Breakfast, Clean Eats, Granola, Healthy, Pumpkin, Vegan, Wheat Free

Pumpkin Spice Granola

September 23, 2014

pumpkinspice

pumpkin spice granola alicia bakeaholic

As soon as fall has officially arrived I’m way too excited to begin baking all things pumpkin. There is no better smell than pumpkin spice – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon – all baked into a warm comforting pumpkin baked good. Pumpkin can be made both sweet and savoury and is so versatile when working with it. 

Fall is one of my most favourite seasons – the colours, cool days, candles, and holidays (Thanksgiving, Halloween) make it even better. 

I had to seriously stop myself from buying any sort of halloween or Fall paraphernalia from the Home Sense store in August. Now that it’s officially Fall, I feel I can let myself Fall fully with no inhibitions. Sorry, Adam. But really, they start bringing out those halloween and thanksgiving decorations in the summer, and by the time the holidays actually roll around all the decor has been packed up and its suddenly Christmas in October. 

Thankfully pumpkin is the ingredient of both halloween, thanksgiving and christmas so we can happily eat it for months. I don’t think I ever get sick of eating pumpkin, I even love adding it to my chili. 

I had actually seen this pumpkin granola recipe in April, when another local Vancouver blogger, Jennifer from Foodess, had posted it – pumpkin goods know no boundaries. I was all for pumpkin in April.

pkmp

I knew I needed to make it come Fall, and It turned out better than my tastebuds imagined. I changed a few things, subbing in brown rice syrup for maple (feel free to use either), adding in pumpkin seeds and cooking it for a little longer, leaving it in the oven, to really crisp up the clusters. I found it was just as crunchy as store-bought, only obviously much better. The spice is perfect, and not overly sweet.

spiced

I loved her idea of storing it in the freezer, it makes for a nice cold bowl of granola and milk, plus it prolongs its shelf life (that is, if you don’t eat it all in a week) – And as she says, most pumpkin granola is actually just ‘pumpkin spice’ with no trace of real pumpkin puree, whereas this recipe uses a whole cup. Feel free to make a half batch.

Happy Fall :)

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Serves 24
Crunchy, spiced pumpkin granola clusters with dried cranberry for added sweetness.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  2. 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  3. 2 tsp ground ginger
  4. ⅓ cup canola oil / coconut oil
  5. ½ cup coconut sugar / brown sugar
  6. ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 5 cups old fashioned large flake oats
  9. 1cups natural almonds - pulsed slightly
  10. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  11. ¼ cup ground flaxseeds or whole
  12. 1-2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, oil, sugar, brown rice syrup and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
  3. Divide mixture between two large baking sheets lined with parchment and bake 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking frequently, until the almonds are golden and toasty and the granola is dry.
  4. Turn off oven and leave baking sheets inside, propping door open slightly. Allow the oven to cool down with granola inside to create dry, crunchy granola.
  5. Remove from oven, sprinkle cranberries overtop and mix in.
  6. Store in airtight containers for up to a week - or freeze in large freezer bag.
Notes
  1. Crunchy granola keeps well in the freezer, remove and eat with cool milk or yogurt.
Adapted from Foodess
Adapted from Foodess
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

Cakes, Loaf

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

September 17, 2014

zuchbread

It rained today – which is a sure sign that autumn is right around the corner. I welcomed the refreshing shower, however it’s still incredibly warm out. Last night the fan was pointed right at me but it was still so warm to sleep. I long for cooler fall days where I don’t have to wait until 8 p.m. to go for a run, when even at that hour its still a warm 20 degrees out. I’m sure I’ll eat my words when it’s truly fall and I’m grudgingly turning on the heat in the house. Of course they will be candles, oh yes. I can already smell the ‘fireside s’mores’ candle that’s been sitting on my shelf waiting to fill our house with its delicious scent. 

I will admit, there are lots of dishes I can’t wait to cook and bake in the fall. Of course there is the usual pumpkin fare; cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, streusel muffins, cupcakes, muffinsice cream, swirl brownies (oh yes), bundt cake, and chili. But I also look forward to all the squash, Zucchini in particular, spaghetti squash, soups and chili’s.

BuzzFeed posted about things all basic girls do in the Fall – and I must admit I do quite a few of them – with the exception of the #PSL phenomenon. I don’t drink coffee, but I think that if I did I’m not sure I would indulge in the pumpkin spice latte craze, or at least I hope I wouldn’t. But I am a sucker for fall and all the things it brings with it. I’m sorry to say I’m already thinking about pumpkin patch visits, thanksgiving and even better, friendsgiving 2.0. Last year’s friendsgiving was full of amazing food and friends, a tradition I hope to carry on for years to come.

I’m also happy to have my cousin move into the neighbourhood! –  just across the street. I think about our family living together, her parents and mine, when they were young and I’m excited to have them living close to us, along with the most adorable little boy who I get to see often. I made them this zucchini bread when they moved in as a welcome to the neighbourhood, and a welcome to fall. 

zuch

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
A moist zucchini loaf cake made with greek yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1/2 cup canola oil
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  9. 2 1/2 cups flour
  10. 3/4 cups dutch process cocoa + extra for dusting 2 tsps espresso powder
  11. 3 cups shredded zucchini
  12. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line and grease a loaf baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder together until creamy. Mix in the canola oil and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in the yogurt, alternating with the flour.
  4. Mix in the cocoa and beat until smooth. Fold the zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into your baking pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Adapted from Use Real Butter
Adapted from Use Real Butter
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Cakes, Wheat Free

Nectarine, Yogurt & Poppy Seed Cake {gluten free}

September 12, 2014

nectarine cake2

 

Happy Friday! It’s been gorgeous sunshine all week long and summer is still going strong. While our neighbours in Alberta are shovelling their driveways after the crazy dump of early September snowfall, we can lay by the pool (which I was doing just yesterday) and soak up the sunshine. 

I haven’t been baking as much this summer because it was so dang hot – and with Adam out of town so often for work it’s hard to keep an entire tray of cookies or cakes around without consuming them completely myself. I’ve been reaching for fresh fruit as a sweet treat on hot days. My favourite summer fruits are blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, and of course nectarines. When it comes to stone fruits the best way to enjoy it is cold from the fridge – I can’t stand mushy fruit – even peaches are better when they’re crisp. 

When you do feel like turning on the oven, I highly suggest folding those end of summer fruits like nectarines into this lemony yogurt poppy seed pound cake – made gluten/wheat free! 

Head on over to Vancity Buzz for the Recipe.