Fall food obsession has hit me hard. Warm spices, hot apple cider, pumpkin lattes (guilty), soup and grilled cheese — you name it, it’s on the list. Unfortunately, Texas weather hasn’t quite caught up with my cravings for cozy cuisine. Most mornings, I find myself sorting through my closet, sadly pushing aside my sweaters and boots, and begrudgingly, reaching for the most “seasonally appropriate” items in my summer wardrobe. Luckily, I’ve been able to get away with a long sleeve shirt or two due to the arctic blast A/C unit at my office. And breakfast? Forget about my cold weather staple, maple-sweetened steel cut oats. Not happening. To satisfy my craving, I took a little inspiration from the humble yogurt parfait and developed these Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bowls. They can be served cold and they’re so packed with fall flavors that you won’t miss that cozy feeling in your belly.
First, I made the transition from parfait to “breakfast bowl.” All this really means is we’re not going to layer the ingredients because soggy granola isn’t really my thing. Especially this granola, which is packed with autumn’s best (and crunchiest) flavors — pecans, walnuts, dried cherries and cranberries, pipitas, quinoa and oats — all coated in a layer of pumpkin and maple and then toasted to perfection.
Truthfully, this granola stands on its own — you could forget the rest of this recipe, add some almond milk, and call it a day. But where’s the fun in that?
The addition of maple-spice butternut squash is what truly makes this dessert feel special (read: brunch appropriate). I know, I know. Squash for breakfast? But trust me, it’s lightly sweet and tender, and lends a hearty comfort that pairs surprisingly well with the tang of yogurt.
And since these bowls are meant to be served chilled, you can make a batch ahead of time and enjoy these breakfast bowls all week.
For the granola:
- 1.5 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup raw pecan pieces
- 3/4 cup raw walnut halves
- 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit
- 2 tablespoons butter (or fat of your choice)
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the butternut squash:
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or neutral oil of your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Thinly sliced apples
- Greek yogurt
- To prepare the granola: Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the oats, cooked quinoa, nuts, pepitas and dried fruit in a large bowl. Stir to distribute.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, then stir in the maple syrup, honey, pumpkin puree, spices, salt and vanilla.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well-coated. Pour onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until toasty and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- To prepare the butternut squash: In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients to coat.
- Add to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes then remove the lid and finish cooking until butternut squash is tender and glossy.
- Set aside to cool, or chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to use.
- To serve: Add yogurt to a shallow bowl or serving dish. Top with granola, butternut squash and thinly sliced apple. Garnish with more cinnamon or maple syrup, if desired.
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