Happy Fall Everyone!
Today is officially the start of Fall (or Spring if you’re in the Southern hemisphere), so it’s time to whip out those can openers for those dozens of cans of Pumpkin you’ve stored up.
What? You don’t excessively hoard pumpkin?!
Oh well, I guess that’s just me.
Do you know what goes hand and hand with Fall and Pumpkin?
Both taste great, but I especially love the pumpkin spice. It tastes just like pumpkin pie! You can find these at most grocery stores.
No, not coffee cake, donuts, or pastries (unless you want to get into a sugar coma so early in the morning). Granola.
~Granola is not an exact science. I write these measurements down by how I made the granola, but feel free to add more or less of the ingredients, throw in some extra spices, or whatever you like. I don't think granola is meant to be a huge project full of measuring cups and spoons, simply throw in handfuls! This granola is gluten-free (make sure to use gluten-free oats), dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, vegan, and, of course, sugar-free!
- 3 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)*
- 2 cups chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts. Or whatever you have on hand)
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used apricots, dates, and prunes. Golden raisins, dried cranberries, and mulberries would work well, too)
- 1/2 cup seeds (pumpkin, chia, flax)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons ground coffee (I used Godiva's Pumpkin Spice)
- Spice: 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons whole coffee beans**
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin with spices, salt, and ground coffee.
- Next, stir in nuts, fruit, seeds, and granola.
- Drizzle and toss with Coconut oil until evenly coated. Do NOT add the whole coffee beans yet.
- Spread on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in whole coffee beans after baking.
*To make this recipe grain-free, simply omit the oats and double the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. It still tastes great!
**The coffee beans are not required, but I highly recommend adding them. They stay crunchy like the rest of the granola's texture, and it adds that extra bit of coffee flavor. Use decaffeinated beans if you plan on munching on the granola at night, so it won't keep you awake!
Tastes great with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte. I made Averie’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, but omitted the sweetener. Still amazing.
- Oats: Click HERE for a post I wrote about the nutritional benefits of oats.
- Pumpkin: One cup of pumpkin has 7 grams fiber, 2650 IU Vitamin A, 564 mg potassium! It also boasts a truckload of antioxidants like Alpha-carotene and Beta-carotene.
- Almonds: Almonds are a major superfood, and they are full of monounsaturated, good-for-you fats. It contains many nutrients that benefit the brain, and regulate cholesterol. The monounsaturated fats and vitamin E reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Coffee: Sometimes people are negative about coffee, and sometimes people are positive. Science suggests these positives: it can increase alertness, rich in antioxidants, can help boost metabolism, can treat migraines, can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. However, it can also be addictive, cause anxiety, osteoporosis, and dehydration. My take: everything in moderation. The studies that show coffee causes osteoporosis were people drinking over four cups of coffee everyday. Drink in moderation.
- Cinnamon: Studies have shown that it can help lower LDL cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar levels, has anti-clotting effect on blood, and it can boost cognitive function and memory.
Simply grab a handful, sit outside, munch, and enjoy the Fall!
Thought-provoking question of the day:
Does it feel like fall yet where you live? For me, not quite yet. I can’t wait for the air to start feeling cooler, though! It is my favorite time of year.
Do you like pumpkin as much as me?