Pumpkin Spice Granola is in favor this time of year. There are many recipes out there that contain pumpkin puree but when experimenting, I concluded that pumpkin puree didn’t add much of the flavor. If anything, it made the granola lose the anticipated crunch. Makes sense, actually. Adding a heavy puree to oats and baking might get you a few bits that are crunchy, but I found that mostly you get chunks with no crunch. And if you stored it for more than day, it became soft. Not what I was looking for in a Pumpkin Spice Granola – or any granola for that matter.
I wanted to test if it made a huge difference if pumpkin puree wasn’t included in the ingredients. I took a look at the ingredients of a pumpkin granola at the supermarket and it used dried pumpkin. Where do you get that? And does it really make a difference in flavor?
First thing I did was come up with my own Pumpkin Spice Mix. I wanted it to be loaded with cinnamon flavor but to have a little kick to it. Of course, you can add a bottled pumpkin spice for this recipe. I just enjoy conjuring up spice mixes.
Then I created a recipe that had the basics of oats, pepitas, pecans, maple syrup and pumpkin spice. Along with the basics I added puffed rice for added crunch. I roughly chop up the pecans which makes it easier to eat (personal preference). I like to use a combination of whole oats and quick oats. Rolled oats give that familiar granola look but the quick oats add some volume and makes it easier to chew. That is an actual comment from one of my taste testers.
After making many versions of my experimental recipe, I had a winner. This pumpkin spice granola was full of flavor and crunch. Adding just a touch of brown sugar was all that was needed to make it addicting and provide the secret to creating chunks.
This is a simple recipe. I wanted pumpkin flavor, crunchy, and delicious and this pumpkin spice granola delivered. Try it with yogurt or as a topping for ice cream. Have it as a breakfast cereal or just grab a handful and eat it up.
Give it a try – you will not be disappointed.
- 3 cups oats - I use 2 cups rolled and 1 cup quick
- 1 cup puffed rice - unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Spice Mix
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds - pepitas
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons oil - safflower or canola
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon safflower or canola oil for pan
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease a cookie sheet pan a teaspoon of safflower or canola oil.
- Combine oats, rice puffs, spice, pepitas, pecans and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the maple syrup, oil, brown sugar. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved then remove from heat.
- Add vanilla. It might bubble so be careful.
- Alternatively, in a 2 cup glass measuring cup, pour in maple syrup and oil. Add in brown sugar. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on your microwave, stirring half way to dissolve brown sugar. Add in vanilla. It might bubble so be careful.
- Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to fully combine.
- Spread on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Depending on your oven, you may need to stir granola halfway through for even coloring.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break it up into chunks.
- Store in an airtight container. It will last about two weeks but I'm sure it won't last that long.
- Enjoy it as a breakfast cereal, as a snack, on top of yogurt, or on ice cream.