Red Hot Memories + Recipe: ‘Spooky’ Apple Pie Granola

IMG_9857_edited-1IMG_9824Sticking  my finger into a homemade apple pie spice mix and then onto my tongue,  I ‘m suddendly  reminded of Atomic Fireballs and Red Hots. Do you remember them? They’ve been around for a l-o-n-g time  and have a super spicy cinnamon flavor that’s sure to light up your taste buds. What was it that I combined with cinnamon for this nostalgic taste?  Cardamon!   I came upon this combination by merely trying to meet the October Recipe Redux Challenge:

Spooky Spices : You know they are lurking there: Way in the back of your spice drawer. There lie the herbs, spices, or rubs that are getting dusty because you’re afraid to use them… you simply don’t know what to do with them! Well, pull them out and show us a recipe you created to deliciously conquer that fearful spice. (Or maybe the recipe was a flop – and the spice still give you nightmares?!)

How is cardamom spooky?  Well, if we’re talking spooky as in Halloween,  (and we’re all vampire savvy now, right?) cardamom has a bite (albeit a good one.) And it’s especially GOOD when paired with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (spices I used to make my homemade apple pie spice mix). However, the reason I chose cardamom for this challenge is NOT  because of its bite, but  because it hasn’t gotten as much love in my kitchen as let’s say, cinnamon, oregano or basil. I truly like the taste of cardamon, but when I ‘m looking for a  warm spice, I typcially reach for the more common ones such as cinnamon and nutmeg.  Like most spices, cardamom is  a  good way to boost the flavor of foods, and it’s  health benefits are related to  digestion.

Now that we’re starting to feel a chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to start using cardamom (along with cinnamon and nutmeg.) In today’s post I want to share two ways I enjoyed my cardamom spiked apple pie spice mix (try saying that 5 times fast):

First I used  it in my  homemade granola. Then I sprinkled  it on some sliced Fuji apples to make  Anne Mauney’s Spiced Baked Apple Chips and used these to complete my  granola mixture. The resulting nutritious  snack is a  healthy way to get whole grains, healthy fats and fiber.  I love it as a topping on a dish of Greek yogurt (especially drizzled with a bit of Vermont Maple Syrup).

In addition to using cardamom in a simple apple pie spice mix for seasoning apple chips and granola,  try treating yourself to something baked with  cardamom, add it to a  smoothie,  and try it as an alternative to season your vegetables.

Don’t forget to check the bottom of this post for more links to ‘spooky spices’!

How do  you use cardamom?



‘Spooky’ Apple Pie Granola 

by Diane Boyd


    for the apple pie spice blend

    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/16 teaspoon cardamom

    for the granola

    • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (use gluten free for GF granola)
    • 2 Tablespoons dry quinoa
    • 1 Tablespoon apple juice
    • 5 teaspoons honey
    • 1 Tablespoon Canola oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice blend (recipe above)
    • 1/4 cup dried apples, chopped or broken into bite sized pieces (I used Bake Spiced Apple Chips)


    for the apple pie spice blend

    Place all spices together in small bowl and stir well to combine.

    for the granola

    1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    2. In a medium bowl combine oats, quinoa, apple juice, honey, oil, vanilla, salt and spices. Spread on a nonstick foil lined baking sheet.

    3. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until oats are brown, about 20-25 minutes.

    4. Cool. Add dried apple chips.

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