Thursday, October 11, 2012

{body} Homemade Pumpkin Granola

Don't you just love Fall? 

I love the smell of the crisp air, the changing colors of the trees, the clothing, and the food. It is my favorite time of year by far. I especially love it this year because I am actually experiencing the season. Florida doesn't experience too many season changes besides hot and hotter. In Tallahassee, the leaves changed and it got pretty chilly during Fall but nothing compared to North Carolina. I cannot wait for it to actually get chilly!! We have had a cold front for the past three days and it is just beautiful.

As you know I just love all things pumpkin. I could probably incorporate into every meal, every day of the year. Luckily in Fall it is totally normal to have pumpkin coffee with pumpkin granola in yogurt for breakfast, pumpkin soup for lunch, pumpkin pasta for dinner, and pumpkin ice cream for dinner. Right?!?

This fall I am looking forward to apple picking, pumpkin carving, making chilis/soups/stews, the ACC Championship game in Charlotte (hopefully the Seminoles make it this year!!), wednesday kickball games, and hikes in local parks! 

I am so excited to be living in North Carolina and being able to experience a real Fall is going to be perfect!

This pumpkin granola is so delicious, easy, and pumpkiny (if that's a word). It is perfect on top of your greek yogurt with some strawberries or with soy milk for a quick and easy breakfast! The pumpkin spice seasoning and cinnamon add a warmth and spice to the granola. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, SkinnyTaste. Homemade granola is super easy to make, cheaper than store bought, and you can personalize it with spices, dried fruit, and nuts of your choice!

Definitely make this when you are craving something pumpkin and want to switch up your morning meal!

Skinny Pumpkin Granola
Recipe Adapted from SkinnyTaste

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed and dried)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (used whole wheat old fashioned)
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup light maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp oil
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spread oats and quinoa on baking pan and toast in oven for about 10 minutes, turn once.
3. Remove oat mixture from oven and transfer to a book. mix in the ground flaxseed, almonds, and cranberries.
4. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
5. In a second bowl mix maple syrup, oil, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Combine well and add to oat mixture. Stir until combined and transfer back to the baking sheet in one layer.
6. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden
*sprinkle an additional amount of cinnamon/pumpkin spice if needed.


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