Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Return of the… Granola? July 15, 2014

We’ll return to that unusual theme in a second. (I’ll also tell you why I bought a can of pumpkin in the middle of July.)  First, I wanted to tell you about Krispy Kreme’s latest flavors.  For a limited time they are offering two new flavors.  The first is a banana pudding doughnut: a yeast doughnut filled with a banana cream filling and topped with a yellow icing and vanilla wafer crumbs.  The other doughnut is carrot cake:  a cake doughnut flavored with carrots and spices and topped with a cream cheese icing (yum!).  Those sound like some pretty convincing reasons to take a trip to Krispy Kreme.

While my husband’s been on night shift, our eating schedule has been very mixed up.  We’ve both been a lot more prone to snacking, so I’ve been trying to make sure that we have a lot of healthy snack options to keep us full.  One of the options I’ve been trying to stock is granola.  (Still don’t understand the title?  Just wait, it’s coming.)  It’s a nice chewy treat that can be both savory and sweet.  The first granola recipe I want to share is probably the easiest granola I’ve ever made.  It uses just 5 basic pantry ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make (including cook time).  This granola is really basic, but you could always add in extra flavors.  It doesn’t make a ton of granola, but that’s probably for the best since it’s kind of addictive.

Peanut Butter Granola (from Table for Two)

4 tbsp. peanut butter

4 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. old-fashioned oats

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment (or a silpat).  In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey.  Nuke them 30-45 seconds or til melted.  Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon, then add in the oats and stir til well coated.

2. Spread in the pan and bake 15 minutes or til golden brown.  (The granola will harden as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems a little soft when you take it out.)

Peanut Butter GranolaPeanut Butter Granola 2

Now we come to the explanation for today’s title.  It’s been 3 months, but I’m finally getting back to the movie and recipe series.  This time, I watched a classic Disney movie and one of my favorites, Cinderella.  (See a very old trailer here.)  The movie follows the main points of the classic fairy tale, but it also adds a lot of personality with all of the animal friends.  (Who doesn’t love those adorable and hilarious mice and birds?)  And of course there’s the music, so many of the songs are still well-known and well-loved by both kids and adults.  (My favorite is A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.)  Though I adore the whole movie, I think my favorite scene is when the mice are gathering materials for Cinderella’s dress, and they have to outwit the cat, Lucifer.

At first, I wasn’t sure what I could possibly make to go along with the movie:  something French? something about mice? 😛 (The mice thing was actually the hubby’s suggestion.)  Then I got to the fairy godmother scene, and it clicked.  Pumpkin!  I’d make something with pumpkin.  Then I had to argue with myself.  Pumpkin?  In July?  If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably realize that I have some weird quirks concerning food, most notably, that I relegate some foods to certain seasons.  In our 90+ degree weather, pumpkin bread (a favorite fall treat) just didn’t appeal to me.  Not wanting to give up, I looked through my ingredient index and found this tasty granola that uses pumpkin puree in place of oil.  Then I made it.  And now I’m sharing it with you!

Though this granola has pumpkin and pumpkin spice in it, it wasn’t so overpowering that I would insist it be limited to autumnal use.  This is a pretty healthy granola, and I like how it has a lot of different textures and flavors.  Like the peanut butter granola, this is easy to whip together and fairly fast too.

Pumpkin Spice Granola (from Healthy Food for Living)

1 1/2 c. rolled oats

1 1/2 c. puffed rice cereal (I used a plain puffed brown rice that didn’t have any added sugar.  I’m sure you could use regular rice krispies too.)

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (If, like me, you refuse to pay $5 for a tiny container that holds a mix of spices you probably already have on hand, you can make your own.  I used 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and 1/8 tsp. each of allspice and nutmeg.)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 tbsp. applesauce

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 c. chopped nuts or seeds (I used 1/4 c. each of pecans, walnuts, and pistachios.)

1/2 c. dried fruit (I used 1/4 c. each of craisins and chopped dried cherries.)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment.  Put the oats and rice puffs in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin pie spice, salt, brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Whisk together til very smooth.

3. Pour the pumpkin mix over the oat mix and stir til evenly coated.  Spread on the cookie sheet.

4. Bake 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and stir in the nuts.  Return to the oven and bake 15 more minutes or til golden brown and crisp.

5. Once the granola is cooked, toss it with the dried fruit, and let it cool completely.

Pumpkin Spice GranolaPumpkin Spice Granola 2  (I really love the added color from the pistachios and craisins.)

So, does the title make more sense now?

Unfortunately, I still don’t have any eye-catching recipes to share (Come on, bloggers, catch my attention with something decadent!), but I did want to share a few pics.  Let’s start with an update on my garden.

7-9 Alive 2  The basil and chives are both doing great.

7-9 Alive 3  The spiny succulents are growing flowers and the other is growing some new leaves.

7-9 Alive  The mint has also continued to grow and thrive.

This last picture comes from my photo a day challenge.  It’s captioned torn.

7-15 Torn  Which one should I eat first?


2 Responses to “Return of the… Granola?”

  1. Raye Says:

    Ooooo…… fruit-aholic pretty much describes me. In the interest of fairness, I vote you chop the nectarines, halve the cherries and mix them together in a bowl with the blueberries and eat the whole thing with a spoon. Why give preferential treatment to any one of them? 🙂

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