Put the pumpkin in the granola.

Yes, it’s weird! Fortunately, it’s stinkin’ delicious as well. This marks the return of the recipe converting fairy, and I can’t wait for you to try this out at home. Seriously. I mean, I’m even so excited about this that I took pictures for you!

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It all started about a month ago in San Francisco, when one of my best friends put a jar of granola in front of me and said:
‘Try it’, which I did. I can’t rightly recall, but I’m pretty sure I started hollering before I’d even emptied my mouth, demanding the recipe right away.
She had found the recipe here, and much to my initial dismay it contains pumpkin puree. First of all, I hate the smell of pumpkins (if they’re not cooked with a ton of spices), but more importantly, you can’t buy canned pumpkin puree where I live. Luckily, my good sense shortly caught up with me, and I realized that canned goods are bad anyway, and really, it can’t be that difficult to make the damn puree myself. The only crux was that I would have to deal with the smell. Which I did – I just had to have that granola.

To make pumpkin puree, you simply have to get a pumpkin, cut it open, take out the seeds and shit, put it quartered on a baking pan on which you’ve also poured enough water to cover the bottom, and bake until it’s soft (time depends on the size of yo pumpkin, pumpkin). Scoop it out, or, as I did, peel it (when it’s cool enough to handle..); process it, done. My little pumpkin generated about enough puree to make this recipe three times, so I froze 2/3 for later use. I say about, because in reality it was a bit more than the amount called for, which turned out to be advantageous, as I intended to healthify the recipe just a little bit. I’ve made granola before but it hasn’t become chunky like this, and I realize it’s because in the past, I’ve used like two tablespoons of liquid, which is not sufficient. Especially when it’s mainly water that one uses.. So, *disclaimer*, this recipe isn’t so very healthy… You just have to try to manage your portion size πŸ˜‰ However, I’ve changed it up from the original as to make your cells happier; this recipe has 20% less sugar and syrup, less coconut oil, and increased amounts of pumpkin puree and peanut butter. I chose to go about half-and-half on oats and spelt, as the latter is richer in quite a few things. Things. Jesus, Eva. Lastly, I chose to only bake the grains and not add the nuts/seeds/fruit until after the grains are cool, as to keep them raw. Although this means that you won’t have the add-in items in the clusters, I personally don’t .. care. πŸ˜‰ I also chose to omit adding chocolate chips, because I found the granola itself to contain enough fat – and pre-made choc isn’t usually made from the good kind. I prefer getting my chocolate fix like this.

This recipe yields a whole lot of granola, so if you (like me) have a small oven, it might be good to only make half. I ended up making two batches, to which I added different dried fruits and nuts and seeds – two kinds of granola. Happy days. I can’t believe I can’t just shortly write a recipe; that it has to turn into a darn essay all the time (it’s because I’m procrastinating).

Start out by turning your oven to 150C, and line a tray with baking paper.

Mix the following in a bowl:
– Β 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
– 1/4 cup agave syrup (replace this with a sugar free syrup to lower sugar content and make granola lighter)
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– 1 dl brown sugar
– 1.2 cup all natural peanut butter
– 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
– a pinch or two of vanilla (that is, the black seeds; not sugar or extract)
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp Speculoos spice (or pumpkin spice, or, for the Swedish, pepparkakskryddor)
– tiny bit of freshly grated nutmeg
– dash of ground cardamom
-> it should go without saying that you can change composition and quantities of these spices however you see fit πŸ™‚
– pinch of salt

Then add:
– about 2 cups rolled oats
– about 1.5 cups rolled spelt (looks like oats)
– about 1 cup rinsed and raw buckwheat (I know these seem hard, but they will add a nice crunch!)

(You can also just make it all oats or all spelt or all some other grain)

You may want to increase the amount of grains even more (I’m just transcribing this recipe from my brain, trying to remember the approximate changes I made), if you find it to be too sticky. If you do, I would maybe suggest to add more spices. Anyway, you’ll figure it out – spread the stuff onto your prepared baking tray (and if it’s too much, divide the batch in 2), bake for 20 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 20. Possibly 30, if you want it crunchier. Keep checking the color.

Let cool and then add whatever floats your boat. The original recipe suggested to add the things halfway through baking, but I prefer keeping those components raw. I added pumpkin seeds and goji berries to one batch, and chopped almonds and raisins to the other one. But, that doesn’t really say anything because when I put that stuff on my smoothies or whatever, I always add more things, like chia seeds, shredded coconut, chopped dates, sunflower seeds, flax seeds. So go crazy. The reason I don’t add all those things right away though, is first of all because I like having the “customize” option (yes yes go ahead and mock me), but also because the things I mentioned are either sticky or really tiny, meaning that it’ll sink to the bottom of the jar or cluster together, and I just can’t be bothered to deal with that. So it’s a question of practicalities, really.

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But heeey, I’m going to get cracking on my studies again before I go to IKEA. Also, and lastly, I wanted to give a little heads up about a post I put up in the “About” section; Why am I vegan?, which is mainly intended to hopefully give rise to a little bit of discussion.

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2 responses to “Put the pumpkin in the granola.

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