September 2014 Newsletter: Pumpkin Spice Granola

You many never buy pre-made granola again after you try this fabulous Pumpkin Spice Granola recipe! A little bowla granola makes a tasty, healthy snack or quick breakfast. (For variations and substitutions, see Cooking Tips.)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats (see Cooking Tips)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios or a combination)
  • 1 cup large-flake unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup whole flaxseeds
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. (Or use two smaller pans.)

In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds (do not add cranberries). Mix well.

In a medium pot, combine maple syrup, pumpkin, coconut oil, sugar, spices and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until coconut oil is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour maple-pumpkin mixture over oat mixture. Mix well, until no dry oats remain. This may take a minute or two of stirring.

Transfer wet granola mixture to prepared pan and spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, carefully removing pan from oven and stirring granola every 10 minutes. This will ensure even baking. Cook until granola looks “toasty” and golden, but not brown. Your kitchen should smell wonderful at this point!

Remove pan from oven and let granola cool completely. Add cranberries and store in an airtight container for 1 week. (We keep our granola in the fridge to prolong its freshness.)

Makes about 7 cups granola

Per serving (1/3 cup): 194 calories, 10 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 3.3 g fiber, 6 mg cholesterol, 16 mg sodium

Cooking Tips

Old-fashioned oats are sometimes called large-flake oats. They’re bigger and thicker than quick-cooking oats and are better suited to making granola. If you despise coconut (we love it!), replace the flaked coconut with more nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds would work well). It’s important to keep the dry volume the same or your granola may be too wet or too dry. Likewise, you can use butter instead of coconut oil (but did we mention we love coconut?).  Other dried fruits such as blueberries or raisins can be used instead of cranberries.  Honey works well as a substitute for maple syrup, however, the maple syrup flavor matches perfectly with pumpkin.  Baking time will vary depending on your pan sizes, so keep checking and stirring often. The granola should feel dry to touch and look golden brown. Be careful not to burn it!