Pumpkin Pecan Granola
Yields: about 2 cups Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
A bit of maple syrup and brown sugar combine with pumpkin puree and a hint of cinnamon to coat a granola mixture including oats, nuts and pumpkin seeds. The sugars from maple and brown sugar crisp the granola in the oven creating warm, cinnamon goodness boasting fiber, iron and zinc from the nuts, seeds and oats.
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup puffed rice cereal
1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/4 cup sliced toasted or blanched almonds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cooked pumpkin puree (from a can or home roasted and pureed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, melted butter or melted coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together.
3. In a separate bowl, combine rolled oats, rice cereal, chopped pecans, sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds.
4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients from step 3 into the large bowl of wet ingredients from step 2.
5. Once well combined, spread the mixture on the lined baking sheet. Some of the mixture will be in clumps, which is ideal for granola.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes, mixing or turning once during cooking time. Once mixture is done and lightly browned, let cool a good 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This cooling time also allows granola to harden a bit once the sugars cool.
This recipe came out of two needs. The first need was that I had some leftover pumpkin puree from various other pumpkin recipes. I really try not to waste things, especially food. However, the one thing that comes in the way of food waste is my fear over getting sick. I have such a strong mind that can start to manufacture ill feelings almost immediately if someone suggests something I have eaten was expired. Additionally, any leftover food set out from a party – that has to go. I just imagine all of these hands in my food. I simply can’t handle it, so the food must be tossed. In my defense, I compost quite a bit of food, so I try to do my part for the food waste problems of the world.
Anyway, so I have completely digressed from my point, and have now discussed expired food and food borne illness in a food blog post. Let’s move on…
The other inspiration for this granola is my husband is a granola lover. He eats it with yogurt or kefir (great source of probiotics) and loves homemade granola. Although, he is not a fan of pumpkin flavored, well, everything. So, while I did mix in some pumpkin puree for our festive fall granola, I simply added some cinnamon instead of the cloves and allspice, which can turn pumpkin flavor into pumpkin pie flavor.
Since we’re talking about the granola, although I am biased, it is delicious. I was munching on it through baking, through photographing, and even through clean up. There is something about cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin that just makes this such a delicious granola. It is a bit soft out of the oven because the sugars are still hot. As the sugars cool, the granola hardens nicely. Three of us ate it plain, while the fourth enjoyed it in a nice bowl of milk.
Lastly, we can’t forget the nutrition aspect. Oats are a rich source of iron and fiber, while zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and calcium are nutrients from the pumpkin seeds, pecans and almonds.