Pumpkin spice season is here. As if you needed me to tell you that—it's everywhere. Not to be a Debbie-Downer, but most of the pumpkin flavored treats begging for your attention are extremely unhealthy and full of processed sugar. Lattes, donuts, muffins, creamer—you can even find pumpkin spice flavored chewing gum. It's all full of butter, sugar, white flour, and chemicals. And if you have been limiting your sugar intake, you will probably find all these pumpkin spice drinks and foods sickeningly sweet...because they are.
So why not make something for breakfast that gives you that pumpkin spice flavor you love, but instead contains more healthful ingredients. That's what I set out to do this week with my Pumpkin Spice Granola recipe. Sweetened with pure maple syrup and raisins, this granola contains real pumpkin and all those wonderful autumn spices that make pumpkin pie taste so good. And it's so easy to make.
In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients and set aside.
A note about your pumpkin puree—use the good stuff. All you want in there is pumpkin. No additives, no sugar, no spices, nothing but pumpkin. We are not talking about pumpkin pie filling here, so put that crap back on the shelf and buy the real stuff instead.
In a sauce pan, heat and whisk the rest of the ingredients on the stove top over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, making sure not to boil.
Pour the liquid mixture over the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a big wooden spoon, stir everything together to fully coat your granola.
Spread evenly on your large lined baking sheet pan and place in your 250 degree preheated oven.
Remove from the oven every 15 minutes to stir, baking for a total of one hour and 15 minutes. This is important as it allows your granola to bake evenly instead of being dry on the top and wet on the bottom.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before eating or storing. Store in an airtight container and it should stay fresh for 2 weeks.
And that's it. Healthy food doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. This recipe is simple and delicious.
A side note on my kitchen situation. Most of you know that we have recently moved to a fixer-upper. We gave up a newly remodeled kitchen with lots of natural sunlight and plenty of usable granite counter tops, to well...this.
I am tickled pink that we installed the new oven this week so I could at least finally bake, however a full renovation on the kitchen is at least a half a year away. Needless to say, the tiny windows and yellowy-orange lighting is less than desirable for blog photos. You will be able to tell the difference between the photos I have to take in the kitchen and the photos I can take near sunlight in other parts of the house. The worst part of this whole kitchen is the counter tops.
Yes, these babies are porous concrete with small beach pebbles along the boarder. Style and design complaints aside, they are just not ideal for a kitchen. I am sure they were sealed at one time, but they are best cleaned now with a scrub brush and a broom. However, don't let my complaining fool you, this house is going to be perfect for us once we finish remodeling it. I just need to be patient and adapt to what I have for the time being. Luckily, I still have my trusty supervisor.
Hope you like this new recipe as much as I do. Enjoy it with some unsweetened almond milk, coconut yogurt or ice cream, or use it to top my Vanilla Chai Tea Pumpkin Bread recipe instead of the streusel topping and replace the regular sugar with coconut or date sugar to create a healthier version. Just sprinkle it on halfway through the baking so the bread is still doughy enough to incorporate the granola but doesn't bake too long resulting in burnt granola topping or make muffins out of the recipe using a reduced baking time.
However you decide to eat it, enjoy!
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (15 minutes to prepare, 1 hour 15 minutes to bake)
4 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 c. chia seeds
1 c. raw pecans, chopped
1 c. unsweetened raisins
1/2 c. organic pumpkin puree
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/3 c. melted sustainably sourced coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl, add the first four ingredients. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes to form a sauce. Do not boil. Remove from heat and pour over the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to fully coat.
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the wet granola mixture onto the lined pan, spread evenly and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using a spatula, stir the mixture and level back out. Put back in the oven for another 15 minutes and repeat, stirring every 15 minutes for a total baking time of an hour and 15 minutes. This helps to evenly bake and toast the granola.
When done, remove from the oven to completely cool.
Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
Makes 8 servings.