Pumpkin Spice Granola

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After making a few pumpkin recipes that didn’t require much pumpkin, like the Pumpkin Pie Latte and the yummy Pumpkin Pie Magic Bars, I still had some pumpkin to use from the can. So I decided to continue with the Pumpkin theme and try using it in granola! This is a pretty basic recipe as granolas go, with oats, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), chopped pecans, and dried cranberries. And it’s spiced up cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. You can also add in other things like coconut flakes or sunflower seeds if you like. The hulled pumpkin seeds I used were already roasted and lightly salted, which worked really well in this granola. If you use raw hulled pumpkin seeds, you may want to add an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe.

These dry ingredients are coated with a pumpkin-maple-honey-brown sugar coating. With those yummy fall flavors, it’s a great granola to make this time of year! Note: this is a lightly-sweet granola, so if you like yours really sweet, you may want to add an extra Tablespoon or two of brown sugar.

PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA by NancyC

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas–I used roasted and lightly salted pepitas)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet or two 10 x 15″ rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, mix the oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined; set aside.

In medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, honey, oil, and brown sugar until smooth and well blended. Pour over dry ingredients in large bowl and mix until everything is moistened and evenly coated.

Spread evenly onto lined baking sheet or sheets and bake at 325˚F 40 minutes total, stirring the granola after 20 minutes for even baking.

Remove from oven and let granola cool on baking sheets for 20 minutes (the granola will get crunchier as it cools). Transfer granola into a large bowl and stir in the dried cranberries.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serve with yogurt, milk, or eat it plain as a healthy snack!

I really like making pumpkin flavored things this time of year! Have you made any unique pumpkin breakfast dishes this fall?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, and Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

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Zucchini-Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yay for Friday! It has been such a busy week, I am ready for a slower-paced weekend! And speaking of weekends, I wanted to share a recipe I made last weekend–Zucchini-Banana Bars. These bars are so moist and yummy, just as you would expect, with shredded zucchini and mashed bananas in them! And they’re flavored with some of my favorite fall spices, cinnamon and nutmeg (I added a little more spice than the original recipe called for). Not only that, they’re also topped with a thick and creamy Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a great dessert for this time of year, or perfect with a cup of coffee or tea when you’re taking a little break. So go ahead and indulge yourself with these Zucchini-Banana Bars! :)

ZUCCHINI-BANANA BARS with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING by NancyC, adapted from Shugary Sweets

Makes a 9 x 13 pan, about 12-16 servings

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add in egg and vanilla, then stir in mashed bananas and blend everything well.

In medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.

Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-banana mixture in large bowl. Blend well, then fold in zucchini and mix everything well.

Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13″ pan and bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes, or until edges brown and pull from sides.

Let bars cool completely, then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese or light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • optional: Half & Half (light cream) if you want a thinner consistency

In medium size bowl, blend softened cream cheese and softened butter. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this makes a nice thick frosting–if you prefer a thinner consistency, add some Half & Half, or light cream, starting with 1 Tablespoon; then add a little more if needed). Spread evenly over completely cooled bars, then cut and serve. If serving later, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Also refrigerate any bars that are leftover, because of the cream cheese frosting.

These are so good, you just may want to try making them this weekend! :) Will you be having a busy weekend or a relaxing one?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Pumpkin Pie Latte

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I was ready for a nice coffee break last weekend ago and decided to treat myself to a Pumpkin Pie Latte. No, I didn’t go to a coffee shop for my latte–I made it right at home, and it was really good! I substituted honey for sugar and made it slightly differently from the original recipe. If you’ve always wanted to try making your own coffee-shop style coffee drink, you’ll need to try this, especially if you are fond of pumpkin-flavored things!

HahnsCrumbCkAnd if you really want a sweet break, you can have your latte with a yummy piece of coffee cake! I had the opportunity to try some samples of Hahn’s Old Fashioned Crumb Cakes, also known as “a taste of Old New York,” and they were so delicious! Hahn’s is a family-owned and operated business (for over 30 years) and they bake all their cakes fresh every day, delivering within 1 to 2 business days. Their crumb cakes are made with extra-large handmade crumbs that are so yummy and popular you can even purchase a “Bucket of Crumbs” to snack on! If you love coffee cakes, you’ll definitely want to try one of their crumb cakes. I sampled three of them from their variety pack: their Old Fashioned Crumb Cake, Chocolate Crumb Cake, and Raspberry Crumb Cake. They were all wonderfully dense and moist with Hahn’s signature rich, buttery crumbs on top. Since I’m partial to chocolate, I think the Chocolate Crumb Cake was my favorite, but honestly, they are all really good. These cakes would also make great gifts for the holidays–you can order the cakes and have them delivered to friends and family for a special treat!

Now back to the latte–it has a great lightly sweet-and-spicy, creamy pumpkin flavor–not overly sweet or spicy, but just right. I made mine with skim milk, but if you want yours a little richer you can use whole milk. This recipe makes one serving–to make more, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make!

PUMPKIN PIE LATTE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute ground cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup hot brewed Easy Espresso (see recipe below; you can use 1/3 cup if you want a stronger coffee flavor)
  • Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)  for garnish

EASY ESPRESSO (makes enough espresso for 2 lattes)

  • 1/4 cup ground coffee
  • 3/4 cup cold water

Place ground coffee in the filter of a drip coffeemaker. Add water; brew according to manufacturer’s instructions.

In a small saucepan, combine milk and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until steaming (about 3 minutes; do not let the mixture boil). Stir in the honey, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice, continuing to heat for another minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; cover tightly and blend for 15 seconds or until foamy (If you’re making multiple servings, I recommend just filling the blender no more than half full so the hot pumpkin mixture won’t overflow while blending; so you may need to blend several different batches).

Pour espresso into a mug and add the foamy pumpkin/milk mixture. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

I’m no expert at making fancy coffee drinks, so I was so pleased that this latte turned out well! Do you have a favorite special coffee drink you like making?

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner,  Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Apple-Zucchini Bread

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Banana-Zucchini Bread

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