Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin right now. And anything snackie. I decided to combine these two elements in my latest kitchen creation for a granola full of the flavors of fall. Perfect for breakfast or snacks, this addictive granola will have you giddy at the first bite (at least this is the reaction I got from my kids).
Although oats themselves have quite a bit of protein and fiber, I always like to up the ante of these super important nutritional aspects by adding in some nuts and seeds. I also like the use of maple syrup in here verses agave, as maple syrup combines so well with the pumpkin flavor. Of course, if you don't have any maple syrup on hand, agave would be a suitable substitute. A note about maple syrup: always make sure you buy 100% real maple syrup, and don't be afraid to buy Grade B- it's cheaper and I think it has a better flavor.
And I'm happy to report that Trader Joe's now carries a 2 lb. bag of certified gluten free oats for only $3.98! This saves a bit over the Bob's Red Mill brand of certified gluten free oats, ranging from $5.25 to $6.75 per 2 lb. bag. This is great news for a frugal gal like me.
4 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds (or a combo of both)
1/2 cup Xylosweet (xylitol) or coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon chia and/or flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and, using a large spatula, stir a few times to make sure all dry ingredients are evenly coated.
Pour granola evenly between the two prepared baking sheets and, using the spatula, spread granola out to a single layer on each baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes. Stir granola. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Eat immediately or let cool on wire racks until completely cooled (at least an hour) before storing in an airtight container.