Today’s guest post is by my witty friend, Natasha. Natasha is a baked goods fanatic! From muffins and scones to a big, chewy cookie or a dense chocolate brownie, this girl knows what’s up. About 3 years ago, Natasha and I lived together in a big house with 60 people (we called it a “co-op,” short for cooperative living). We would cook together once a week for the whole house. What an chaotic, challenging, but most of all tasty experience it was to cook for a large group of college students. Aside from our dinners, Natasha was known for making amazing late-night snacks for everyone. I will forever remember her popping corn kernels on the stove top so that we could all feast on a giant bowl of popcorn. Below Natasha shares with us a recipe for Pumpkin Granola. Mmm, I can smell the warm wintry pumpkin spices already!
If I were a food, I think I would be a pumpkin. Although it’s not the most glamorous of foods, pumpkin is hearty, delicious, and orange (like me! sort of.) It’s also a wonderful fall food which is my very favorite season.
I always have a can of pumpkin on hand, usually for pumpkin bread, but when my work was having a holiday breakfast party, I decided granola would be a great addition. But what’s a holiday breakfast with out some pumpkin? So I frantically googled pumpkin granola and found this delicious recipe, which I adapted with my own flair.
Granola is a creative food. This means, throw in whatever speaks to your mood/ inner subconscious. If you’re feeling nutty, walnuts, pecans, and almonds will add crunch and nutrition. Add some dried fruit if you’re feeling like something sweet, and coconut flakes for those really rebellious days. It’s fun to experiment, but don’t forget to add that pumpkin!
Side note: add the dried fruit when you think there’s 10 minutes left in the oven. This gives a nice toasted flavor without that burnt taste (unless you’re into that).
Also, don’t forget to stir! My batch came out a little bit crunchier than normal, although still totally delicious.
Nutty Pumpkin Granola
adadpted from Tasty Kitchen
1 can Pumpkin Puree
6 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil (or Canola Oil)
¾ cups Brown Sugar (lightly packed)
1-¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoons Nutmeg
¼ teaspoons Ginger
⅛ teaspoons Cloves
¼ teaspoons Salt (slightly heaping)
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
5 cups Rolled Oats
Almonds and Sunflower Seeds (or any raw, unsalted seeds or nuts)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine pumpkin, coconut oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally to break up any clumps of brown sugar, then turn off heat and add vanilla. Stir together the pumpkin mixture with the oats and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the moisture is gone and the granola is golden, toasted, and slightly crunchy, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely, and then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 months.