Friday, February 25, 2011

Granola Recipe

We've been revamping breakfasts here lately, trying to make them healthier and less expensive along with adding new variations into the menu.

Granola has long been a favorite and for nearly as long, I've been thinking I should try making my own. An interesting recipe showed up in my search called Pumpkin Granola.

It caught my attention because we have a lot of pumpkin and hubbard squash from the bounty of last summer's harvest and I'm needing more ways to use it up.

WELL! This is a HIT!

Even if you don't like pumpkin, you should give this a try. Pumpkin Granola is absolutely delicious! Filled with flavor, spices and health! Inexpensive too, I might add. This one scores high all around for taste, health, cost and ease of preparation!

Eat it plain. Or use it for topping yogurt or ice cream, porridge or pudding. As a cereal with milk, it's better than all others ... or mix it with others.

And when you've tried that. Try making Pumpkin Granola Bars -- similar, but definitely easier to pack & neater in the car.

Pumpkin Granola just can't be beat!

Oh, btw, we have found that hubbard squash is wa-a-ay better than pumpkin in most recipes. It is sweeter, smoother and denser(not as "watery"). The picture below is a hubbard squash beside a size 12 shoe:

Where do you find hubbard squash, you say? At Klasse Woods Natural Farm, of course! Our biggest hubbard in 2010 weighed 47 lbs.! That's a whole lot of 1/2 cup packages for the freezer. Then again I make 1 cup packages 'cause I usually double or quad-ruple the recipe so that I have at least enough for a week, lol!

Nothing like cooking for a growing crew big time ... the easy way? I let one of the crew manage that operation. They love it. So do I! Lol!

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Granola

6 cups rolled oats
1/4 tsp. ginge1/4 tsp. allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds -- did you know that? I did not.)

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
*Note-serve granola with yogurt, milk, or enjoy plain.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Freebie: Dinosaurs Explained

Do dinosaurs interest you? Your children? Or someone else you know?

This week Answers in Genesis is offering a free audio download of The Bible Explains Dinosaurs by Ken Ham.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!