Friday, December 3, 2010

First,, cut a delicta squash in half lengthwise...

That's how my session in making squash granola begins. Kathie's recipe is an adaptation of one that uses applesauce. I, in turn, adapted hers to what I have on hand.

When I cut open a delicta squash (commonly called a sweet potato squash here in southern Ontario), I get a half cup of seeds or more. I save all my squash seeds, because you can toast them for a lovely snack, hulls and all. You can also use them instead of bought-at-the-store pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds). Sesame seeds make me gassy, so I substitute half a cup of ground golden flax seed and half a cup of oat bran for those. I did use sunflower seeds as called for in the recipe. I didn't have any brown rice syrup, but I did have a can of date syrup from Syria.

I wasn't making the granola just for myself. I have two friends on wheat-free diets and cans of this granola will be in their Christmas bags from me. I added coconut flakes, dried cranberries and raisins to fancy it up a bit.

So to start, I cut a squash in half and take out the seeds. I set them on a plate to dry after pulling them off the fibrous stuff and rinsing them for the next batch of granola. I use seeds from previously cooked squash for this batch. I cut the squash in 3/4 inch slices and put them in a covered glass dish with some water. Ten minutes in the microwave cooks them. I let them cool while I get everything else together. I scoop the squash from the rind and mash it for the granola. I usually get over a cup of mashed squash; what I don't use for the granola will go into soup, pancakes, cookies, or waffles.

Here's my recipe:

Mix the following dry ingredients together in a bowl:
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup dried squash seeds
1/2 c ground golden flax seed (I use a coffee grinder to do this)
1/2 c oat bran
1 cup coconut flakes -- break up long pieces
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the following wet ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil:
3/4 c cooked, mashed orange squash
1/2 c honey
1/3 c date syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. I can fit this into one fairly large lipped cookie sheet (or "jellyroll pan", though I never make any cake in it), but you may need two pans. Bake in a 300 deg F oven for 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

After it is baked, add the fruit:
3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c raisins

This makes three coffee tins (originally holding 12 - 16 oz of coffee) of granola. You can also put it into pint jars. I'll probably do that to put them by for the summer!

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