Today’s post is one of my favorite kinds of recipe posts – a GRANOLA recipe post. Say hello to Pumpkin Harvest Granola!
Blustery winds, dipping temps, waning daylight – it’s official: fall is solidly here to stay where I call home in Metro-Detroit. The extended run of 80-degree days we enjoyed through September is not likely to regale us with an encore at this point (though I’ll forever be an optimist hoping for that one last scorcher of a day to pop up and surprise us). Fall’s lucky it’s so cozy and has those pretty-colored leaves swirling about as distractions from the fact that for those of us in the northern climes, warm weather is essentially dead for the next six-plus months. And as luck may also have it, fall is the perfect atmosphere in which to bake granola.
Hello, all! Happy Friday! As you move into the weekend and are planning for the week ahead (which I know, I know, you don’t even want to think about right now as you are sipping your TGIF glass of vino – sorry!), consider making this Cinnamon, Honey, and Walnut Granola. It’s processed-sugar-free (yay!), using honey and dates as natural sweeteners, and i’ts super easy to make. And the best part is, you can then use it to assemble these scrumptious Mason jar yogurt breakfast parfaits to make your week ahead a little easier. Convenience + deliciousness? Yes, please!
I was supposed to go out to brunch Sunday, but a little bully of a snowstorm derailed that. It wasn’t a blizzard, but it was enough slick roads and nastiness to keep me from getting on to the freeway and sliding around like a bumper car. After a high of about 50 degrees and walking around outside without a coat on Saturday, we are now sporting average highs around 20 degrees, blasting gales with wind chills in the single digits, and this lovely, freeze-y, arctic tundra landscape. Winter is finally upon us in Detroit! We’d been pretty spoiled so far this season with only one big snow prior to this last week. Reality check! Wah wah. But the one positive thing about inclement weather cancelling my plans on Sunday was that I got to stay home and make coconut chocolate banana granola.
Peaaaanut – peanut butter – and jelly!
I’m sitting here singing the above in a lilting, off-tune voice in my head (yes, my internal singing voice is as off-key as the one associated with my vocal box!). I seem to remember hearing this little ditty about peanut butter and jelly at some time somewhere when I was a kid – probably in some beloved cartoon or on a show like Sesame Street. I think most of us grown-ups can probably still identify with that childhood love of PB&J. I suspect it’s why the idea of making a granola based around this combo stuck in my head for months and wouldn’t go away until I did.
I love, love, love making homemade granola. It’s such a lovely breakfast treat that makes getting up at the crack of dawn for my ol’ day job a little more bearable. The granola flavor I’ve been enjoying this week? Pumpkin-raisin.
Peanut butter – how I missed thee! I was without it for about the past week, until my planned trip to the grocery store last night, and it would not be exaggerating to say that my life felt a little emptier during that time. My workday was not the same without my mid-morning snack of apple slices and peanut butter, and while tahini paste makes an excellent ingredient in hummus and dressings, it was not the greatest substitute for my favorite nut butter in my oatmeal. Now I’m three-cans flush with the stuff, so life is good. And in homage to one of my favorite foods ever being back in my life, I’ve created this granola.
One of the first things I did last year after reading the amazing book, The Sugar Smart Diet, was to eliminate packaged cereal from my diet. I had known for a long time that the great majority of cereals – even the supposedly healthy ones – were chock-full of sugar, but I had pushed this uneasy knowledge aside, not wanting to have to consider ways to change.