Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Granola (gf+vegan)

Yes, yet another pumpkin recipe. Like I said in my last post, when you roast a pumpkin and make pumpkin puree you have a lot of pumpkin to play with in recipes. So, why not add some pumpkin to your granola, right?! I have been dreaming up this granola idea for a while and finally whipped up the idea to see what would happen. Making homemade granola is a fabulous idea anyways (any time of the year) to fill your kitchen with goodness, but yesterday with the magical colors and scents it was extra special. It was absolutely gorgeous here in Michigan yesterday. The colors of the trees were so radiant.
The sun was shining super bright and it was reflecting off of our bright yellow trees in the back and front yard. The bright blue skies against the yellow trees was just stunning. The occasional drop of a leaf from the sky added a magical touch to the day as well. A whimsical fall wonderland. And, the best part was that it was Saturday and my husband was home and we had such a fun family day. Well, I guess it was kinda a family 'work' day because we had lots of leaves to rake and had to winterize the garden. Yet, when it was as gorgeous as it was, and we are all together, those are the best kind of 'work' days with the family.
Yet, after all that outdoor fresh air and bright sunshine, I did find my way to the kitchen to bake something. Nap time for the babe means baking time for me :) And, there is no better way to add the scents of fall to your life than fall baking with pumpkin. Hmmmm, perfect! So I made this super easy, nut-free, vegan granola recipe to share in the magic of the season. Added a touch of cocoa to make it rich and delicious.
Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Recipe (vegan)
1 cup of raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 - 2 cups of dried cranberries (or mix with raisins)
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar 
1/2 cup of raw cocoa or baking cocoa
1/2 cup of homemade applesauce
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup of melted organic coconut oil
1 TB of ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice blend)
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 ts. of ground ginger
1/2 ts. of sea salt

optional: add 1-2 cups of a slivered almond or crushed pecan if you enjoy nuts, I left nuts out because I have been trying to avoid nuts lately for me and for the sake of my little boy, but you can for sure add in some nuts to this granola recipe if you desire. I must say though that the brown rice puffs and oats, plus the seeds make a perfect nut-free version of granola... I didn't even miss the nuts.

optional last ingredient: 1-2 cups of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips mixed into the cooled granola

Mix all of the ingredients by hand or with a spatula in a large mixing bowl. Then on a parchment papered large baking sheet (12x18) or 2 cookie sheet lay out the granola mixture about 1 inch thick. Spread thin and put in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes and then pull from oven.... leave the oven on, and let the granola cool for 15-20 minutes, then use a fork or spatula to turn over the granola and toss just a bit. Then put back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes to really get crispy. I like my granola crispy and because of the moisture in this recipe I think the baking-twice method works best here, but you can also just bake once for 30-35 minutes on the 350 degrees and pull from the oven to cool as well. Once done baking, let cool for an hour or two to really crisp and crunch up. Then if you want to make it really chocolately, add some mini chocolate chips to the granola and toss it up. Then transfer to your saving container: glass jars, or tubs, or even a zip lock bag works well.
Fun ways to eat or share granola:
+ for breakfast with a cup of your favorite non-dairy milk
+ for snacking on a long trip, hike or walk
+ over an apple or peach crisp recipe
+ share with friends in a large mouth mason jar with a recipe tag
+ bring it to a party as a condiment or for snacking

Pumpkin and chocolate are such a nice pair. They compliment each other's bitter yet sweet qualities and the added cinnamon and nutmeg really bring out the depth of the flavors. I haven't made granola in a while, and this recipe was a perfect fall way to make granola (and I am sure I will be making this recipe more throughout the holiday season).

I hope you enjoy, and have another fabulous fall day.

Much love to you!

1 comment:

  1. love it! Sounds so delish! I will totally be making this!