"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year and for good reason. It showcases the captivating hues of the leaves, crisp mornings and warm, comfy sweaters. It's the perfect time for pumpkin and apple picking, football games and bonfires. Fall is the ideal time for culinary masterpieces; the flavors of fall are easy to add to any recipe and are spectacularly comforting & delicious.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Besides the multitude of health benefits, granola is a great portable snack to have on-the-go or in between meals. This variation introduces a fall flavor staple, pumpkin spice, and produces a fantastic combination of fiber and protein which yields the perfect snack for a busy, collegiate athlete. Originally introduced to this recipe by a friend, I adapted the recipe a bit to accommodate for different ingredients in my pantry. Here is my final product:
1½ cup rolled oats, gluten free
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw, unsalted peanuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon organic vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all dry ingredients (except pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil and peanut butter), into a large mixing bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil, and peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Take this “wet” mixture and pour into the large mixing bowl filled with dry ingredients. Stir until everything is well coated and spread evenly on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stir very well (if you don’t you’ll have large clusters), bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before you store the granola in an air tight container at room temperature.
Pumpkin spice pancakes are a staple for cold fall mornings. Simply add pumpkin puree and a dash of cinnamon to your original pancake batter and you've got the perfect fall breakfast treat. Serve with fresh maple syrup.
Apples are another great additive to traditional recipes. This variation of a traditionally German meal combines the crisp apple flavors of fall with the savoriness of pork & the sourness of sauerkraut. Cook a medium, diced apple and a large pinch each of caraway seeds, ground allspice and sugar in 2 tablespoons butter until slightly soft. Stir in 1 pound drained, rinsed sauerkraut and warm through. Serve with pan-seared pork.
Craving the cold satisfaction of ice cream but wanting to stay healthy? This recipe offers a simple and delicious frozen alternative in only three ingredients!
Simply peel and cut a couple bananas into chunks and freeze, preferably overnight. Blend in a food processor or high-powered blender until creamy consistency. Refreeze. Once the banana cream is frozen, scoop out and top with drizzled honey & raw almond chunks.