Thursday, December 16, 2010

An apology and a Present

Let me start with the apology... I just finished up all of my finals and the last week has been incredibly busy so that is why I have neither been cooking nor sharing tasty tasty recipes based on my cooking adventures. For that I apologize but I will attempt to make amends with this great granola recipe. I made it quite a while ago for the first time as a present to give to my dad for his birthday. I have made myself a batch since then because I enjoyed it so much (and it only uses half a can of pumpkin. What am I going to do with half a can of pumpkin?). I used it as a gift to my dad but it would be really easy to make and then use for a CHRISTMAS gift. I know I'm giving homemade food gifts to a lot of people. Some people may not like incredibly sugary, buttery, unhealthy (delicious) treats and may prefer something like granola which is generally viewed as pretty healthy.

You could ask my Dad I suppose if you want an opinion on this but I think that this granola is really great and surprisingly easy. It's difficult to imagine a world where we make our own cereal. It's just one of those things that if you want it, you have to buy it. Well not anymore! I'm in love! This granola is flavored with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice with just a bit of brown sugar. It has some nuts and dried fruit added to this which just makes for a great hearty breakfast or maybe even dessert if you're weird like me.

 The base of this is made of rolled oats and pecans. These take the longest to cook so they go in first.
 Then add some golden raisins and cranberries. The recipe calls for pistachios here which I think would be great but I didn't because A) shelled pistachios are hard to come by and B) when you do come by them they tend to cost a lot.

If you also use golden raisins then I would advise throwing them in later or maybe not cooking them at all because some of them did that weird burnt raisin thing for me where they inflate and then turn black. Weird.
I put the one for my Dad in a cute Chinese takeout box and I put the granola for me into a cute jar with a scooping spoon (not pictured). I know that I wouldn't mind homemade granola for Christmas!

I found this recipe in the Oprah magazine. I read some comments online before I committed to the recipe that said their granola stayed soggy. Mine was fine but homemade pumpkin puree is wetter than the canned stuff so that may have been their problem-- I ran into this with my pumpkin pie (coming soon!) so straining homemade pumpkin through cheesecloth or something can help to combat this. Or just break down and use the canned stuff.

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp Olive or Canola Oil
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp kosher salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together the first 6 ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, pie spice and salt). Stir in the oats and pecans to coat them in the mixture. Transfer this to the lined cookie sheet and spread the oats and nuts in an even layer.

2. Cook the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. After 30 minutes, stir in the raisins and cranberries and then cook for an additional 15 minutes. Pull out of the oven and stir up some more. They may still be slightly soft at this time, but they will harden more while cooling on the cookie sheet. When the granola is cool, break up into pieces and store in an airtight container.

So what's the verdict? Am I forgiven?

I linked this recipe up to Foodie Fridays, Friday Potluck, Vegetarian Foodie Fridays, and Fight Back Fridays


  1. That is a lovely recipe. I used to make a lot of things when the children were small and my husband ate more things but as we've both gotten older he'll only eat granola on yogurt and then only once in a while. This seems like a really good recipe. I hope you finals went well.

  2. This is the first granola recipe I have seen that incorporates pumpkin. Great idea - I may just try this out!

  3. Donnie- I bet you make a really mean granola if that is all your husband will eat. I'm not quite sure how my finals went but thanks for the encouragement!

    Melodie- make it! I've made it so many times since I found the recipe and I love it =)


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