Pumpkin Spiced Granola

Pumpkin Spiced Granola is a crunchy, morish treat you’ll not only sprinkle on your yogurt but you’ll want to nosh on all day long. Spiced with those quintessential fall spices, orange-hued from pumpkin, this will be your morning staple, all autumn long.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola (treatswithatwist.com)

Are you ready for PUMPKIN?!?!

I think you are! Especially after last week’s Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts. You totally died after those, right?

Well, I have some yummy pumpkiny delights coming your way!

But first…

This weekend. I’m exhausted. This weekend was one of those weekends where I had HUGE plans to get stuff done…and I’m pretty sure I got nothing done. I wanted to paint our office or our room. I wanted to hang pictures, gallery-wall style. I wanted to install a cork wall in the office. I wanted to build planter boxes and start a garden…

We fought over paint. His argument: there’s no need. Mine: it’s pretty and fun.

We went to several plant stores…and bought nothing.

We went to Lowe’s…and didn’t find the wall stuff we needed.

We laid out picture frames…and didn’t hang them…and realized that most of them are empty and I need to actually order pictures.

I did eleventy billion rounds of dishes.

I swept the floor. He watered the lawn. We put felt pads under the furniture corners.

Yup, that’s about it. So…nothing.

 

Except all of those dishes. Because I made you tons of pumpkin stuff. See, its all for you. You’re welcome.

  Pumpkin Spiced Granola (treatswithatwist.com)

Pumpkin Spiced Granola (treatswithatwist.com)

Let’s start with Pumpkin Spiced Granola! Because I could honestly munch on granola all day long. And when it’s sweet from pumpkin and tastes like fall because of cinnamon and allspice, it’s the best munchy ever [I regret saying munchy]. (note: it was 90 degrees this weekend…I’m forcing Fall)

I’ll give you some granola cluster tricks here!
1. When you go in to stir your granola half-way through your baking time (and add the other batch of spices), use a spatula and carefully turn it, don’t just stir it around, or you’ll break up your clusters.
2. Let it cool in the oven as the oven cools. This creates extra crispy granola, and when you pull it out and pour it into a container, it’ll be very clustery. If you pull it out of the oven straight away, pour it into a bowl to cool, it’ll break all of the clusters. Sad panda.

Pumpkin-Spiced-Granola 5

Pumpkin-Spiced-Granola 4

AND here’s an IMPORTANT tip: reserve some of your granola right away! Put it aside. Totally aside. Because I have another recipe for you that calls for this granola (maybe ½ cup to be safe) and if you eat it all right away, you’ll regret it later. Just saying. 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola
Pumpkin Spiced Granola is a crunchy, morish treat you’ll not only sprinkle on your yogurt but you’ll want to nosh on all day long. Spiced with those quintessential fall spices, orange-hued from pumpkin, this will be your morning staple, all autumn long. Be sure to read all of the directions, which help you understand the ingredient list (why the spices are doubled yet separated), and help you achieve maximum clusters (also see the narrative above for clustering tips!). (Yields approximately 3 cups)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups old fashioned oats
  2. ½ cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
  3. 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  5. ¼ cup hemp hearts
  6. 1 cup nuts (I used cashews and walnuts)
  7. ¼ cup maple sugar (or coconut sugar or raw sugar)
  8. 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  9. ½ cup pumpkin puree
  10. 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
  11. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  12. 1 tsp. cinnamon + 1 tsp.
  13. ½ tsp. allspice + ½ tsp.
  14. ¼ tsp. nutmeg + ¼ tsp.
  15. ¼ tsp. cloves + ¼ tsp.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 deg F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, vanilla) and the spices (just the first round, not the "+").
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the "+" spices and set aside. This will be used later.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until completely combined and everything is moistened (sorry, had to do it). Pour your granola onto your prepared pan. Spread out into an even layer, but keep it around 1/2" thick, which will ensure you get clusters.
  5. Bake granola for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle the rest of the spices over the granola, use a spatula to carefully turn it over in sections. Bake for an additional 15 min. Turn off the oven and let it all cool, with the granola in the oven, for at least 1 hour (don't forget it's in there!!).
  6. Pull your granola out of the oven. If it isn't completely cooled, let it finish cooling on the counter. Place the granola in an airtight container and enjoy it as you please!
Notes
  1. I found maple sugar at Trader Joe's.
  2. Keep your cooled granola in an airtight container on the counter or in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli is a delightful, flavorful breakfast. Quick prep beforehand leaves you with an amazing, berry-filled summer breakfast in the morning, and a new flavor of almond milk you’ll want to drink all on its own. 

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli (treatswithatwist.com)

I had the week “off” from my other job this week…which meant I relaxed for all of two seconds, spent two days in bed (except for a break for yoga) sick, then started pumping out treats in the kitchen. I think I went nuts and made Halloween treats too. Yeah. 

Breakfast! 

So one of my favorite thing to do is prep breakfasts at night that are ready to grab and go in the morning. No excuses not to eat breakfast. Y’all already know I’m rolling in overnight oats (I happen to have 3 different flavors in my fridge right now), but muesli is my other love! 

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli (treatswithatwist.com)

Muesli is basically granola but not stuck together with oils and sugars. I love it. And when you add dried fruits, they become plump and tender and release the most beautiful flavors into your bowl as they soak. Can’t beat it. 

I think that the soaking liquid is just as important as the actual muesli is! If you have bland milk, then you have a bland breakfast bowl. Simple as that. So, I’m totally turning my milk into a fruit-filled experience!

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli (treatswithatwist.com)

For this breakfast, I threw together a quick mix of oats, seeds and nuts, then poured in (sloppily, because that’s real life) some delicious, summery Strawberry Almond Milk! So good!

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli (treatswithatwist.com)

It’s so easy too. For the milk, you’re basically whizzing together almond milk, strawberries, and honey. Then, don’t drink it, because you have to pour it over your muesli! If you have a bit more time for your muesli, make a big batch of this one, because it is SO good. 

Ok, so prep, refrigerate (at least 2 hours, but overnight is the name of my game), EAT! Got it? Good. 

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli (treatswithatwist.com)

Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli
Strawberry Almond Milk Soaked Muesli is a delightful, easy, quick breakfast to prep and enjoy all summer long! A mix of oats, nuts and seeds are soaked in homemade Strawberry Almond Milk. (makes 1 breakfast bowl)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup rolled oats
  2. 1 Tbs. flaxseeds
  3. 1 tsp. chia seeds
  4. 1 tsp. shredded coconut
  5. 3 Tbs. chopped nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
Strawberry Almond Milk
  1. 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 3 large strawberries
  3. 2 tsp. local raw honey (or maple or agave, if vegan)
  4. extra strawberries for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the oats, seeds, coconut and nuts.
  2. In your blender, combine the almond milk, strawberries and honey. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the Strawberry Almond Milk over the muesli. Stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 2 hours (or overnight) in the fridge.
  4. Garnish with more strawberries. Enjoy!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel is pretty much a dream come true. Rich, moist chocolate cake is layered with a super simple frosting made from caramelized coconut milk and a sprinkle of honey granola too. All of this is drizzled with salted caramel sauce, making you one helluva baker. Heck yes. 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Can I make this title a tad longer? Could we call it Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting, Granola, and a Salted Caramel Drizzle? Ding, ring. Nice, right?

I guess I’m on a mini little (redundant) layered-cake roll, right? All good things. 

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? This cake! It’s SO so good. Seriously. 

Usually chocolate cake (especially gluten free chocolate cake) is dry and dull and totally tasteless. Ugh, totally not worth it. But not this one! Holy smokes it’s so chocolatey! And totally not too rich either. The flavor is rich, but it’s not all dense and rich to where you can only have a few bites then put your fork down. 

I used the chocolate cake recipe from the Blackbird Bakery cookbook. This is the same cookbook that I used to make my Honey Cashew Banana Cake base from. It’s a home run in my book! All of the recipes are gluten free, which is awesome. And I found all of the flours in an international grocery store for cheap cheap cheap! Totally awesome.

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Now, for the frosting, you can’t get easier than this! I basically reduced a can of coconut milk with a touch of coconut sugar…and after it was super thick I added a touch of vanilla to it. Yup, that’s it. And after it’s cooled, it’s the perfect frosting. 

To add more flavor and an interesting crunch (though after a day or so, the crunch leaves, but the flavor remains), I added some granola! You can use any granola as long as its not riddled with dried fruit. Go for the plain stuff this time! I used Nature Valley’s protein granola because it has just a nice honey sweetness (and because it was in my cupboard!). I also sprinkled in some unsweetened coconut too. I’d recommend adding the granola to the very top just as you’re about to serve it, so it’s still crunchy! Yum. 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Oh, and then I pulled a fast one on ya and drizzled the whole dang thing with Salted Caramel sauce. Yeah. You can leave this off…but we can’t be friends anymore. (Buy it at Trader Joe’s. It’s cheap and easy and SO SO good). 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Ok! Now go make these and pretend like you didn’t notice that I didn’t make you anything loaded with berries for the Fourth. Whoops?

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel
Richly flavorful yet subtly sweet, gluten free chocolate cake is stacked with caramelized coconut milk frosting, a sprinkle of honey oat granola and then drizzled with salted caramel. (makes 5 small ramekin cakes)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 a recipe of Blackbird Bakery gluten free chocolate cake (or your favorite chocolate cake recipe)*
  2. 1 can coconut milk
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. honey oat granola**
  7. unsweetened coconut
  8. salted caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe's)
Instructions
  1. Bake you cakes according to the instructions in standard ramekins (mine are just under 1 cup size). Let cakes cool before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
  2. Make your frosting: On the stovetop in a pan, combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar, stirring often (so it doesn't burn on the bottom), bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Continue to stir and simmer (appx 10 minutes) until very thick.
  3. Pull the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Place the bottom of the pot into a bowl of ice water, cooling the frosting quickly. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  4. Slice your ramekin cakes in half. Apply a thin layer of frosting. Sprinkle on some granola and then some coconut. Apply the top layer, more frosting, and then more granola and coconut. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *the recipe I used was for a large, square, layered cake, so I made only 1/2 the batter
  2. **use your favorite granola, as long as it does not have dried fruit in it or large nuts
  3. Cakes will keep in the fridge for 4 days in a well-sealed container. Wait to top with granola and drizzle with caramel until you're ready to serve them.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

I know that Friday is the Fourth, but I have a special little (long) rambling post about some personal crap if you want to come back and read it. Please do! I’ll even include festive treats if you humor me. 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp with Lavender Honey Cream

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp with Lavender Honey Cream is a delightfully fresh and simple way to use the best berries of the season. Sweet, oaty and floral flavors combine for a beautiful spring or summer treat. 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

My husband is still traveling. So I’m taking this opportunity to rent movies that I kept saying I’d watch but then never did…

So far I’ve made my way through:

About Time

August Osage County

And The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

 

It’s almost embarrassing, the lack of movies I’ve watched. So, I’m catching up. Or as a more observant person may call it: not cleaning or organizing and living like a slob until my husband comes home. Nice, right?

 

I also had the brilliant idea to go to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning and came home with a huge container of fresh wild strawberries. Seriously, yum! Butttt….

I can’t eat all of them before the go bad! They’ve got maybe max 3 days before they start getting soft, and I have a ton of other fresh foods in my fridge that I need to eat (solo, remember). The only logical explanation is to bake them (yes, I realize I could’ve frozen them, but what fun is that?).

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

So I made this killer amazing Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp with Lavender Honey Cream! You guyyyyzzzzz. It’s SO good.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

Strawberries and little poppy seeds! And chia seeds to thicken it all that you think are just more poppy seeds in there! And salty, oaty crispy topping. And floral, honey lavender cream, cold and milky and just perfect on top! Like melted ice cream but better.

All of the flavors are really bold on their own, but together, total fireworks display. Sweet, fresh, savory, floral. Perfect.

And if you’re like me, you may save a bit of the crisp mixture and bake it separately, so you can put it on ice cream and yogurt too…

And if you’re also like me, you may have save the leftover Lavender Honey Cream and pour it into an iced coffee…

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

So, there you go. Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp with Lavender Honey Cream. Bliss. 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp with Lavender Honey Cream
Sweet, fresh strawberries are baked up with poppy seeds under an oat-filled crisp. After it's baked and served, floral and sweet Lavender Honey Cream is drizzled on top. (gluten free) (makes one 9x5" loaf pan)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
  2. 1 ½ tsp. poppy seeds
  3. 1 ½ tsp. chia seeds
For the Crumble
  1. ¼ cup coconut sugar
  2. ¾ cup rolled oats
  3. 1/3 cup buckwheat flour (or your favorite gluten free flour)
  4. ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  5. ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  7. 5 Tbs unsalted butter, cold
For the Lavender Honey Cream
  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  3. ½ tsp. dried lavender flowers
  4. 1 tsp. honey
Instructions
  1. PREP: Combine the ingredients of the Lavender Honey Cream in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat stirring until it starts to bubble slightly. Remove from the heat, pour into a jar once it has cooled, and place (covered with a tight lid) in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using. The flavor intensifies the longer it sits in the fridge.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan (or small baking pan) with nonstick spray.
  3. Place your halved, hulled strawberries in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over low heat. Stir carefully until the strawberries start to sweat and release their juices. When the juices start releasing and the strawberries soften (about 10 minutes), turn off the heat. Stir in the poppy seeds and chia seeds. (heating and then combining ensures that your poppy seeds and chia seeds will stay distributed during baking, instead of just sinking to the bottom of the pan, like they would if you stirred everything together cold and dry)
  4. Pour the strawberries into your baking dish.
Prepare your crumble
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the butter. Use a sharp knife to cut your cold butter into small cubes. Add the butter to the crumble mixture, and then use your fingers to quickly smoosh and combine the butter into the dry ingredients. Use a smear and smoosh method between your fingers, creating crumbles and trying to get most of the dry ingredients combined into some butter. Refrigerate the whole bowl of crumble for 5 minutes to keep the crumble as cold as possible.
  2. Crumble as much as the crumble over the strawberries as you’d like (um, all of it?).
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, covered with a tent of foil. Then, uncover the crumble and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the strawberries are bubbling up throughout the crumble and the crumble is crisp (be careful to not let it burn).
  4. Let the Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp cool completely on a wire rack before serving with a splash of Lavender Honey Cream. Pour the Cream through a strainer straight over your dish of Crisp if you prefer not to eat the flowers (I honestly don’t care so when I’m shoveling this in my face in private, I don’t strain).
Notes
  1. Note: leftover Lavender Honey Cream is amazing in iced coffee! Yums!
  2. Store your crisp covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, re-crisp in the oven. Keep Lavender Honey Cream in a well-sealed container in the fridge.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola bars are no-bake, gluten free, vegan, super duper simple and way tasty. The classic combo of dark chocolate and dried cherries is only enhanced by the hint of sea salt and the savory sweet combo of peanut butter and oats. They’re hearty and make a perfect, healthy snack. 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

My husband has been sending me pictures of flamingoes. Live ones. Outside his hotel room. 

Yeah, he’s in Vegas. For work. But still. 

And I’m at home, watching one of our dogs sleep while the other is trying to cover her rubber chicken with my sweatpants. Its intense. 

Lately, my I’ve been baking a ton of recipes from this cookbook. I’ve gotten caught up in a whirlwind of vegan and superfood packed treats. Yum. I never thought I’d be so swept away by such things, but … ok yeah I could’ve totally predicted this. 

No, I’m not becoming a vegan. Promise. I can’t do soy, mushrooms are NOT like meat, and I know what real cheese is. Enough said. 

But, I love what I’ve been coming up with lately. I loved making a few recipes from Angela’s cookbook, and I’ve loved throwing together quick, meat-free meals on my own. And lots of smoothies. More on that to come. 

My husband…well, he’s been humoring me. He ate my veggie burgers with a slight smile (victory), ate “mac and cheese” with a skeptical look on his face (the look of “you never make me mac and cheese…what’s going on?”, and even drank half of a breakfast smoothie I made for him (he’s more of a savory breakfast lad). And when he packed up to go on his business trip, he gladly threw a few of my homemade granola bars in his bag! 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

These granola bars are vegan and gluten free. They’re also no-bake. I used Angela’s recipe for her Glow Bars and tweaked the ingredients to my liking. And they turned out AHmazing! They taste like a childhood bar I loved (hint: chewy is the name of the game). I also used allergen-free dark chocolate chips to keep them vegan and gluten free. They’re so good; nutty, sweet, salty, savory, oaty, chewy, hearty…perfection. 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

Try them! They come together in minutes and you’ll have snacks for the week (or longer)! 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars
Chewy, sweet, savory, salty, satisfying. These Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola bars are gluten free, vegan, and no-bake. They come together in minutes and will be your family's new favorite snack! (makes 12-16 bars)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  2. 1 ½ cups rice Chex cereal, partially crushed*
  3. ¼ cup sunflower seeds (dry roasted or raw)
  4. ¼ cup hemp hearts
  5. 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  6. 2 Tbs. flax seeds
  7. ½ tsp. sea salt
  8. 1/3 cup dried cherries
  9. ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  10. ½ cup brown rice syrup
  11. ¼ cup roasted creamy peanut butter
  12. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients (everything except for the chocolate chips, brown rice syrup, peanut butter and vanilla) in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine the brown rice syrup and peanut butter. Stir to combine as they melt together. When the mixture starts slowly bubbling, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Use a silicone spatula to scrape all of the syrup mixture into your dry ingredients. Use a sturdy spoon to mix all of the ingredients together. Make sure everything is covered evenly.
  5. After you're done stirring it all, add the chocolate chips in two additions while still stirring. Stop
  6. stirring as soon as all of the chocolate chips are added and somewhat evenly distributed.
  7. Transfer the mixture into your prepared baking pan. Wet your hands slightly with water and press out the granola bar mixture into an even layer. Make sure you're pressing firmly so they're well-compressed.
  8. Freeze, uncovered, for 10 minutes to quickly set the bars.
  9. Remove from the freezer and use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut into 12-16 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap. Snack and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *I measured out the cereal a little at a time and crushed it with one squeeze in my hands to slightly crush it.
  2. Shop for gluten free versions of your ingredients to maintain the gluten free integrity of the recipe.
Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook
Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook
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Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars (treatswithatwist.com)