pepita granola

Monday, January 24, 2011
Breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. Dessert is a close second, but breakfast takes the cake.

I go to bed most days thinking about what I'm going to eat the next day for breakfast. Thinking about any other meal just seems strange. Maybe cause there are so many different things I love to have for breakfast or I can't wait to have coffee and eats with the cats? Maybe both, who knows. 

One of my staples for breakfast is oats. Most winter days I love a nice, hot bowl of oatmeal studded with various nuts/seeds/dried fruit with a little bit of sweetness.  This past weekend, I made a bowl with pumpkin seeds and dried apricots and that's where the inspiration for this granola came from. 

If you've never made homemade granola, it is crazy easy and is one of those things if you have a basic recipe you can add in whatever you have in the house. It's a great way to top yogurt and berries, eat with milk or shovel handfuls in your mouth. Whatever floats your boat.

Pepita granola

[ graciously adapted from smitten kitchen ]

Pepita - n. the edible seed of a pumpkin or squash, used in cooking and often dried or toasted and eaten as a snack food.

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup mild honey
pinch cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and make sure oven rack is positioned in the middle.  Stir together all the ingredients other than the dried fruit in a large bowl until well combined. Spread mixture evenly in a large roasting pan or large, shallow baking dish and bake, stirring every 5 minutes for 30 - 35 minutes. Start checking and stirring every few minutes after the 15 minute mark, as it will have a tendency to over brown. My granola was done in 25 minutes.  Transfer pan to cooling rack and let cool, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.  Stir in dried fruit and cool completely. 

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer. Granola will become soft after a few days if it is left at room temperature. Will keep for a few months if left in the freezer, but I doubt it'll last that long. 

Happy breakfast.