Punkin muffins, punkin granola… and some caramel apples posing next to a punkin?

How much do you love PUNKINS? I’m obsessed right now. There are countless pumpkin (okay, for the remainder of this post I shall be an adult) recipes out there, and the exciting part is that a lot of them are even healthy! So I can eat my pumpkin without ingesting tons of sugar? YAY!

Trust me, come thanksgiving dinner, I will not be shying away from that glorious pumpkin pie, topped with a creamy dollop of whipped cream… but if I want to enjoy it all season, I might as well try to enjoy it in the healthiest way possible.

This granola. Ooooooh, this granola. I found this recipe over at Healthy Foods for Living, and was so excited that I decided to make it immediately. However, immediately does not mean that I get a trip to the store… so I used what I had on hand, and it burnt. Fail. It tasted alright, but after making it successfully the second time around with the correct ingredients, I know that it was not up to its glorious standards that first time.

If you have never made granola before, as I had not- it truly is not difficult. And it is SO rewarding. Granola can be expensive- but buying the ingredients and making it yourself can save you a lot of money. And, of course, you can control exactly what you put into it.

This granola was everything I love about fall eats rolled into one recipe. Think spicy pumpkin, sweet cranberries, crunchy pepitas… and then what can you do with it? Top your favorite pumpkin or apple ice cream with it… swirl it into your morning yogurt… or, if you are like me, do neither of those things because you eat your stash via hand-to-mouth method due to its crunchy irresistability.

Make it. Share it. I sent a bunch to my in-college sister in law and brother. Find the recipe here.

And if, after that, you are still craving pumpkin, and you haven’t used all the oats in your stash up…

Chocolate. Pumpkin. Oat. Muffins. AHHHHH!!

Of course, if you want to see truly luscious photography of these muffins from the creator, visit Family Fresh Cooking. You can find the recipe there as well.

These muffins did not disappoint. The original recipe called for chocolate jimmies (the long, hot-dog shaped sprinkles), but as I did not have any on-hand I shaved some chocolate and that worked just fine. Also called for 2 tsp Stevia powder, and I used 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar instead. Now, the way I did it- these did not turn out very sweet. If you like your muffins to be sweet, I would double or triple the amount of brown sugar that I used.

This was my first time using “oat flour!” I didn’t buy anything special- I simply dumped a cup of old-fashioned oats into my blender and processed them until they were as fine as my blender could make them. I think oat flour contributed to what I loved about the flavor and texture of these muffins. I have a problem with foods that make me feel heavy and full after eating them- many muffins are like that. These are bready and light without tasting dry.

I might have eaten four of them this morning… with a baby dollop of almond butter atop each! Mmmm…

And, last but not least…

Just for fun. I made some caramel a little over a month ago, and since the recipe made a huge amount, it’s been sitting, uneaten in my fridge. I could just throw it away, but I have issues. Turns out my hoarding qualities came in handy- I was craving a little caramel-covered apple on a fall day, and so I brought some out to play.

That pumpkin, so you know, is a special pumpkin. It is the result of a trip to the pumpkin patch with my husband and my mother in law, during which we wandered around searching for the perfect pumpkin for at least 45 minutes.

I hope that you are enjoying your PUNKIN this season! 😉


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