Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seed Granola Parfait

As much as I'm loving the constant 80 degree beach weather, I was craving a Fall day. So this weekend we drove upcountry for some cooler weather and the most awesome pumpkin patch at Kula Country Farms. We spent the day happily drudging through the rain and the mud to find the perfect pumpkins to carve...And spent the night drinking pineapple wine we bought at a local winery upcountry, roasting pumpkin seeds, and carving our self portrait jack o'lanterns. It was the perfect Fall Day here in Maui :)

I normally roast the pumpkin seeds just like my Dad did growing up: simple, with a generous sprinkling of salt. But this year I wanted to try something different. We bought some amazing starfruit and strawberries at the farm so I decided on making a fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait for breakfast and incorporate the roasted pumpkin seeds into the granola. How's that for a perfect fall breakfast? I ended up roasting the pumpkin seeds with cinnamon sugar...They became the perfectly caramelized, sweet and salty, crunchy treat. Sorry Dad, I think your pumpkin seed recipe has been upgraded.
We will get back to these parfaits, but first I want to share pictures from the Kula Pumpkin Patch. When you think Maui, you picture beautiful beaches and palm trees which is definitely the case...No one pictures rolling green fields, roaming goats, and hundreds of pumpkins. But that's what you find in upcountry Maui along with many other picturesque spots including lavender farms and 150 year old wineries. It is a commonly overlooked area, but I definitely believe every trip to Maui requires a day in Upcountry to explore the island's vast diversity of natural beauty. 
And if your going to buy a pumpkin for Halloween, this is the type of place you want to do it. They had a ton of different heirloom pumpkin varieties and it was so much fun picking your favorite pumpkin right off the vine yourself!
 Plus it was a perfect photo-opp for some fall photos with your sweetheart ;)
Once we found our favorite quirky pumpkins, we couldn't wait to bunker down and spend the night carving those babies.  We decided on making self portraits this year...Say Hello to girly, smiley Pumpkin Bri and goofy, shades wearing Pumpkin Chad!
While I get into the artistic aspect of carving the pumpkins, I get most excited about having lots of fresh pumpkin seeds to roast.  Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and protein (which is great for us veggies). And they are delicious!!! Even better, when roasting them with cinnamon and sugar your house gets this yummy fresh baked cinnamon roll aroma PLUS you get to enjoy a similar tasting treat with much less calories!
They are a satisfying snack on their own and a great addition to one of my favorite breakfast: Yogurt Parfaits.  Here's how you make it: Start by filling a clear glass with a big dollop of fat free vanilla yogurt, drizzle some honey, and top with fresh fruit or berries ( I used strawberries and starfruit because its what I had on hand but any of your favorites will work).

Then I add a layer of plain store bought granola jazzed up with my Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds. Repeat with a layer of more yogurt, granola and pumpkin seeds, and top with the fresh fruit.
I love how the pumpkin seeds gave the granola even more crunch and texture to contrast with the creamy yogurt. And could starfruit be any more awesome? So glad I stumbled on some at the Kula Farms stand.
There you have it...a breakfast that is as healthy to eat as it is pretty and festive to look at! 
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seed Granola Parfait
serves 2

Seeds of 1 large pumpkin, cleaned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 cups fat free vanilla yogurt
1 cup granola
Fresh fruit and berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pumpkin seeds with oil, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes until seeds are crisp, stirring occasionally.

To assemble parfaits: start with about 1/2 cup of fat free vanilla yogurt on bottom of glass, drizzle with honey, and top with some sliced fruit or berries. Add a layer of granola and a sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds. Repeat with another layer of yogurt, granola and pumpkin seeds, and top with fresh fruit.