Pumpkin Spice Granola

Hi my name is Gabby and I’m addicted to pumpkin.  It has been less than 12 hours since my last pumpkin product was consumed. I wish I was kidding….but I’m not. I’ve had something pumpkin flavored every day since Friday. And I have been putting pumpkin pie spice on everything for the past two weeks. If being addicted to pumpkin is wrong, then I never want to be right. Beyond my craving for pumpkin everything, I have found myself craving granola.  Normally, I’m not a big granola fan – I love oats, spice, nuts, and all of that good stuff, just not in granola form. I can hardly remember the last time I actually bought a package of granola let alone had some. But alas, I had some serious granola cravings this weekend.

Store-bought granola wasn’t really an option – there are few that are made with gluten-free oats and those that are safe are often very expensive. So I decided to make my own and combine my love of pumpkin with some healthy, g-free granola. I very rarely plan a recipe days in advanced but this was one exception. I was out of nearly everything that I needed for this recipe so a little Relay Foods planning was required.

Have you heard of Relay Foods?  They are a online grocery service that brings farm fresh (literally) products to Richmond and Charlottesville residents through convenient grocery pick-up and delivery.  I first heard about Relay from a Groupon and have been hooked ever since. They have an awesome selection of goods, including tons of gluten-free products, and are incredibly nice. Their products are the same price as other stores (sometimes even cheaper!) and they eliminate the hassle of having to go to multiple stores to get all of your groceries. If you’re in their delivery or pick-up area, I highly suggest checking them out! P.S. They didn’t ask/pay/bribe/harass me to write this about them. I just genuinely love their company and think that the service they provide is awesome!

This granola recipe doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and takes just a few minutes to whip up.  It tastes like pumpkin pie and is  insanely addictive. And it’s vegan!  I may or may not have eaten a handful straight out of the oven and burned my mouth a bit. I’ll never tell. What I will say is that if you love pumpkin and granola, this will hit the spot on any crisp fall morning. Or cool rainy evening. Actually, it hits the spot any time.

And yes, I have burnt green polka-dot oven mitts. They have character. As does moody, rain and cloud filled natural lighting.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Yields: 8 1/2 cup servings or 16 1/4 cup servings

3.5 cups gluten-free oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tbsp. amaranth, optional (I like amaranth for a little nutritional boost)

1 cup walnuts, chopped

3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or more if you like!)

dash of allspice (clove would work too)

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

4 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I preferred my granola without sugar because I like to control the sugar content myself  and don’t have a big sweet tooth. If you like a sweeter granola, do this! It’s amazing)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Combine all dry ingredients (first five) in a bowl and mix.

3. Combine remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix.  Add the wet to the dry and mix it up so everything is nice and evenly coated.

4. Spread out granola on baking sheets in an even layer. Don’t overload the baking sheet, it needs to be in one layer so it gets nice and toasty.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning granola half-way through. Make sure to rotate your baking sheets every 10 minutes. This helps eliminate hot spots and burnt granola.

6. Let cool on a cooling rack and transfer to a large airtight container.


Vegan Blueberry Power Muffins

The days are growing longer, with the sun lingering late into the evening.  Yet for me , the days seem to pass slower.

Maybe it’s the searing heat (and lovely humidity if you’re in Virginia) that makes my eyelids heavy in the afternoon.  Or maybe it’s the late sunshine drawing me outside instead of into my bed. Or perhaps, it’s even the daydreams of laying on beach sipping on some unnecessarily frothy drink with an umbrella.

Whatever it is, it’s making me drag in the mornings – not the heavy winter drag that makes your body feel like lead – it’s more of a lazy, Sunday morning drag.  The kind of drag where you want to leisurely sip your latte in your yoga pants.  This drag is definitely making it difficult to make breakfast before work – and you don’t want to see me without my breakfast and espresso.  I might bite your head off.

These muffins are the remedy to the summer morning drag.  Do yourself a favor and carve out a half an hour one evening to bake these muffins to have for breakfast this week. They’re light but substantial and bursting with fresh, delicious blueberries.  They are packed with healthy things like flax meal and buckwheat, which is why I’ve called them “power muffins”.  Light, vegan, gluten-free, healthy muffins –  there are few things better.

And is there anything more beautiful than berries bursting out of a muffin?  I don’t think so.

Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Power Muffins

Inspired by Gluten-free Goddess

Yields 12 large muffins

80g almond flour

50g raw buckwheat flour (I take raw buckwheat groats and give them a quick process in a grinder)

140g sorghum flour

50g tapioca starch (or potato starch)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. light olive oil (or other light tasting oil)

4 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp warm water

1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

zest of 1 small lemon

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 pint of fresh blueberries

Oat Topping: 3 Tbsp. gluten-free oats + 3 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin tin with muffin cups!

1. Mix together all dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder)  until combined.  Add sugar and mix to incorporate.

2. Mix together wet ingredients (flax meal with water, oil, almond milk, vanilla extract) in a separate bowl. Add in lemon zest and lemon juice and combine.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in three batches, mixing thoroughly between batches.

4. Gently stir in your fresh blueberries.  Fold the batter around the berries gently so you don’t end up with smurf muffins, but if you do, they will still be delicious.

5. Gently fill muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full.

6. Mix up the oat topping if using and sprinkle over muffins.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

8. Move muffins from tins to a cooling rack ASAP – soggy muffins are no fun. Let cool until you just can’t take it anymore.

Overnight Oats

If you check out my Daily Eats section, you have probably seen me mention Overnight Oats.  They are one of my absolute favorite things to have for breakfast and are perfect for during the week when I want to sleep in as long as possible.

I first heard of Overnight Oats from Angela over at Oh She Glows. She is forever posting delicious looking breakfasts treats and I knew I had to get in on the action. Overnight Oats are so easy, they don’t really need a recipe.  They may look a little strange, but I am betting you will become addicted to them. Quickly.

This morning I was inspired by the amazing strawberries that we found at the first farmer’s market yesterday.  I mean, seriously, could they be any more gorgeous?

I wish computer screens were scratch and sniff.

You can add anything you want to your oats – in this bowl , I have a blob of homemade chunky cashew butter and strawberries. I prefer my oats to be a bit liquidy, but add less milk if you want a hearty bowl. Play around and see what you like.

Overnight Oats

inspired by Oh She Glows

1/3-1/2 cup g-free rolled oats (depending on how much you want)

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

2/3 cup coconut milk (or any dairy or non-dairy milk you like! Also, you can add less or more milk depending on the consistency you like. I prefer mine a bit more liquidy).

1 tablespoon honey


1. The night before: Mix together oats, ground flax seed and milk in a container or bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

2. The next morning: Stir oats around, add 1 tablespoon of honey, and any toppings or add-ins that you desire!

Snack Time: Gluten-Free Nola Bars

I’m a snack fiend. It’s true. I love crunchy snacks – during my undergraduate career, one of my roommates and I lived off of popcorn during finals time. I love fruity snacks, salty snacks…basically I’m non-discriminatory towards all snack products.  What I don’t like? Snacks that have more ingredients than a pizza and ingredients that I can’t pronounced.  That’s why I decided to take charge of my snacking and decided to make my own.

I love little portable delicious bites that I can take to work or put in bag for a pre or post workout snack.  I think it may have something to do with my obsession of all things small. Weird? Yes. But true. My fiance loves easy ready-made snacks as well. We both love bars, so it only seemed natural to start making our own.

After doing some serious internet research and making a few attempts, I think I finally found a granola bar recipe that is fool-proof.  This recipe is more a template – a guideline if you will.  They are super easy to make and you can make a different version everytime.

Simple, delicious, and healthy. Yum.

Gluten-free Granola Bars

This recipe is more of a template. Feel free to use any dried fruit, nuts, and other add-ins that you like!

Also, you can make this recipe as sweet or not-sweet as you like – simply adjust the amount of honey or other sweetener.

2 cups oatmeal, gluten-free

1 1/2 cups almond meal *

1/2 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit, processed or chopped

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup coarsely ground/chopped hazelnuts or other nut of choice

honey to taste

pinch of salt

approx. 1/3 cup water – this will vary greatly

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line your baking pan with parchment or a silicon baking sheet (I used a large cake pan, but feel free to use a jelly roll pan, brownie pan, or whatever pan you would like!).

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except honey and water.

* I made my own almond meal, however it is available at most stores.  You can make any type of nut flour by placing nuts in food processor (for almonds – blanched and slivered, for others just make sure the skins are removed) and pulse until it reaches desired consistency.  Don’t turn the processor on full force, or you will end up with nut butter (which is also delicious!). Store in the fridge and enjoy.

3. Add your desired amount of honey or other liquid sweetener and stir to combine.

4. Add water sparingly until the mixture is moist and holds together when squeezed. Add the water slowly as you don’t want the mixture to be too wet.

5. Pour the mixture into the pan and firmly press down into the pan.  Really press down and make sure it is all compacted.

6. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars into your desired shape.

7. Pop the bars in the oven for around 25 minutes until the bars are golden brown.

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