October 26, 2011

Crunchy Pumpkin Granola

This post is for my mom.

My mom loves to eat!  Actually, her whole family loves to eat.  It is in the blood!  Never, and I mean never, can you plan a Rives get-together without lots of yummy food (not that I'm complaining!).  But let's get back to the post at hand...

My mom loves to eat!  She "grazes" all day long, and she always has snacks on hand.  One of the foods my mom loves is granola.  I think she like the crunch...or maybe it is the salty sweetness that comes with nut-infused, honey-toasted granola.  In the end, I'm not sure exactly what about granola she loves.  But then again, what's not to love?!

So, just the other day, I decided to throw together a uniquely fall granola recipe.  I hope that my mom is able to make this granola in her kitchen back home in Alabama.  And when she does, I hope she thinks of me and remembers just how much I love her.

Crunchy Pumpkin Granola
Serves 2-4 (2 large breakfast servings, or 4 snack servings)

1 C oats
1/4 C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 T chia seeds (or other seeds)
4 T mixed nuts
pinch of salt
1/2  heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 T ground flax seeds
2 T brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
1 T honey
1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses* (see note below)
3 T pumpkin puree
1 tsp butter extract
1/2 T grapeseed oil (or other subtle oil, like canola or coconut)

*  Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Also, and particularly important for vegans such as myself, blackstrap molasses is a good source of vitamin B6 and selenium.

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix all of your dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix all of your wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spread granola in a single layer onto a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes to ensure the mixture bakes evenly.
  7. Remove when oats begin to brown slightly.
  8. Allow to cool completely before storing in tupperware. 

I am a little ashamed to say that Bo and I have already devoured every last oat of this granola!  Yes, it was that good!  Although it is still in the 90's (and above!) here in Corpus Christi, this granola made it feel just a little bit more like fall around here.  Now, if it would only get cool enough for us to enjoy that gumbo I have pre-made in the freezer...

In other news, I am now a part-time amphibian!

Hehehe...Bo calls these my frog shoes :)  Actually, they are called Vibram FiveFingers and you might have seen them around.  Here is a basic description from the official Vibram website:

Bramani and Fliri[, founders of Vibram,] developed the first shoes then showed the concept to Vibram USA president & CEO, Tony Post. As a former collegiate runner, Post quickly became a firm believer in the benefits of natural running and fitness training. He discovered that Vibram FiveFingers were the unique solution to the knee pain and soreness he was experiencing when running.

Soon, they collaborated with the full Vibram team to position Vibram FiveFingers® as a performance product for running, fitness and outdoor sports. FiveFingers not only encouraged a more natural forefoot strike during running, but also allowed the foot to move and work in a completely natural way, while providing grip and protection over a variety of surfaces.

What's even better about my Vibrams is that I got them for FREE! 

For the past several weeks I had been talking about purchasing Vibrams once my current walking shoes wore out.  At this past weekend's yoga retreat, our hostess allowed me to try on her pair, and when they fit me perfectly, she gave them to me!  I couldn't believe it!  Not only that, but they were the exact color and style I had been dreaming about.  Too cool!

It just goes to show you: God listens to our words, our wishes, and our desires; and he responds in unexpected and beautiful ways!

Tomorrow - maybe I will finally get that ice cream recipe out to you!  I know I keep saying that, but trust me, it is worth waiting for...

Question of the Day:

Has God ever unexpectedly given you something you asked for (perhaps without you even noticing you had asked for it in the first place)?

Ally and Bo


  1. God is very generous with me. My job is fulfilling in every way. I hesitate to say I didn't expect that, but I am beyond happy at this blessing. On a more personal note, God also gave me lifelong friends when I thought my move to DC would be lonely. :)

  2. Emily - lifelong friends are the best! I am so happy to count you as one of them.