Anissa’s Cranberry Pumpkin Granola – The Perfect Fall Snack

[New Pi Wellness Lead & Registered Dietician Anissa Bourgeacq knows all about the importance of eating colorful, seasonal food. Enjoy her guest post on granola her kids love to help make! -- Allison]

Anissa's Cranberry Pumpkin Granola - New Pi Eats

It’s October: the days are cooling down, and the leaves are turning into those beautiful shades of orange, yellow, and red. This change always reminds me of the importance of including colorful foods in my meals every day. October also brings chilly football games, back to school activities, and cozy movie nights with family and friends. What better way to eat your fall colors and have a quick, hearty, and healthy snack than granola?

The pumpkin and dried cranberries in this recipe make it seasonal in every sense of the word. What says “October” more than its shining star, the pumpkin? (Don’t forget to roast those Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin seeds!) This granola goes great with yogurt, over warm oatmeal, or straight out of a bowl. Put some in a baggie for a quick snack, while you’re taking the kids to practice, or bring a bowl along to your next tailgate.

Anissa Bourgeacq, RD, New Pioneer Food Co-op Wellness Lead

Anissa Bourgeacq, RD, New Pioneer Food Co-op Wellness Lead

Pumpkin’s orange color means it has high antioxidant content. The puree offers lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which support vision health. Pumpkin also is a source of beta-carotene, which correlates with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s also a powerhouse when it comes to vitamin A, K, and B.

Embrace this October by making a big batch of granola! It’s a perfect start to eating your colors of fall.

Pumpkin Granola

Makes 10 Servings
• Serving Size: ½ cup • Calories: 196 • Fat: 7.2 g • Protein: 4.5 g

½ c. pumpkin puree
2 T. coconut oil, melted
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
¼ c. agave nectar or maple syrup
1 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. ground nutmeg
4 c. rolled oats
¼-½ c. pecans, chopped (optional)
¼-½ c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, mix together pumpkin, oil, vanilla, agave/maple, and spices.

Add pecans and oats, stir to coat well, and spread evenly over two parchment-covered cookie sheets.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until desired crunchiness is achieved, stirring and rotating every 10 minutes.

Cool, then stir in cranberries and store in an airtight container.

Eat Local Week: Daddy-daughter Date Night

We’ll finish out JT’s Eat Local Week now – and look for his re-cap tomorrow!

Katie was with Chance at baseball practice, and Charlie was at Tae Kwon Do, so little Miss Alice and I had the evening to ourselves.

Corn goes over well!

Eating locally is easier for us grown-ups, since we have will-power, and higher levels of rationality that can override our urges to eat habitually, right? But how do we get the kids involved in this great endeavor? (If I ever write my long-postponed book on parenting, one chapter will surely be called ‘The Magic of Low Expectations.’ : ))

I can offer my sweet two-year-old garden-fresh kale salad, or honey-glazed ribs, but to expect her to eat it with gusto would really be deluding myself when her idea of a great meal is gummy bears. (Yes… just gummy bears.) So, I start small. I know she loves corn, and that’s one of tonight’s sides, so we can at least share that together!

The corn is from my garden. The watermelon is from the West Liberty Farmer’s Market. The ribs are from Beeler’s. The peaches are from Missouri (since those pesky squirrels ate the rest of mine!).

The muffins were a fun creation – I used Paul’s 7-grain Flour, Iowa Soy Oil, Bee Plantation Honey (instead of sugar), Kalona SuperNatural Butter, AE Milk, and some garden elderberries for sweetness. They didn’t rise much without baking soda (where WOULD one get that locally??), but the end result was delicious – kind of like the Morning Glory Muffins we make here at the Co-op. And the beer went perfectly with the glazed ribs and sweet fruit. Just a touch bitter (and strong, at 6.9%), even the HOPS in this Madhouse IPA were grown locally! You must try this super-hoppy, rich brew – if you haven’t already.

Breakfast made use of all the extra fruit I still had frozen. Yep, I’ve squirreled-away (just for this ONE week!): elderberries, currants, blueberries, Himrod grapes, aronia berries, strawberries, and raspberries from my garden. And yes, I overestimated how much I would need for this week, so as luck would have it, I have many, many pounds left! And, thus, the smoothie-popsicle Alice is eating!  She ‘really-really’ (as she would say) LOVES popsicles. The real bonus is that even my boys eat them. If he had any idea he was eating such healthy fruit, my picky 7-year-old Charlie would never touch it. (Chapter 28 in JT’s Parenting Book: ‘What they don’t know might actually be good for them’ : )

This, plus some boiled eggs, and last night’s elderberry 7-grain muffins made us a very well-rounded breakfast. The smoothie recipe was easy: AE Milk, Kalona SuperNatural Vanilla Yogurt, and the aforementioned berry blend. Just mix, freeze, & enjoy!


Eat Local Week – Day Two

JT’s Day Two:

To make breakfast easy this week, I purchased enough local yogurts and cereal to last me from Monday through Friday. I don’t have time to cook a big meal for breakfast until the weekends, usually, so something quick and easy has to happen!

I confess that this is the first time I’ve tried Paul’s 7-grain cereal, and I’m sorry I waited so long, because it’s DELICIOUS!!

Local Paul’s 7-Grain Cereal with black currants, hazelnuts, and local Kalona SuperNatural yogurt!

I’m giving up my usual morning oatmeal for this fantastic local creation. I just microwaved it for 2 minutes, then added some yogurt. I like nuts for texture in my morning cereal, so I hoarded the 56 total hazelnuts my two-year old bushes produced last year I’m divvying them up amongst all 7 days of this week.

And – my favorite – black currants, for some vitamin C.  Seriously, if you have any room in your yard, plant some black currant bushes!! At year two, my three bushes gave me four pints of sweet, tart berries that I like even better than blueberries. Yum! 

So, all that plus a glass of milk and a boiled egg from Farmer’s Hen House – and you’ve got a balanced, local, and super-charged way to start your day!!

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