I have been wanting to teach MS how to do more in the kitchen, both for his own sake and for mine. Thanks to the idea from my sister-in-law (MKH), I have started MS off with things he can cook in the crockpot. We have a gas stove and oven, and he's a little skittish about fire (guess I should be happy), and while he's going to have to get over that and soon, the crockpot has provided a way to get him cooking without crossing that bridge quite yet. He can make a roast, and he can make applesauce and apple butter so far.
Since breakfast is the bane of my existence, I decided a breakfast option would be a good thing to teach next. So, I planned to teach him last night how to do overnight crockpot granola (using the recipe I'd previously posted). School kind of went long yesterday, though, and we wrapped up read-alouds at 9:30 PM, just in time for MS to go to bed. :-/
This morning, we were doing kitchen-school, so I could get some dishes washed and bake some pumpkin muffins while the pumpkin puree I'd made earlier in the week was still good. Noticing the butter we'd put in the crockpot to thaw yesterday (don't worry, it's cold here already, so the butter was fine), the wheels started turning in my head. Hm, I've started using applesauce in place of 1/2 of the butter for the granola recipe...I bet pumpkin puree would substitute perfectly...I was wondering what I was going to do to use up the puree that I didn't need for the muffins...it's not even going to be enough to be worth freezing...it would be just the right amount, though, for granola...
So, MS's home ec for today was Pumpkin Crockpot Granola, recipe as follows.
• 1/2 C oil or butter + 1/2 C pureed pumpkin
• 1/2 C honey + 1/2 C molasses
• 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t ginger, 1/4 t nutmeg, 1/8 t cloves
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1/2 tsp. Salt
• 6 cups of oats - not quick cooking (more like 10 C, if it’s quick cooking)
1. Make sure you keep the cover of the crockpot cracked or off. Cook on low for 5 hours or until brown, stirring occasionally. The more frequently you stir, the finer the consistency. If you prefer clumpier granola stir less.
2. Add raisins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips...whatever you desire after the granola is ready.
3. This is delicious as a hot or cold cereal, as a snack, a topping for yogurt or made into granola bars.
If you put the lid on directly/completely, you run the risk of cracking the crock (this has happened to someone who tried this recipe).
I put the butter in with the crockpot on high as I prepare to make the recipe and do a few other things. Once it’s melted, I add the other ingredients, except the oats. I stir them until they are mixed and then add the oats (and sometimes the coconut).
Recently, I chopped up several apples and put them in with the ingredients the night before. In the morning, we had dried apple bits in our granola. I’m going to try this with different fruits in the future to see what other options work.
We're planning on putting raisins in once it's done cooking. We'd love to put in roasted pumpkin seeds, but we don't have any. :-(
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