Hello blog world! I’ve not abandoned you I promise. I just had a series of unfortunate events but it’s almost cleared up now. Exactly a week ago my computer cord went and it took me a week to figure out it wasn’t the cord it was the battery so now that I’m straightened away I’m back to blogging.
A lot has happened since I lost communication so I’m just going to give you all a run down. First up, hurricane Sandy did not affect me in my day to day life but it did devastate a lot of the eastern seaboard of the USA. My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and have been without shelter or power. If you would like to donate to the Red Cross relief fund please click here. As always, when hurricanes hit, I worry about our furry friends. I’ve found a link to Animal Planet that advises which shelters were hit, how the animals are doing at each shelter, what shelters need donations and links to help owners find their pets. If you are able to donate or have an interest in the state of the animals please check it out please click here.
On a happier note I wanted to talk about some things I didn’t have a chance to last week with my computer on the fritz. The main thing I missed sharing was Halloween which is pretty much my Christmas; I love it so much. I went as Tim Burton’s Catwoman this year and made my costume as per-use. It was fun to dress head to toe in fake leather for a night and have no one recognize you, albeit a little sweaty. I was lucky enough to get to dress up for the office but Catwoman like’s to keep her identity safe (aka her costume is not HR approved) so I went as my version of Selina Kyle who’s day job is a secretary. I had perfect comic book hair that got ruined in the high winds. Please pardon the image quality of these next two shots as I took them myself with my phone.
Today I’m making you granola, and as I type this it’s baking away in the oven filling my house with the smell of pumpkin pie. I’m not a fan of pre-made granolas that incorporate a lot of sugar and oil so this granola only had 1 tablespoon or oil and is naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup. This recipe is totally customizable to your tastes, meaning you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds that you fancy. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance you can use gluten free oats to make this recipe gluten-free.Not a pumpkin fan? Check out my low-fat granola recipe here sweetened with orange juice.
Pumpkin Pie Granola
makes about 6 cups of granola
- 16 dates pitted and diced, a little over 1 cup
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbs of vegetable or coconut oil
- 1+1/2 tbs of chia seeds
- 3 tbs of golden flax seed
- 1/2 cup of sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup of raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup large coconut flakes
- 4 cups of large flake organic oats
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pit the dates and chop into quarters lengthwise and then dice. Add to a large bowl with the pumpkin puree,maple syrup, vanilla, oil and spices and stir well.
Add dried cranberries, nuts and seeds and then oats and fold into mixture until everything is uniformly coated.
Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and pour about 2 cups of the granola onto the pan making sure to leave space to turn it, you don’t want a thick layer or it won’t brown nicely.
Bake for about 5-7 minutes then turn granola and repeat two to three times. I find it takes about 20 minutes for each batch to brown. Once the granola is browned let rest out of the oven on a cookie sheet for about 2 minutes before folding parchment paper into a cone a dumping in a large metal or ceramic bowl.
Repeat the whole process about three more times until all the granola is cooked. Cool completely and store in an airtight container up to two weeks.