Right now, my house smells amazing. Wafts of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin are making their way to my office from the kitchen. Nope, not pumpkin pie this time. I've tried my hand at Pumpkin granola.
You see, I don't particularly care for pumpkin pie. Its heavy and dense, and while the first slice is always amazing- I find myself avoiding it the other several times its passed my way during the holiday season. (And lets face it. Between now and Christmas, Pumpkin pie will be at every family, work and friendly gathering.)
Additionally, I've been really into home made granola lately. I'm able to pick the exact grains that I want to include for protein, fiber and other dietary considerations. Plus, I'm able to add nuts that I favor and control the level of sweetness. For me, a chilled cup of low fat vanilla yogurt and a spoonful of home made granola is just the thing for a snack, lunch, or dessert. (Check out the Healthy Snack video below for more info!)
Another reason I've made this granola over making a pie- I can put this in a jar with a cute label and give it away! The recipient (teacher, coworker or friend) will find all the smells and flavors that make us thing of fall and the early winter holidays. Its a win win!
Oh, and this isn't where it all ends. This granola inspired my latest invention- a DIY Lunchable JAR!
- 1 cup slivered almonds (if you can find green pumpkin seeds around your grocer- use those instead!)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup flax
- 1 cup bran
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
How To Make It:
- Combine the almonds, oats, flax, and bran in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the pumpkin, syrup and spices. Mix until well combined.
- Pour the wet mix into the dry mix, and stir until all seeds, oats, etc are covered in the wet mixture. It should be sticky, but not wet.
- Spread mixture onto a baking dish in a shallow layer.
- Bake at 350 stirring every 5 minutes until golden and toasted.
- Let cool on baking sheet until room temp. Then, crumble into an air tight jar and seal! I like to serve mine with layers of yogurt, pumpkin puree and maple syrup.
Grains as Healthy Snacks Video
One of the reasons I love making granola from scratch is so I know exactly what's in it. How much sugar, how much fiber and protein I snack on granola a lot - in addition to serving it on my yogurt. Check out this video from the editor of Fitness Magazine that describes how healthy snacking is important.