Variety is the spice of a foodie’s eating life – except, perhaps, at breakfast.
You see, I’m not a morning person, not by any stretch of the imagination. I find it hard to string together coherant sentances most mornings, let alone trying to decide what I want to eat for breakfast. Breakfast is pretty much the only time of the day I like to have some routine to my diet, on weekdays at least.
I also tend to wake up absolutely eat-my-own-arm-off ravenous, and the only breakfast food which keeps me going during my morning gym sessions is a bowl of creamy oats, with vanilla yoghurt stirred in for added protein.
A bowl of oats is the breakfast of champions, in my humble opinion. They’re low GI, help to lower your cholestrol, and are packed with fibre, protein, various nutrients and cancer-fighting properties. What’s not to love?
Oats are also the perfect vehicle for a variety of delicious toppings, and that’s where this granola comes in. A sprinkling of this granola adds a desirable crunch to my bowl of oats in the morning.
Granola is also fabulous served on its own in a bowl with milk. Trust me, my husband’s done this several times since I made this granola, and he’s a renowned breakfast avoider…
I don’t like granola recipes which use a whole heap of butter and oil (I’d rather save the calories for dessert), so I was happy to find this recipe at Two Peas and their Pod for Pumpkin Granola. Pumpkin puree and applesauce fill in for the fats as a binding agent, and combined with sweetners and spices the end result is healthy and scrumptious – a rare feat indeed.
I’ve played around with the recipe to make it my own, adding in a few new ingredients to the original. I also experimented with freezing the granola, in an effort to…ahem…stop myself from eating it all in one sitting… and it worked brilliantly. You might like to warm it up in the microwave from its frozen state though.
Play around with this recipe and make it work for you. Who knows, it may add some variety to your breakfast routine…
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup wheatgerm
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (It’s an American thing, so I use this recipe to make my own)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I pureed about 150g leftover roasted pumpkin to make half a cup of puree)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup whole almonds
Heat your oven to 160C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, spices and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated with the sweetened puree.
Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and give the mixture a good stir. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Let the granola cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to one month. Serve with granola, milk, on top of a bowl of oats, or enjoy by the handful as a snack.