Thursday, December 8, 2011

spiced pumpkin holiday granola

One of the things I love about baking is the scent it leaves behind in your home. As I write this entry, I am filled with the swirling aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and fragrant orange. It's a perfect smell for this time of year when it's cold outside, but so warm and cozy inside.

These jars of granola (from my first batch) will be carted across the country in a very large suitcase by my cousin who is lucky enough to being going home for the holidays. They make great gifts - they're made with love, and they don't go stale! They don't last long enough to go stale, that is.

I adapted this from the recipe on Winnie Abramson's Healthy Green Kitchen (one of my new favourite blogs). I decided to add orange zest because I'm a big fan of orange spice tea, and we already know that pumpkin and orange is a thing. Or do we? I think I'm actually thinking of my mom's baked yams. Nevermind. It works.

Note: Don't expect your granola to be crunchy right out of the oven. I made that mistake the first time and burnt the first half of my first batch. It will harden as it cools. 

spiced pumpkin holiday granola
Adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen

8 cups large flake oats
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted cashews, chopped
3/4 cups flax seeds
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin - approx 15 oz, 400 mL (make sure it is pure pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dried cranberries

  • Preheat oven to 300ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or, if you're like me, line your only baking sheet and prepare to do bake in 2 batches.)
  • In a very large bowl, combine oats, flax and cashews.
  • In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest, olive oil, melted butter, maple syrup and sugar.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into oatmeal mixture and with clean hands, mix together, ensuring even distribution.
  • Spread half the raw granola on each baking tray neatly and evenly. Bake for roughly 45 minutes, tossing and breaking up the granola at approximately 15 minute intervals. 
  • After taking granola out of the oven, allow it to cool, then add the cranberries and toss.

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