Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Granola and Yogurt Parfaits

I have a slight bone to pick.  I have been planning a granola post for a while (since before I was unexpectedly away for 3 weeks).  While I was gone, I didn't read a single blog, due to lack of internet access.  I returned home.  I made granola.  I began to catch up on my Google Reader.

It turns out that granola has been a very popular topic: I found at least 8 granola posts waiting in my Google Reader. Is it something with the time of year?  Did some sort of food blogger memo go out that I missed?  Regardless of the great multitude of granola recipes, I made mine anyway.

Why granola?  It's not exactly a ground breaking topic and normally if I had discovered something I planned to make had become so popular, I may have saved the idea for another time....

But I wrote this recipe & made the granola for my wonderful husband, partially to thank him for holding down the fort while I was gone, partially because I was brainstorming new breakfast ideas, partially because I just really love him.  And he happens to love granola :)

I, too, love granola!  But it doesn't love me back (sniff, sniff).  See, I seem to have an aversion to oats.  This aversion is such a bummer because I LOVE oats.  Hot oatmeal for breakfast, oatmeal cookies, many cereals, granola: all things I really enjoy and would never voluntarily give up, were it not for the unfortunate symptoms I experience whenever I eat oatmeal.

I tried to resist, but I still had to have a small spoonful taste of the granola as it was cooling: it just smelled too delicious, the scent of the spices, maple, and toasted oats & nuts (I also have a weakness for pumpkin seeds).  I do hope to develop an oat-free granola in the future, like this raw, sprouted granola I became addicted to in Charleston after I worked with one of the company owners.  But for the time being, I'll try to be content with knowing this batch is going to a great cause: my husband :)

While he would happily dig into a giant bowl of granola flooded with milk, I looked for a way to stretch the granola a little longer & turn it into a heartier breakfast.  I took some protein-filled plain greek yogurt & flavored it with a little maple syrup.  I layered the yogurt with a little leftover pumpkin butter, some tart crisp apple pieces, and the spicy granola.

What a perfectly delicious (and good for you) breakfast or snack!

Fall Granola
You can totally customize this granola to your preferences.  We happen to really like pecans, pepitas (the green pumpkin seeds), dried cranberries & raisins.  But you could substitute any nuts and dried fruit you like (or have on hand).  This granola isn't super sugary, so if you prefer a sweeter granola, you may want to slightly increase the brown sugar and/or maple syrup.  

3 cups Oats
1 cup Raw Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup Raw Pepitas
1/2 cup shredded Coconut
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 c Vegetable Oil
1 Tbl Molasses
1/4 c Real Maple Syrup (not pancake syrup)

1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Raisins

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the oats with the nuts, coconut, sugar, salt & spices. 
  2. In a liquid measuring cup combine the oil, molasses & maple syrup.  {I like to measure the oil in the cup first, then pour the maple syrup & molasses on top, just so nothing is too sticky} Pour the wet into the dry and mix well.  
  3. Spread out on a sheet (ir just grease the baking sheet if you don’t have a silpat) & bake for 10 minutes.  
  4. Stir on the pan & bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Stir again.  Continue baking until golden brown {mine took 5 more minutes}, watching carefully to make sure the granola does not burn.  
  5. Remove from the oven & allow to cool.  Add the dried fruit & cool completely. 
  6. Store in an airtight container.  

Yogurt Parfaits with Apple, Pumpkin Butter & Granola
Plain Yogurt (I used greek for a higher protein content & also because I prefer the texture)
Real Maple syrup
Pumpkin Butter
Apple, diced

  1. Mix the yogurt with a little of the maple syrup, both to flavor & sweeten the yogurt.  
  2. In a glass or bowl, layer the flavored yogurt with a little of the pumpkin butter, diced apple, and granola.  
  3. Enjoy immediately.  

1 comment:

  1. Great sweets.. I really like how you came up with this blog.