I still cannot bring myself to cut open my perfect fall pumpkin. But I wanted to share a pumpkin recipe this week, so I caved in and bought my first can of pumpkin puree of the season. Thankfully, this granola is oh so worth it!
I do not even remember the last time I bought a box of cereal. I have gotten so used to making my own, usually muesli, oatmeal, or granola. My fridge has a designated space for my designated cereal jar, and some recipes have thankfully lasted me a few weeks for quick morning meals in between traveling. This recipe will definitely not make it through next week. It is full of spicy, crunchy, seedy goodness. With just a touch of sweetness. I love to eat it straight up, with banana slices and a bit of almond milk. You could also sprinkle a tablespoon on top of a Sweet Potato Spice Smoothie bowl. Give a little crunch to a salad. Or sneak a handful straight from the jar.
Pumpkin Hazelnut Granola
- 1 1/2 c rolled oats
- 1/2 c sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 c shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 T agave nectar
- 3 T coconut oil
- 1/2 c pumpkin puree
- 1/2 c goji berries
- 1/4 c cacao nibs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, seeds, nuts, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine agave, oil, and pumpkin in a separate bowl. Mix well and add to oat mixture. Stir until everything is coated.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Stir in goji berries and cacao nibs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Per serving (1/2 c): 413 kcal, 36 g carbs, 27 g fat, 11 g protein, 130 mg sodium, 12 g sugar
As soon as September 1st comes along, all anyone can talk about is pumpkin. I am usually on this bandwagon as soon as I spot canned pumpkin in the baking aisle of the grocery store. But this year it was there in July. And moving back to Texas has made me not quite ready for fall foods yet. It’s still 90 degrees here. Not the best time to be making oatmeal and chili and cornbread full of pumpkin.
But then I got a perfect, orange surprise in my CSA delivery last week. It’s almost too pretty to want to eat. So as it is currently sitting and decorating my table, I’ve been pondering the best way to use it.
While most of us think of pumpkin as a pretty, fall decoration or a canned staple, it has plenty of nutrition in either form. As a member of the squash family, it is loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of plant-based iron and protein.
The beta carotene found in pumpkin (and other orange veggies) converts to Vitamin A in the body, which benefits vision and keep eyesight sharp. Some studies have also shown beta carotene to have cancer fighting properties.
One cup of pumpkin has over 7 grams of fiber and 10% DV of potassium, which aid in regulating digestion and preventing GI issues. The iron found in the seeds is better digested when combined with the vitamin C found in the orange flesh, providing a key source of non-heme (plant-based) iron that helps to strengthening the immune system.
Pumpkin can be used in many forms. Fresh pumpkin can be roasted or pureed. Canned pumpkin adds easy flavor to baked goods. Pumpkin seeds can be toasted and added to salads, smoothies, or enjoyed as a crunchy snack. Here are only a few of my staple pumpkin recipes to enjoy this fall:
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I’ve had three cans of pumpkin sitting in my pantry since last fall, just waiting to be used. I caved in and made a batch of my pumpkin chip cookies, but experimented with gluten-free flour to make them wheat-free. What I got was a fluffy and moist doughnut in cookie form. Next up is figuring out how to actually make doughnuts – I’ve got a rough plan, so we’ll see how that goes.
Pumpkin recipes never use the whole can of pumpkin, so after the cookie experiment I had half a cup sitting in the fridge needing to be used up. I didn’t want to bake anything else, and since it was really warm this weekend, I thought I’d make something frosty. I played around with the basic structure of my daily Thrive smoothies and ended up with a delicious, thick and creamy smoothie that is both a perfect indulgent dessert or healthy breakfast. The husband has been asking for them regularly ever since!
Pumpkin Chai Protein Smoothie
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1 medjool date, pit removed
1 scoop Vega One vanilla chai protein powder
1/2 c pureed pumpkin
1 banana, frozen
1 c ice
Add all ingredients to blender, in order. Blend until smooth.
Split into two glasses and share with a favorite friend.
Copyright 2016 Neat & Nutritious.
Per serving: 321 calories, 41 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 23 g protein, 183 mg sodium, 19 g sugar