I love autumn, but truthfully, I’m not ready for it. Luckily, the Vancouver weather is on my side because we’re having a lovely extended summer – no rain for the foreseeable future and lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. The wooly cardigans are shoved deep into the back of the closet and I intend to keep them there for the time being. Right now, I’ve got sandals on my feet but I’m willing to give a nod to the season in my breakfast bowl.
That granola up there? It’s my concession to fall. There’s organic pumpkin puree mixed with maple syrup and heady with pumpkin pie spice. It’s crunchier than the leaves that will surely be underfoot in a month or two and a bowl on a Monday morning will ease you nicely into the week ahead. Topped with greek yogurt and alongside a strong coffee, there’s nothing better.
This delightful recipe comes from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook and while the original version makes 3 cups worth, I doubled it to make 6 cups because I love having granola on hand for busy mornings. Generally when I make granola, I start with the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients to the bowl before mixing. This recipe takes the opposite tack, and for good reason. The olive oil, spices, maple syrup and pumpkin puree need to be whisked well in order to blend into a smooth consistency – especially if you use a canned organic pumpkin which tends to be a bit drier than the major brands.
The original recipe calls for sesame seeds and while I could have sworn that I had some black sesame seeds in the cupboard, my search left me empty handed. I also subbed in walnuts for pecans because it’s what I had on hand, though I think pumpkin seeds would have been a nice addition too. The whole shebang gets toasted in an oven until golden and crisp and permeates the kitchen with that spicy, sweet smell that definitely brings the boys in from the yard.
This really is a wonderful collection of wholesome and creative recipes. I’ve been a fan of the Sprouted Kitchen blog since it began, but this book is worthy of an easily reachable place on your shelf. When I received it late last week, I dog-eared many of the 100 recipes: the greek grilled chicken with tzatziki, the coconut lime tart, the honey almond butter, and the harvest buckwheat tart to name a few. The ingredients are familiar and the instructions are straightforward and simple – friendly enough for your own personal adaptations and twists. Plus, it’s gorgeous to look at! This cookbook is worthy of all the accolades it has been getting and should be on your must-have cookbook list. And while I received a copy of this book from the publisher (10 Speed Press), the enthusiasm and excitement is all mine.
pumpkin walnut granola
(adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods)
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can easily blend together some freshly grated cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves (or some combination there of) to get that same autumn flavour.
5 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t kosher salt
2 t pumpkin pie spice
2/3 c pure maple syrup
2/3 c pumpkin puree
4 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c walnut pieces (or pecan or pumpkin seeds)
1/4 c sesame seeds (I left this out)
1 c raisins, dried cranberries or cherries
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, salt, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and pumpkin puree and whisk well to blend until smooth. Add in the oats and walnuts and stir until well coated.
Line a walled cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly. Bake until dry and golden in colour, about 35 minutes or so, stirring every 10 minutes to push the outside bits to the inside & viceversa. You will see the steam escape while pushing the granola around & this is key to keeping the granola crisp. Add in raisins/cranberries/cherries and toss to mix. Cool completely before storing in a tightly lidded container. Makes about 6 cups.