It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
~ Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Saturday is the official first day of Fall. You can already feel the change in the air. It’s cold in the mornings and I want to stay in bed just a little bit longer. I’ve got a recipe for the most delicious granola with just a hint of Autumn spice and warmth. It was adapted from the blog, Running Foodie. It just might get you out of bed a little bit earlier.
6 cups of Old Fashioned Oatmeal ( not the quick cooking kind)
1/2 cup wheat germ
nuts and seeds: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup raw pepita seeds (aka pumpkin seeds)
2 cups of coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened)
spices: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 – 1 cup of dried cranberries and cherries ( to taste and with any dried fruit that makes you happy)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a rimmed cookie sheet with a light spray of cooking oil and set aside. Mix your dry ingredients: Oatmeal, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and coconut in a large bowl.
Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and kosher salt. Make sure that the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Set bowl aside.
In a small saucepan whisk together brown sugar, honey, pumpkin puree, light olive oil and beaten egg whites. Cook over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to simmer.
Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 tsp of vanilla ( I use my own homemade brew which is amazing) and baking soda.
Pour the wet ingredients in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until the oats are thoroughly coated with the pumpkin honey.
Pour the granola mixture onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
Bake granola for 45 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Stir granola every 15 minutes until the granola is golden and brown. Meanwhile, take out and measure the dried fruit that you will mix in once the granola is done. I tend to use a lot of dried fruit, mainly, cherries and cranberries. You can put in any type of dried fruit or none at all – it’s totally up to you.
Remove the granola from the oven and cool completely. Once it has cooled, mix in whatever dried fruit you are using.
Serve yourself a little helping of greek yogurt topped with this delicious autumnal treat. It is not too sweet and has just enough warmth from the spices. It makes your house smell unbelievable. Make some for your friends and family too …
If you plan on giving your granola as a gift then all you need are a few simple packaging supplies to make it really special. Martha Stewart has the best chalk board labels that stick right on to your glass jars (or any tin or box). You can find them at Staples along with many other tags and paper products that she has designed. I would stock up now for the holiday cooking season.
I’m off to deliver a jar to one of my favorite people – my husband is making sure that I’ve left plenty for him! I hope you give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.