We take all seasons pretty seriously in our household, but one thing's for certain: when it comes to fall we don't mess around. If there's a leaf to rake, a pumpkin to roast, a fire to build, or a soup to simmer, we're all over it. This year was no different. We woke up on the Autumn Equinox with vim and vigor and made our way to Bob's Red Mill early before work to stock up on some dry goods for the coming season, as we do on the solstices and equinoxes each year.
One thing we always grab is gluten-free old-fashioned oats. Oats are an affordable and filling source of fiber and protein which also provide added health benefits like boosting our immune systems with beta-glucans.
Anyway, after vacillating for years on whether to buy or make granola (for Judith) or muesli (for Evan), we've finally gotten into a rhythm of baking our own batches every few weeks—and take a few seasonal liberties in the process.
Most recently we put together an autumn-themed batch and topped it with the last of our calendula flowers from the garden. We love the warming effect from the spices and the golden color the oats take on from the turmeric.
Happy fall, everyone!
SPICY GRANOLA WITH DRIED CALENDULA BLOSSOMS
4 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw chopped pecans
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 pinches of salt, divided
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted butter, sunflower, or avocado oil will also work here)
Optional: 5 calendula flowers, petals plucked and dried in a warm oven or dehydrator.
Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spread the pumpkin seeds, pecans, and sunflower seeds evenly over one baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven for 10 minutes (I just listen for the pumpkin seeds to start popping, then I know it's time to take them out).
Meanwhile, combine the oats, spices, and other pinch of salt in a medium size mixing bowl.
In a mixing bowl with a spout, mix the maple syrup and coconut oil, then pour the wet ingredients over the oats and stir together until they're thoroughly coated. Spread the oat mixture onto the other baking sheet and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Immediately transfer baked oats to a mixing bowl. Pour in the toasted nuts/seeds and stir to combine. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid for freshness.
When you're ready to eat your spicy granola, and if you're feeling extra fancy, top with calendula blossoms, hemp hearts, and/or golden raisins.