Ayurvedic-Spiced Pumpkin Granola

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So let’s discuss the fact that I haven’t written a new post in a week—as in seven days without offering you, dear readers, a new recipe, restaurant review, COK internship update, or philosophical musing on the ethics of eating animals. Let’s discuss the fact that between my daily 9:00-4:00 stint as a tireless non-profit worker and my almost nightly moonlighting as a yogi, my role as a blogger has unfortunately experienced a bit of neglect. Let’s discuss the fact that, far from complaining about this busyness, I’m perpetually reveling in my fortune of spending the summer spreading the message of universal compassion, practicing yoga at an activist-driven studio, sampling the best vegan cuisine DC has to offer, and experimenting with farmers’ market produce in the kitchen…but not really so much blogging.

This will change.

Employing my magical blogging powers (or a humble process known as “Writing Your Posts in Advance Over the Weekend When You Actually Have Spare Time”), I fully intend to restore Farmers Market Vegan back to its’ usual thrice-weekly posting status during my DC summer. The upcoming posts that you can expect to grace your computer screen include a review of the community gathering place/bookstore/art gallery/poetry slam venue/super vegan-friendly restaurant Busboys and Poets, a glimpse into DC’s farmers’ market scene, a recounting of the revelation I experienced from reading “Vegan for Life,” and my newly formed meaning of “Farmers Market Vegan.”

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Today, however, I’d like to introduce you to the third batch of granola I’ve concocted whilst in DC—one whose complexity and uniqueness earns a well-deserved spot alongside my other unorthodox cereal recipes, such as my Berry Lemongrass Granola with Coconut and Cashews, Chocolate Kale Granola, and Sweet Corn Thyme Granola. Discovering an absence of crunchy clustery smoothie toppings from my refrigerator this morning, I hopped on over to the pantry to find a can of pumpkin puree and a bag of dried apricots, for both of which I yet had no future plans. Recalling my beloved “Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen” cookbook that I sadly left in storage over the summer, I decided to combine these two ingredients with an amalgamation of warming spices to create a grounding granola that would balance out the hectic feelings of the past week.

According to ayurveda, since I harbor a pitta dosha (aka body type), I can easily become controlling, judgmental, impatient, and argumentative if overstimulated, as I have been since commencing my whirlwind of a summer in DC. In order to rekindle balance within my emotional and physical self, I should consume sweet, bitter, and astringent foods, all of which I implemented in this golden granola. For example, apricots, pumpkin, oats, buckwheat, cardamom, cinnamon, and walnuts all fall under the sweet category; walnuts and turmeric offer astringency; and cinnamon and turmeric provide bitterness. In addition, ayurveda highly recommends that to maintain balance, pitta types should regularly consume all of the spices that I’ve included in this granola. Basically, if I don’t feel the frenziedness fleeing from my body after eating a spoonful of this granola, I’ll immediately lose hope of all notions of ayurvedic healing…except how could I when they inspired such a nourishing, comforting, and vibrantly hued breakfast treat? A cluster of this granola reminds me of an Indian-spiced pumpkin pie. Man, Ayurveda is scrumptious.

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Ayruvedic-Spiced Pumpkin GranolaSoy Free, Oil Free, Low Sodium.

Makes about 6 cups.

Ingredients:

10 dried apricots, chopped
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade, can also used sweet potato or squash puree)
1 tbsp almond butter
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric
4-6 tbsp water or plant-based milk
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
2/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 315°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the chopped dried apricots in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and microwave for 1 minute. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until soft.

In a food processor or blender, combine the soaked apricots, pumpkin puree, almond butter, orange juice, and spices. Process until well-combined, adding the water or milk as needed to achieve a smooth consistency.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat, flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, almonds, and walnuts. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well-coated.

Divide the mixture in half and spread each half out over your prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, stir the granola and rotate the pans in the oven, and bake for another 15 minutes until golden-brown and crunchy.

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Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekend, and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

Until next time, Ali.

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