Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and… a Secret Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar!

Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and... a Secret Ingredient!Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and... a Secret Ingredient!Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and... a Secret Ingredient!It’s almost as if I forget about granola.  I get so caught up in scrambles, hashes, and sautés that it’s not something I include on a daily basis.  On the rare occasion in early February, after a few snowfalls and a layer of cold wetness has covered any sign of life on the ground, I get a short and somewhat small hankering for cooked oatmeal – the hot, creamy kind that begs for a spoonful of peanut or almond butter.

But, December?  In California?  I’d honestly rather have some sort of sautéed kale and soup.  It just seems necessary for this region.  Warm oatmeal belongs in cold, winter mornings in New Hampshire.

As we discussed future menu plans for the week, my husband made a breakfast request.  Cereal.

He loves cereal and milk.  And, because I don’t like the intermingling relationship of cereal and milk and how it quickly turns to mush and slop in my mind (it’s irrational, I know) – I don’t necessarily revert to “Cereal and milk” plans for breakfast.  Ever.  It’s gross.

But, my wonderful husband wanted cereal.  And so, being the frugal yuppies that we are (living in San Francisco and eating sprouts!), I made some granola.  I didn’t have any sprouted seeds, and instead – used a bag of toasted sunflower seeds my father-in-law gave us, but if you have some – by all means, use them! Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and... a Secret Ingredient!Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and... a Secret Ingredient!The addition of vinegar to granola may initially appear odd, however – along with the almond butter, it helps to add a richer flavor to the granola than just that of honey and the subtle touch of coconut oil.

Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup raw (or – toasted) sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (also known as: Pumpkin seeds)
2 cups rolled oats (Gluten free, if needed)
sprinkling of salt, to taste
handful raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.

Place coconut oil, honey, and almond butter in a large mixing bowl and microwave until softened, then stir until combined.  Alternatively: place first three ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until melted through.  Then, place in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in ground cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, and pepitas until coated and combined.  Stir in rolled oats until evenly and thoroughly coated.  Sprinkle with salt (to taste), and stir *again*.  Last time, I promise.

Grease a baking sheet with additional coconut oil or line with parchment paper.  Transfer “raw” granola mixture to baking sheet, spreading out to form a thin, even layer on the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges of granola mixture are lightly browned.  Remove from oven, turn off heat setting, stir granola mixture thoroughly, and spread granola back onto pan until an even, thin, layer is formed.  Place in oven (with heat setting turned off), close oven door, and allow to sit in slightly warmed oven for 10-15 minutes, to continue drying granola.  Remove from oven and allow to cool until crunchy/crispy and not soft.

Makes: around 4-6 cups, depending on how much you breakdown the granola.

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2 thoughts on “Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Granola with Raisins and… a Secret Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar!

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