The change of seasons, from free-spirited summer months to cozy autumn days, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The change is not only evident in the vivid colored trees that line the streets and the leaves that crunch under foot, but I'm also feeling it on the inside. I'm ready for something new. I'm ready to leave the old behind, pick up everything, and go. I'm ready to run with open arms to the new opportunities that are just around the corner. It's so exciting.
While I'd surely rather be boarding an airplane and getting on my way to some faraway country, I don't think that will be happening anytime soon (but hey, you never know :)). Since coming home from our time in Africa, I've realized a seed has been planted inside of me that doesn't want to stay in one place for too long. As I go to new places, the seed grows, begins to sprout, and turns into full-on addiction that's begging to be fed. And the only way that will happen is if I go somewhere new, somewhere I'm not used to, and emerge my self in the culture and new surroundings. Mmm, that just sounds glorious.
While I wait for these opportunities to present themselves, I'll be cuddling in bed with endless cups of tea, fuzzy socks, my knitting project, and bowls of pumpkin granola. YES. Pumpkin granola. This is real life, guys. Typically, I'm a purist when it comes to granola. Give me the basics, and I'm happy. But since I was away from my beloved pumpkin for three years, let's just say we're making up for lost time. I can't even explain this granola except for it tastes like autumn in a bowl. Pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cozy spices, chopped pecans, and sweet raisins make for one glorious breakfast.
You'll never regret adding pumpkin to your granola, I promise.
Comfort zones are overrated anyways.
spiced pumpkin pecan granola
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tbsp. pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 1/2 c. oats
2/3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. raw pecans, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together until smooth.
3. Add oats and spices. Stir until evenly combined.
4. Gently fold in chopped pecans and raisins. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, jar, or plastic bag.