One of the surest signs that I’m back from the dead (aka first trimester) is that I’m thinking about cooking again. The last thing I cooked was Havana Beans on August 11th. This is astounding to me considering that before then I cooked the better part of three meals a day, seven days a week, mostly from scratch.

Aside from making buttered toast and more recently an occasional hot ham and cheese sandwich, I cooked nothing. Even thinking about the kitchen made me nauseated and opening the fridge would bring on guaranteed gagging fits – or worse.

But not anymore! While I still have strong food aversions (raw meat – ugh!) I am beginning to think about cooking again and have a desire to search out recipes that will nourish my ever growing hunger, help our hurting pocketbook, and not offend my nose.

First on the docket? Granola. I always crave granola in the autumn and there is nothing offensive in the ingredient list. I base my granola on this recipe that I believe I found through Mark Bittman years ago. It is healthy-ish,  easy to make, and easy to sub in things you have for things you don’t have. Plus it tastes decadent and rich and so autumnal. Note: Isn’t autumnal a wonderful word?

Crunchy Mama Granola

3 cups oats

1 1/2 cups almonds

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw coconut shavings

3/4 cup real maple syrup

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

3/4 cup dried fruit – apricots, raisins, cherries, cranberries or a mix

Preheat oven to 300. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit in a large bowl. Make sure to stir thoroughly until all ingredients are moist. Dump out on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread smooth. Bake for 45 minutes, but make sure to stir it every 10 minutes or so. The stirring takes up that extra 5 minutes so it’s really only baking for 40. After it is done baking, pour it into a bowl and stir in the dried fruit. After cooling you can store it in a glass jar or leftover dish or a ziplock bag. Serve it as a cereal with milk – I use almond milk – or you can serve with yogurt although I’m not a granola/yogurt fan.

For this batch I chose raisins as chewing the apricots would probably make me gag and cherries are expensive. I’ve always used olive oil, but I’d like to try coconut oil sometime. And I have cardamom seeds, but I didn’t feel up to grinding them so I skipped it although that flavor is an awesome addition.

Do you have a go-to autumnal breakfast? When you were pregnant, did you have a hard time cooking? 

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