Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Pumpkin Spice Granola

It seems things on this blog/in my life have gotten a bit backed up as of late… it’s that time of year, I guess? I started a new job in July working in marketing (social media) for a couple of retail stores, and when they told me the holidays were busy – well that was an understatement. I’ve also been writing a food and entertaining blog for work, so my own blog has been a bit neglected. It’s so sad to me, because I miss it so much, but I know I’ll get back into the swing of things… it just might not be util the new year.

At any rate, I made this pumpkin granola about 1.5 months ago, but pumpkin is still totally in (right?!) so I feel okay sharing it with you now. I’ve been on a granola making kick all fall – I made an apple spice granola that was far and away the best, but of course I never snapped any photos… Good thing I made this next, so I could share it with you!

Around granola, I have little power to hold myself back. Once I have my first bite I can’t stop, and often times that’s a problem, because granola isn’t the healthiest thing out there. So when I make my own, I try to add healthful ingredients, and cut back on sugar and fat so that it still tastes good, but I don’t feel bad eating it. This granola was very very mildly sweet – when I first tried it I thought I’d cut the sugar too much, but after a couple tastes I loved it. It’s crunchy with nut clusters and chewy bites from the cranberries – really like fall in a bowl. I served it over plain nonfat greek yogurt for many days in a row, and it was perfect that way!

What makes this granola especially special is that you caramelize a mix of nuts and seeds, and allow those to cool and crisp up separately from the granola. When the granola is done, you mix in your crunchy caramelized nut clusters, and they add a burst of flavor and deep nuttyness to every bite. Nutritious and delicious!

I added canned pumpkin to this recipe, which upped the nutrients, and made the granola seem that much heartier. For a sweets-heavy palate, it may need a bit more maple syrup, but I really loved it just the way it was.

What’s your favorite kind of granola? Do you prefer to make it at home or buy it out?

Pumpkin Crunch Granola
adapted from Eat Live Run

Spice Mix Ingredients
2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice

Candied Nuts Ingredients
¾ cups raw pumpkin seeds
¾ chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon spice mix
pinch of salt

Granola Assembly Ingredients
4 cups old fashioned oats
remaining spice mix
½ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together all spice mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, walnuts and 1 tsp of the spice mix. Toast seeds and nuts, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Add honey and brown sugar and continue to cook while stirring for another two minutes. Carefully transfer and spread out candied seeds and nuts on a large sheet tray. Let cool for about 12 minutes, until no longer sticky. Break seeds and nuts up with a spatula to avoid sticking and set aside.

Place the oats, along with the remaining spice mix and salt, in a large bowl. Mix well, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the maple syrup and the coconut oil in a small saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Very carefully, pour the hot syrup over the oats. Toss well. Fold in the pumpkin puree, and mix until completely incorporated.

Spread out granola on two large sheet pans. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, tossing every five minutes. When done, remove granola from the oven and let cool. Place cooled granola in a large bowl and toss with the candied pumpkin seeds and walnuts until everything is incorporated.

You can store this granola in an air-tight container at room temperature for a week or two.

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