Recipes often say much about a place and time. And let’s face it, Granola will forever be associated with the hippie generation and a youth movement that placed emphasis on natural foods.
In 10 Superb Granola Recipes, author Rachel Ellner recounts that during the Free Love Era in the 60 and 70s, commune food was to be shared, and granola was made in big batches. It was an expression of wholesomeness, and an alternative to processed ingredients.
The food consciousness of that era has made a reemergence and this book conveniently provides 10 granola recipes that have an emphasis on health and are free of gluten or refined sugar.
The cookbook is succinct and in no way intimidating, concentrating on ingredients that are found in most kitchen cupboards while expanding the granola palette with new flavour combinations. You’ll find granola recipes for cocoa cherry, banana chia coconut, pistachio golden raisin, tahini date and apricot nut, and the classic old fashioned, to name a few.
The book contains some valuable touches such as listing the 10 common kitchen items you will need, offers some tips on the best way to use oats, oils, nuts, seeds and sweeteners, and provides important advice on what to do in case of allergies.
A well researched ode to granola, the book includes a recounting of granola’s 120-year history, a discussion of the hippie influence in its rebirth, and a very informative interview with an award-winning maple syrup producer in New Hampshire.
Pumpkin granola recipe follows.
Enjoy this any time of year. I prefer golden raisins to the typical Thompson variety for this recipe. Their taste contrasts just right with the cranberries and pecans.
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, canola oil, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and maple syrup. Stir until smooth.
- Add oats and sunflower seeds. Mix until all ingredients are coated.
- Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark. Be particularly careful to fold in mixture from the edges so granola bakes evenly.
- After 20 minutes remove from oven. Add golden raisins, cranberries, and pecans and mix well.
- Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until crisp and golden.
- Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in airtight container.
Making pumpkin pie spice
This can be purchased, but it is easy to make. Mix and store:
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3-4 ground cloves (optional)