How is your weekend going so far?
I am so grateful for the wind down from another extraordinarily hectic week, but more than anything I’m excited about being reunited with one of these:
Sorry mini-chop, you don’t always fit the bill!
It’s a Cuisinart 9-cup I found on Amazon, which I had the pleasure of using for the first time today.
It worked beautifully for making a creamy hummus and shredding red cabbage, which will be my second batch of homemade sauerkraut to be enjoyed in another two weeks. It came with lots of nifty-looking attachments, but I have yet to read the owner’s manual. It has two sizes of “mouths,” one small for drizzling oils and such, and one very large, which was great since I only had to cut my cabbage into eighths before shredding.
In other news, I feel like I am regaining at least 2% more control over my life. There are few things more frustrating to me personally than being so busy that you don’t feel like you can take good care of yourself. This week was a win for gym attendance, but a fail for recipe writing (and sharing with you) and horn practicing. It feels like I need to slowly reincorporate all the parts of my life back into my day or else I will get so stressed out that I need to take a mental health holiday or five. Slowly but surely I am relearning how to do the things required of me and the things I really want to be doing within each 24 hours.
Now, I’ve been eating a whole lot of these:
Baby spinach, carrots, cucumbers, red bell peppers, avocado, sliced apples, wheatberries, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, torn nori sheets, and my favorite salad dressing of all time.
Thus, I needed to balance out such occurrences as eating salads for more than one meal for several days straight. I make a mean salad, but today I needed to wear a jacket outside. Thus, this granola was born to invoke the comforting warm fuzzies of autumn flavors- pumpkin, of course, cinnamon, sweet brown sugar, toasty pecans, and zesty cranberries. This recipe has to be reminiscent of at least one favorite holiday dessert, if not several!
Vegan, Gluten-Free if using GF oats
Makes about 6 cups
60 minutes (15 prep, 45 cook)
- 4 c rolled oats
- 2/3 c roughly chopped pecans
- 2/3 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 c sesame seeds
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 3/4 c pumpkin
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 c dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine all your dry ingredients except for the cranberries, using a whisk. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together all the wet ingredients except for the vanilla extract. Bring to a low simmer, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and combine well. It takes a few minutes! If it’s not too hot, your hands will be your most effective tool. Otherwise, just be patient and use a spatula. Distribute one half of the granola over each baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring once at 15 minutes and again at 30. Once it has finished cooking, allow to cool for best crunch, then fold in the cranberries. Serve with vanilla milk or enjoy as a wonderful fall snack.
How do you take a step back when life is asking too much of you? Is there a certain part of your self-care routine you’d never give up, even for a day? What is most important for you to accomplish within your day? For me, the food is most important. I can skip a day or two of going to the gym and still feel okay (more than that is pushing it though), but if I eat poorly-too much gluten or processed foods-things get bad for me fast!
Take care and see you tomorrow from an audition in New Jersey!