Monday, November 15, 2010
Nutty Pumpkin Granola
Granola is one of those things we pretty much always have in our kitchen. We love it over our morning yogurt. Stan stirs it into cottage cheese. More than once we’ve been known to eat it by the handful. I’m kind of embarassed to say that until now, pretty much all of our granola has been store-bought. I’ve made other granola-related snacks, but for just plain old granola, I’ve always defaulted to the kind that comes in a box. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but now that I know how easy it is to make homemade granola, I don’t see myself going back to store-bought anytime soon.
Today’s recipe helped me see the error of my ways. It combines oats with two kinds of nuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), dried cranberries, and every spice that makes you think of fall. Pumpkin purée and maple syrup coat the granola and make everything stick together in delectable clumps. The end result is crunchy, a little (but not too) sweet, and a whole lot delicious. It’s also much healthier than pretty much any granola you can buy at the store because there are no added fats (besides those naturally occurring in the nuts), no artificial sweeteners, and no preservatives. With a few changes for seasonal variety, I think this just might be our new go-to granola.
** Also, on an administrative note, I wanted to let you know that I will be adding a new feature to my posts. At the end of each “story”, right above the new recipe, I will list the recipe(s) (and their corresponding links) that I posted approximately one year earlier. I think it’ll be a great way to remember some old favorites and introduce you to some recipes you might have missed. Just please do me a favor and try not to judge me on the less than lovely photographs from the early days! (I have gone back and added these links to my last three posts as well. Check them out to see what was cooking this time last year!)
One Year Ago: Risotto with Spicy Garlic Shrimp (and Shrimp Stock); Fresh White Cheese
Nutty Pumpkin Granola
Adapted from elly says opa!
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup pepitas
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup pumpkin purée, canned or fresh
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, pepitas, cranberries, spices, and salt.
In another bowl, stir together the pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Pour the pumpkin mixture over the granola. Stir well to combine, making sure everything is coated evenly. (A rubber spatula works well for this.)
Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp. Let the granola cool on the baking sheet. It will continue to crisp up as it cools.
When the granola is completely cool, store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 3 cups.