When we moved a month ago, naturally, there was no food in the house. Before I had a chance to do a big grocery trip, I ran over to the nearest store to pick up some things to get us thru the first few days. I grabbed a box of granola, yogurt, milk, fruit, and some other items to make quick snacks and breakfast. Each morning that I topped my yogurt off with the boxed granola, I thought, “what a shame.” A shame because not only is a box of granola from the store expensive (for what it is), I know I can make a much more flavorful, crunchier, and possibly healthier granola on my own.
The number one reason that I enjoy making my own granola is that you can easily switch up the flavours and ingredients to whatever you like or happen to have on hand. It is so easy and versatile! This way, you will never get bored of plain ol’ granola and each handful is like a little, crunchy party for your mouth. Okay, that might sound weird, but you get what I mean…. This week’s winning combo, Pumpkin Pistachio Granola.
If you are like me, then come this time of year, you always have a partially used container of pumpkin puree hanging around. I am always looking for new and creative ways to use pumpkin, and find myself tossing whatever puree I have around into just about anything. For this granola, you bet I tried cooking it with some pumpkin puree. For fall, I combined some pumpkin seeds, pecans, and dried cranberries to go with the chopped pistachios that I knew I wanted to include. The colours are really quite beautiful together. I tossed in some uncooked quinoa for extra crunch and added a dash of all my favourite fall spices.
Of course there is the convenience factor of store-bought granola. If you really think that going all the way to store the store, buying groceries, checking out, blah blah blah is easier/faster than tossing some ingredients in the oven and giving them a stir every so often, then I have an even better solution for you. I am always trying to out-conveience myself and do things faster, so say hello to Skillet Granola! Or insta-granola, as I refer to it as. A quick dry roast in a hot skillet, followed by only about 5 minutes of “cook” time and Voila!!
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix together the maple syrup, pumpkin, coconut oil, and almonds extract in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the dry oats, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds in a skillet. Heat over medium-high.
- Dry roast, stirring every so often once the skillet starts to get hot, until the oats are fragrant and slightly toasted (about 5 minutes).
- Add in the wet mixture and all of the remaining ingredients (except the cranberries) and stir to evenly coat.
- Cook, while stirring slightly, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the cranberries.
- Spread mixture out on a piece of parchment paper to cool before storing.