Whenever I feel the urge to cook (constantly,) but am lacking inspiration, granola is my go-to. It’s usually in the morning when I’m rummaging through my cabinets and refrigerator deciding what to eat for breakfast. In my pantry, I usually have some combination of grains, seeds and nuts that when paired with the right spices, makes the perfect granola to cure my breakfast cravings and set me up for the day.
Today was no different in terms of my pantry staples: Oats, quinoa, ground flaxseed and pumpkin seeds stacked in clear glass mason jars stared back at me just begging to be toasted with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I usually keep canned pumpkin on hand to use as the binder, but hadn’t made it to the store on this particular day. So, what’s the next best thing? I had cooked some sweet potato the night before and had a VERY ripe banana in the fruit bowl. Done.
Another reason I like granola is because it’s amenable to the complete lack of measurement technique that I usually use. A cup of this, dash of this, scoop of this, voila! I’m trying to get better at writing down more precise recipes, but that’s just not how I cook.
This granola gets a fair amount of sweetness from the banana and sweet potato, but I added a touch of honey to help hold everything together and help enhance that toasty, nutty flavor. If you choose to not consume honey, maple syrup or agave will work just fine.
I love having homemade granola on hand for so many reasons. Oats and quinoa add fiber and plant-protein to help keep you feeling full. Quinoa is also good source of iron, which I’m always trying to add more of being a non-meat eating female. Ground flaxseed contains the most ALA Omega-3 of any whole-food source as well as protein, soluble and insoluble fiber, and pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are a good source of iron, folate and magnesium while contributing to the plant-based protein content. WOW! Talk about a nutrition powerhouse combo.
Keep this on hand for eating all day everyday, because that’s when I eat it and it usually lasts about two days tops. When you make yours, try other add ins like dried fruit, or other combinations of nuts and seeds, and other spices (maybe savory ones, like turmeric!) Comment and tell me what you like to add to your granola!