I had my last day of classes today! I am not officially on Christmas Break until next Wednesday, after my final exam, but boy, am I glad to be done with assignments and classes. In January I will begin my last semester of University. Crazy.
Also, I just had a very sad thought. I mean, I’m usually not a pessimist, but… this is going to be my last winter break EVER. Plus, probably the last time I am not going to have to work Christmas/Christmas Eve for a while. I am sure that will not be my favourite thing about being a nurse.
On a completely different note – granola. I heart granola. When I went to Sasquatch Music Festival in May (best time ever), I was acquainted with homemade granola for the first time by my friend Erin’s mom, who made it for us to bring. I have never gone back. I requested the recipe and it is delicious BUT super sweet and high in calories. Since then, I have been stalking various food blogs/making a lot of granola to find the best alternatives.
It turns out that granola is really pretty easy to make. Plus, it is a lot cheaper than buying it in stores, AND everything is better homemade because you know exactly what you are eating.
This is a fall/winter inspired granola that is very crunchy and full of flavour but is not too sweet. There are all kinds of healthy proteins loaded in here. It makes a lot, and I love to have some on hand for a quick, filling breakfast (served with plain yogurt and fresh fruit – I looove pomegranates, but bananas are also quite yum!)
Pumpkin Spice and Maple Granola
Adapted from Sallys Baking Addiction
3 3/4 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2/3 cup Unsweetened Coconut
1/3 Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
1/2 cup Sliced/Slivered Almonds*
2 tbsp Golden Flax Seeds
1/4 cup Uncooked Quinoa
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
3 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar**
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted in microwave
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Optional: 2/3 cup Dried Cranberries or Raisins
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, almonds, quinoa, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, melted coconut oil, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
4. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine, making sure that all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Spread mixture evenly over the two baking sheets, and cook each batch for 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Watch for burning.
6. Allow granola to cool on sheets, then add in raisins/dried cranberries if using. Store granola in a sealed container or large ziploc bag at room temperature for up to two weeks.
* I buy my almonds in bulk, and I get a mixture of sliced and slivered, but you could definitely just use either one.
** If you do not have coconut palm sugar, use brown sugar instead.