If you asked me what my favourite breakfast food was, chances are the answer would change on a day to day basis. Some days it might be chocolate porridge, some days eggs in pots and others just toast and jam. Breakfast food is generally just excellent and beats lunch and dinner hands down (brunch comes a close second).
I told you I got 4 bakes out of 1 pumpkin and that did include the seeds. I hate to waste food so I was really pleased when I found a way to use up the seeds I scooped out. To clean the seeds just place them in a bowl of lukewarm water, leave for a few minutes then rinse in a colander. You'll need to sift through the seeds to make sure you haven't missed any pumpkin fibres but it's worth it. I chose not to spend hours shelling the pumpkin seeds, and you really don't need to for this, they'll become crispy and lovely in the oven.
Forgive me for throwing maple syrup in with everything pumpkin but it goes so perfectly with the mix of spices and the oats. I like to sprinkle the granola over some low fat vanilla yoghurt and chopped banana. If I can make breakfast feel special, even just by using home made granola or adding squares of chocolate to porridge, it makes the day start a little bit better.
If you are in the Staffordshire area on Sunday please drop by The George Hotel in Burslem for the 3rd Ballroom Boutique. It's a lovely vintage and crafts fair and I will be doing a cake stall. I love it when I get to do fairs like this because it means a whole day of baking the day before. I like planning what to put on the stand although I always want to make too much and have to restrain myself.
These pictures might look like I live in some gloriously sunny part of Britain (is there such a place?!) but I definitely don't. Saturday morning just happened to be very bright but still very chilly so I was trying to snap photos quickly whilst the balcony door was open so I could get the best light. We've had frost on the ground this week, I boldly strolled out the door Monday morning to walk to work and stopped suddenly when I saw frost. I'm terrible on icy ground (and I know we're nowhere near icy really), I'm like Bambi. I'm so terrified of falling over that I'll only walk by moving my feet about an inch at a time. I'm a total wimp as soon as the ground ices over. Last December I went flying in the car park by our flat on a patch of black ice and I've had a bad back ever since, so you can see why I'm a little over cautious.
Maple Pumpkin Seed Granola
(adapted from The Tart Tart)
80g flaked almonds
80g pumpkin seeds (I got 80g from one medium pumpkin)
100g dried cranberries
150ml maple syrup
100ml extra virgin olive oil
60g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F. In a large bowl mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and spices.
- Spread the mixture out evenly onto a rimmed oven tray and bake for 45 minutes. Stir the mix every 10 minutes until golden brown and toasted.
- Pour the granola into a bowl and then add the raisins and dried cranberries. Once cool store in an airtight jar.
If stored well the granola will keep for a while, provided you can stop yourself from eating it for 3 meals a day. It can be adapted with whatever ingredients you like really. I'm going to make another batch by adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in before baking and then some chopped dark chocolate after it has cooled. Nick is a big fan of chocolate granola so I think he will be pretty happy with a jar of that. If you know someone who loves granola, it would be a lovely idea to give them a jar for Christmas.