Pumpkin Granola

Since I made my very first batch of homemade granola last year, based on Kristin’s recipe at The Kitchen Sink, I’ve never gone back. I’m not the biggest granola fan, but Tai loves it, and will gladly eat a bowl of granola in milk every morning of his life, and I have to admit when this granola comes out of the oven I find myself sneaking pinches of sweetly-spicy oats & nuts as it cools. Let me tell you folks – this stuff is so far removed from the boxed granola that you find in the supermarket as to be a different creature entirely: like the way that toy chihuahuas and Saint Bernards are both “dogs.”

My standby recipe is so good, and so easily adaptable to whatever dried fruit- nut-spice combination suits the fancy of the moment, that I hadn’t gone looking for any other recipes. I have tried some experiments with “cluster formation” (as Tai is a cluster man, apparently) but mainly they’ve been unsuccessful as clusters seem to need lots more sugar.  The other day, however, Marisa posted a pumpkin granola recipe  from Two Peas and Their Pod to her Food in Jars Facebook page that I found intriguing: pumpkin puree & apple sauce replace the oil, and the brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice mix were all screaming “Fall is here!.”  Since I had both frozen pumpkin puree and canned applesauce leftover from last year (which should be used up just in time to sock away this year’s bounty) I decided to give it a go.

Tai is the granola-tester in this house and he says that the “pumpkin flavor really shines through” and, as much as he loves my standard granola recipe, “this one is a nice change of pace.”  It seemed at first that this granola would turn out nicely clustered as well, but I didn’t get the clusters in evidence in the Two Peas pictures (nor did I get the gorgeous photos… sigh); I may have broken them up with overly aggressive stirring while baking, or it may be that I cut down on the sugar. Either way, I’ve still got pumpkin puree in the fridge and I’ve got loads of applesauce left from last year: this one is going into the rotation.

Adapted from Pumpkin Granola by Two Peas and Their Pod

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Pumpkin Granola

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 and 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup 10-grain mix (Wild Hive)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (OR sub in pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger, allspice & nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup dried apples

 

METHODS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, 10-grain mix, pepitas, pecans, spices and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla.  Whisk together until well blended and smooth.  Add pumpkin mixture to oats and stir well until dry ingredients are evenly coated with moisture. Spread into the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes; stir (taking care not to break up clumps, if you are a clumps-in-your-granola sort of person), moving the granola at the edges of the pan into the middle, and vice versa.  Bake for another 20 – 30 minutes, stirring once more if necessary, until the granola is golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool completely, add cranberries & apples, and enjoy.

Yields about 7 cups granola.

OPTIONS

  1. This recipe cooked for quite a while; next time I will likely try to cook at 350 degrees, stirring at perhaps 15-minute intervals, to see if I can shorten the cooking time.
  2. Changes made to the original recipe: I reduced the brown sugar by 1/2 cup, subbed in 1/2 cup of 10-grain mix for oats, bumped up the spice amounts a bit, and added pecans and dried apples.

STORE

In an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks. Granola also stores well frozen.

SEASON

Fall flavors, of course, but with frozen pumpkin puree, this can be made year round.

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6 comments

  1. This recipe sounds fabulous, and I just so happen to have pumpkin puree in the freezer that I was wondering what to do with. I’ll have to give this a try.

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