Rocky Mountain pumpkin pie granola

DSC04063 Although granola is obviously a beautiful candidate for lightweight, compact energy during travel and camping, I find store-bought options a little pricier and sweeter than ideal. This unusual consortium of pumpkin and oats is named for a cross-province Greyhound trip last weekend.While busing to Alberta for a friend’s wedding this past summer, I got to see the Rocky Mountains for the first time. The experience of being dizzied by the view from my window made me conscious of how entrenched I had become in my mental-geographic bubble.

Elk!

Several hours before eating the granola from this recipe, I was rudely awoken at dawn in Jasper, BC and dragged off the bus without explanation. Peering through the darkness with bleary eyes, I finally saw a gang of elk on a boulevard in the middle of town! This particular fellow was actually photographed in Waterton, Alta.

There are so many parts of BC alone that I haven’t visited, and I subscribe to the nostalgic belief that wilderness exploration could play some sort of pivotal role in my self-actualization. When I unconsciously assume that I won’t be surprised by something I know quite well, I like being disoriented when I realize how little I really knew about a person or place’s capacity to amaze.

Musical inspiration: k.d. lang circa 1984.

RockyMountains

View from the bus window.

Rocky Mountain pumpkin pie granola

Makes approximately 5 servings.

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (+/- 1/4 cup, depending on your sweetness preferences.)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 cup mixed walnuts and sliced almonds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 star anise, 2 cardamom pods and 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Powder the whole spices in a coffee grinder or using a mortar and pestle. In a large bowl, sift the spices through the oats, and then thoroughly stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, oil, molasses, nuts, seeds, coconut and vanilla. Spread thinly onto two greased cookie sheets and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add the cranberries and raisins and serve with soy yogurt or a non-dairy milk.

DSC04067

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