Pumpkin Spice Granola

September 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love breakfast. I usually think about what I am going to have for breakfast before I go to bed, but I can never decide because I love all breakfast food equally. (Except waffles, because they are basically pancakes for rich people.) As soon as I wake up, I stumble down to the kitchen and throw together a breakfast medley while my coffee brews.

Lately, because it is September and that is considered autumn in most parts of the country, I have been mixing pumpkin puree into every breakfast food that will accept it. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin french toast, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin coffee drinks, pumpkin yogurt… you name it, I’ve pumpkinized it. Don’t tell anyone this, but sometimes I eat it straight from the can. So when I ran out of granola last night (because I ate the last of it with vanilla almond milk out of a mug, standing in front of the open fridge at 1:30 am…) I knew my next batch would have to contain pumpkin.

I’ve been having a problem with granola recipes- either they aren’t sweet enough, or they aren’t clustery enough or they get burnt because I forget about them while they’re in the oven- so I took my knowledge of the mistakes thus far, and formulated my own recipe.

And you know what?

Nailed it!

This granola isn’t too sweet, but it IS sweet enough to not taste like cardboard, and it has the perfect hint of pumpkin pie flavor. You know what else? No oil! So it’s healthier than most store-bought granola too. You can add pretty much whatever you want into the mix in terms of nuts/seeds/grains and maybe even throw some raisins or something in there. Just keep the proportions relatively similar and you are golden.

Pumpkin Spice Granola
makes about 3 cups

For demonstration purposes only. Eating the whole recipe in one sitting is not recommended.

2 cups raw rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds, rough chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, rough chopped
1/2 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup lite maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
dash (about 1/8 tsp) ground clove, nutmeg & ginger

Mix sugar, pumpkin, syrup, vanilla, salt and spices in a large bowl. Dump oats, nuts and flax into the bowl and mix until coated. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes, watching carefully that it does not burn and stirring occasionally. The granola will be soft when you remove it from the oven, but it will get crunchy when it cools. Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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