
Over the holidays, I found a recipe for spiced nuts that were prepared in the Crockpot, and they turned out really well. I realized that granola could use a very similar cooking process and I made it my mission to come up with a recipe! That’s when this Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Granola was born!
The low and slow cooking process makes it MUCH easier to avoid the burned granola that I had come to dread. Plus, I managed to keep this particular recipe especially healthy by omitting any butter or oil. That’s right, folks! The applesauce and the honey coat the oats so that you don’t even need the extra fat. Instead, you get healthy fats from the nuts, wholesome protein and fiber from the oats, and some sweet, chewy vitamins from the dried apples and golden raisins. It’s the ultimate lean, powerhouse breakfast! Plus, the comforting cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices make this good-for-me treat the perfect companion for a cozy cup of tea!
Here’s a quick overview of this simple process, which has literally rocked my granola-loving world!
First, I haul out all of my ingredients for quick assembly.
Then, just whisk together the wet ingredients in one bowl,
the dry ingredients in another (very big!) bowl,
and toss them together!
Dump the whole mixture into a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, vent the lid, and set on high for a total of 4 hours. I set a timer and stir the granola every 30 minutes or so, and then go about the rest of my household chores. And don’t worry – if you get distracted by five-year-olds who need help building Legos, three-year-olds who need a snack, or 1-year-olds who are climbing backwards on chairs, the granola won’t burn! Just stir it when you have a chance!
During the final 30 minutes of cooking time, you will stir in the dried fruit. After 4 hours, let the granola cool completely on wax paper before storing it in airtight containers. It will be crisp and crunchy, just like granola should be!
Are you ready for the detailed recipe? Grab a cup of Bigelow American Breakfast Tea, set your slow cooker, and get your day off to a delicious start!
Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Granola
- In a small bowl, whisk together applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together pecans, oats, apple pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Pour applesauce mixture over the oat mixture and toss to combine.
- Spray inside of a large (6-quart) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add oat mixture to the slow cooker. Cover, and cook in a vented slow cooker (I just left my lid slightly ajar to let the steam escape) on high for 3 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- After the first 3 ½ hours, add the dried apples and the raisins to the slow cooker. Stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Spread the granola onto waxed paper and cool completely. Store in airtight containers.
Love granola as much as I do? Check out these other delicious recipes: