Not only did we just adopt a puppy (I’ll write more about Ember next week. Her photo is on the Facebook page!), but my brother and his beautiful bride are days away from having their first baby! I’M ABOUT TO BECOME AN AUNT!! I have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate this holiday, and this is high on the list. I have two brothers — one 11 months younger than me, and the other 11 years younger. The one having the baby is the one closest in age to me — my Irish twin, since we are less than a year apart. Growing up we were rarely apart, and fought constantly, as siblings do, but we’ve always been close. I am so excited to welcome the newest addition to the family!
I know after my girls were born prepared meals were the best present anyone could give! So, over the next couple of days I’m cooking overtime to help load up their refrigerator with plenty of good eats. I have a bunch of things planned to help stock their refrigerator and freezer, but the first thing I made was Pumpkin Granola. It’s easy to make, and the perfect breakfast or lunch with milk or yogurt, or on it’s own for a snack. Filling, nutritious, and tasty….perfect for the new mama.
This recipe is good to get the little chefs in the house involved. Most of the measurements are the same — 1/2 cup of this, 1/2 cup of that…and even if you are a little off, it’s not going to hurt anything. And the best part…the smell of the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and nuts roasting away in the oven. It’s absolutely heavenly. Now, I’m hungry….again…. :)
- 3 cups rolled oats (I used GF oats)
- 1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used chopped dates and cranberries)
- Preheat the oven to 325
- Add all the dry ingredients (except dried fruit) to a large mixing bowl
- In a small bowl mix all the wet ingredients together
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until the oats are coated and moist.
- Spread evenly onto a baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, stir everything around. If you want your granola to remain in chunks, make sure you don’t break it up completely.
- Place back in the oven for an additional 15 – 20 minutes – until it’s golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and mix in the fruit.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.