There is pretty much nothing I like more than a breakfast of greek yogurt, fresh fruit (apple season, hooray!), cinnamon and granola. The problem is whenever I go to the grocery store to try and pick up a bag I can never bring myself to buy one–not because they’re too expensive (though they often are) but because they’re almost all loaded with sugar and/or something the label calls “other carbohydrates,” whatever that means. Call me crazy but I like to know exactly what’s in my food.
Last fall, I made a Pumpkin Spice Granola that was super yummy. This time around, I thought I’d give sweet potato a try. I mean, I love it just about every other way–made into a burger, spread on a pizza crust instead of tomato sauce, as a creamy soup, and the list goes on and on!
Sweet potatoes, like all orange veggies, contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer, and beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. Almost all orange whole fruits and veggies may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is great news for all my runners and high-intesity athletes out there whose fitness takes a toll on their joints.
Give it a go! This recipe is pretty easy to make–you just need to hang around since you leave the oven cooking for a while–and economical.
Autumn Spice Granola
What You’ll Need:
-5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
-1 cup raw sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup coconut oil or butter (or combo), melted
-3/4 cup (or half a 15 ounce can) sweet potato puree
-3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
-1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp ground cloves
-Optional: 1 cup dried fruit, 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut and/or 1/2 cup cacao nibs
How to Make It:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, raw sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
3. In a blender, blend together the coconut oil/butter, sweet potato puree, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
4. Pour blender mixture over your dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated
5. Spread the mixture on a lipped baking sheet, pressing it down to evenly cover all the way to the edges.
6. Bake for 1 hour, gently turning the granola with a spatula halfway through. Flip in sections so that you’re sure to keep some tasty clumps. Also make sure you move some of the granola from the edges to the middle and from the middle to the edges about halfway through cooking so that it cooks evenly.
7. After an hour, turn the oven down to 300°F and cook another 15 -25 minutes. You’ll know it is done when it is dry to the touch and piece left to cool on the counter turns crispy. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
If you’re adding dried fruit, coconut or cacao nibs, stir them in while the mix is still cooling.