So, Labor Day has come and gone. Classes have begun. There’s a chill in the air and fall is definitely en route. I am so excited. Summer is great and all, but I am just ready for a change. A change in weather, a change in clothing, and a change in food flavors.
One of my favorite flavors of fall is pumpkin. For longtime readers, that’s probably not a surprise, and for new readers–consider that a heads up for what you will experience over the coming months. Though I
hoarded stockpiled a dozen or so cans at the end of the holiday season last year just in case there was an unexpected pumpkin shortage, I’ve been a little reluctant to enjoy too much pumpkin over the summer months. It’s just not seasonally appropriate, you know? And there was just too many other fun seasonal treats to enjoy, like Roasted Tomato Sauce or Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
But last week… I couldn’t wait any longer. I just had to crack open one of those lovely cans and fulfill my deepest craving and desire. I just couldn’t help it. It was inevitable. And guess what: I am not sorry.
Not sorry at all that this sweet, spicy Pumpkin Granola has been gracing my breakfast table over the past week or so.
Not sorry at all that while the granola was baking, my kitchen smelled like Yankee Candles–but naturally, not with the help of fragrances [delightful as they may be].
Not sorry at all that each crunchy bite incorporates hearty pumpkin, spicy cinnamon, sweet cranberries, and nutty almonds and pepitas.
Nope, I’m not sorry at all, and I’m pretty willing to bet that you won’t be either once you get a taste of this fantastic granola. So try it out, and welcome fall with a crunch!
So, what flavors are you most excited to experience this fall?
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup pepitas [pumpkin seeds]
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, and spices. In a smaller bowl, whisk pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and cranberries then fold into dry ingredients.
Spread mixture onto baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until granola is golden brown and crisp. Granola will continue to harden as it cools, so be careful of overbaking.
Serve plain, in cookies, with yogurt, etc. and store in an air-tight container.
Yield: 5-6 cups.
Time: 40-50 minutes [30-40 minutes active].