Back in the fall I wrote quite a few posts about pumpkin and cranberries. Probably because they were the only things I couldn’t get my hands on when I wanted them the most. A week or two after Thanksgiving, I stumbled upon Libby’s canned pumpkin in the baking aisle at Superama and proceeded to purchase several cans. I used most of the pumpkin for holiday baking and by March I had one lonely can left in my pantry. Since it’s been around 75 degrees since I got back in January, I haven’t really been craving the warmth and comfort that pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves can provide.
Last week I attempted to make vegan pumpkin pancakes for dinner and they were a disaster. They cooked quickly almost to the point of burning, then when I wanted to flip them they wouldn’t retain their shape and flopped all over the spatula. They looked like small orange accordions and they didn’t taste like much either. Luckily, the recipe only called for 1/3 cup of pumpkin, leaving nearly 3/4 of the can left over. I put it in the fridge and yesterday when I saw a bag of four cups of oats for 11 pesos (around 95 american cents) I was inspired to make pumpkin granola. I found some leftover craisins in the pantry (also from Thanksgiving time) and added those in for some texture.
This was the first time I have ever made granola. Granola has the rep of being a “healthy food” when it’s really not at all. The kinds you buy at the store can be mainly oil and sugar (look at that nutrition label!), and since I’m not really one for overly sweet things, I thought I would try to cut the sugar down a bit. These are the lessons I learned from making granola for the first time:
– It takes a lot of sugar to make it sweet. The original recipe I used for reference had brown sugar and maple syrup, plus some applesauce. I used agave and honey in smaller quantities and once the granola was mixed with other things (almond milk or granola) you couldn’t detect any sweetness.
– It takes a while to get crunchy. I was not patient and took it out too soon, I’ll probably put it back in the oven later today to crisp up.
– It can be relatively cheap to make your own granola, plus you get to control the sweetness and the mix-ins.
– Alternate textures are key. The craisins were a good addition, but it could use some nuts or seeds to be more interesting.
Recipe: Pumpkin and cranberry granola (original: Pumpkin Granola from Two Peas and their Pod)
– 4 cups of oats (not quick oats, regular old rolled oats)
– 1/4 cup agave syrup
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 craisins
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Mix the oats, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Mix the pumpkin, honey, agave, and vanilla in a bowl until combined.
3. Pour the wet ingredients onto the oats and incorporate well using a rubber spatula. Make sure that all of the oats are coated, this could take a few minutes.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil and spread the oats out in an even layer.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then using a spatula mix the oats. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes and let cool. Add the craisins and enjoy!
Cranberries add texture, sweetness, and color.
Enjoy with greek yogurt or almond milk, plus some fresh berries! Provecho~