Sunday, November 3, 2013

Morning Routines + Pumpkin Granola

It's been pretty quiet around here. I've missed practicing my photography, researching recipes and most of all time for casual cooking and/or baking. The rest of my life has been so draining that I honestly haven't had time for much else but sleep. And since I happen to need a bit more than the average person (9.5 hours please!) it tends to dominate my free time. I act like I'm complaining. I secretly (not so secretly) love sleeping. Oh, I love it. I love the feeling of your head gently falling on the pillow at the end of the day. Of a deep, deep exhale that lets out all of the day's concerns. Sleep is a time to let go. To simply set aside all the worries you're carrying on your shoulders, smile to yourself and close your eyes. It can all wait until the morning.

[Enter the morning]

We all have our own routines, do we not? Mine is constantly evolving as I'm learning new healthy habits I want to incorporate into my daily life. Right now my day starts at 5:45 am. I try to do a few simple yoga poses and stretches for 15 minutes in the morning. That really helps to get my blood flowing and loosen up my stiff muscles. After that I like to freshen up. Washing my face with warm water, ending with a few splashes of cold and brushing my teeth. That does a wonder you know! I've started looking forward to it. It feels like the moment where I'm officially starting the day fresh (and clean!). Then I'll head into the kitchen, boil some water and start to read. My roommate and I are currently reading through Philippians via this book. We read the chapters from scripture out loud too. It's been amazing! I've loved the repetition and slow pace. The rest of the morning involves breakfast, oil pulling, using my neti pot, prepping myself with professional attire (sigh), drinking lots of water and maybe even some silly dancing to my favorite tunes. ; )

Now, I know that I breezed right past breakfast earlier, but don't let that fool you. Breakfast is a much anticipated event in my morning routine. Every night I secretly hope I wake up with nagging hunger pains and I am thoroughly disappointed on the mornings when that isn't the case. I try to keep a variety of items on hand for breakfast options and listen to my body to tell me what it needs. Some mornings it's eggs, avocado slices and greens. Other times it's a smoothie. Recently though? It's been this pumpkin granola. Usually granola is more of a spring and summer meal to me because the cold milk quenches my thirst. But this granola, ohhh this granola. It's sweet, crunchy, chewy, autumn-y and just enough pumpkin. The pecans and maple marry perfectly, the pumpkin puree causes the oats to clump and create a few clusters (which I happen to love in granola) and the vanilla and spices truly make it feel like you're eating Autumn in a bowl.

I hope you create some space in your morning routine for this Pumpkin Granola. I doubt you'll regret it.

Pumpkin Granola
Slightly adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Makes about 3 cups

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups old fashion oats
1/2 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
l-2 large handfuls of crimson raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 300.
  2. Mix first 6 ingredients into a mixing bowl.*
  3. Then add the nuts, seeds and oats.
  4. Mix well and spread out on the baking sheet and bake for around 35 minutes. 
  5. During the process, check one or two times to be sure it's not browning too quickly and mix around with a spatula to ensure all sides get a good toasting. 
  6. Once the granola feels dry enough and isn't too brown, remove from oven. 
  7. While it's still warm, toss with the raisins. 
  8. Cool completely and enjoy! I happen to love mine with nut milk. 


*Since using coconut oil, try to have all ingredients at room temperature so that it doesn't seize back up into a solid state.

My oven heats up and cooks quickly, so I listed a lower temperature and shorter cooking time. Adjust those details as needed for your oven.



  1. I want to be a part of your morning routine! It sounds awesome and refreshing! Especially if it contains that awesomely yummy looking granola!

  2. emily! I've made it three times!!! it's soooooo good. i might make it a 4th!


Yeay! Yeay! Someone left me a message! ; )