Spiced Pumpkin Granola
I have a confession – pumpkin spice is not my thing. GASP! When I think of pumpkin spice, I think of cloyingly sweet paired with an overload of warming spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. I certainly enjoy all of those flavors, but they can easily be overdone. So, it may come as a surprise to many of you that I would venture to make spiced pumpkin granola. In all truthfulness, I was nervous to venture away from my all-time favorite granola clusters (recipe here), but the end result exceeded all expectations. Plus, this granola actually contains pumpkin in two ways! Please read on...
This granola uses the same foundation of my original granola clusters but with a few minor changes and additions. The most important aspect of this recipe was getting the amount of pumpkin right. Too much pumpkin and you will have a wet mess and the granola will not get crispy. However, you want enough pumpkin for the flavor and lovely, deep color. As an added bonus, the recipe also includes pepitas! If you’ve never had pepitas, you are in for a real treat. These crunchy and tasty little seeds add exceptional flavor, color, and texture. Pepitas are small green pumpkin seeds (kernels) removed from the white outer shell. They tout an impressive nutritional profile, especially in terms of protein with 9g per serving typically. They are in the photo below on the far right.
Last but not least, the recipe is not overly sweet and features unsweetened coconut flakes and pecans. This granola is a perfect snack plain, with milk, or as a topper for Greek yogurt! All I know is this granola will not last long!
Spiced Pumpkin Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup flour
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup canned pumpkin
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 300° F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, pepitas, pecans, and coconut. Set aside. In a microwavable bowl, heat the coconut oil, brown sugar, and pumpkin for about 45 seconds, stirring after 15-second intervals, or until the coconut oil is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the oat mixture, and stir until all oats are moistened and clumped.
Place the oat mixture onto the parchment lined pan and spread the oat mixture evenly. Bake for 25 minutes and stir the mixture gently. Return to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Let cool completely before placing in an airtight container.