Happy Halloween! To celebrate, today I have ghost breakfast for you:
Just kidding! Don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to you!
(By the way, I have no idea what’s up with that retro pink and orange background.)
Today’s recipe is actually an oil-free, vegan granola made with a secret ingredient for some extra crunch. Can you guess what it is?
If you guessed ‘quinoa’, you’re right!
Well, sort of – I think the cat’s out of the bag when it comes to quinoa in granola. Oh well, it’s still exciting to me! I prefer to add just a ¼ cup of quinoa to my granola, as I find anything more than that overpowering. Nothing should overshadow those wonderful oats!
Last week I talked (wrote?) about the history of Halloween. This week, it’s all about the random madness of Halloween – or, if you prefer – Halloween’s mad randomness.
So, did you know….
Halloween is BIG business for the candy people
Americans, on average, purchase 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween (per year). Apparently, that’s equivalent to 16 billion fun-size Snickers bars or 158 trillion candy corn ‘kernels’
That’s also equivalent to about $2 billion!
Halloween is the second most commercial holiday. The first? Christmas.
Halloween can be scarier than you think
A fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.
Beware of the owls!
In Medieval Europe, it was believed that owls were witches. Hearing an owl’s call meant that someone was about to die (but who?)
The Grand Pumpkin
The largest pumpkin ever grown (so far) weighted 2,058 lbs
Jack-O-Lanterns are named after a guy called Jack
According to a Celtic tale, Jack used to play tricks on the devil. The devil wasn’t pleased, and made Jack spend eternity in purgatory with only a lump of burning coal. Jack had a turnip in his pocket (doesn’t everyone?), and made a lantern using the vegetable and coal.
So really, Jack-O-Lanterns should be made from turnips.
Candy Corn was called Chicken Feed?
Candy corn was originally known as ‘butter cream candies’ and ‘chicken feed’
Spooky places to live?
The following are actual towns in the US: Frankenstein, Missouri; Scary, West Virginia; Spook City, Colorado; Candy Town, Ohio.
Halloween is definitely one of the more random holidays out there, but I love it. If you ask me, it’s one of the few days a year when it’s completely acceptable – nay, necessary – to enjoy handfuls of candy.
And handfuls of granola! (Which, in my opinion, is more addictive and delicious than candy).
One handful of peanut butter cups, one handful of granola… perfect balance.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, shredded coconut, quinoa, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and brown sugar.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix until evenly distributed (it’s easiest to use your hands). Pour in the maple syrup and vanilla extract, and mix until completely combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, occasionally mixing the granola around with a fork (or at least once, halfway through the baking time). Keep an eye on it, as granola can burn easily. Allow the granola to cool completely.
- Once cooled, stir in the dried cranberries and store in an airtight container. Enjoy with yogurt and fruit, or just by the handful.