Happy first week of October! I have finally started seeing some leaves changing color on the trees and there is definitely a chill in the air. Even though the official first day of fall was a couple weeks ago, I never really fully believe it is fall until we get into the month of October. When the weather cools down and I start seeing pumpkins and fall decorations on porches, then I know it is fall.
Earlier this week, I was driving home from work and I saw a sign for a pumpkin farm, inviting anyone who wanted to stop by and pick out some pumpkins to take home. My first thought was, “Wow, it really is fall”. My second thought was, “I definitely need to get some pumpkins to decorate my house”. And my third, and most exciting thought was, “I have got to get home and make something with pumpkin!”.
As much as I love anything pumpkin, I refuse to bake anything pumpkin before October 1st. It just doesn’t seem right. But as soon as my calendar says October, I immediately jump right in, purchasing every can of pumpkin I possibly can at the grocery (and heading to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, which seriously just makes my day). When I was thinking about what I should start out my pumpkin baking with this season, I realized that my granola container was getting low. I have never had pumpkin granola, but as soon as I thought about it, I knew it had to happen.
I am a huge fan of this granola. As I was mixing everything together, it smelled awesome. As I stood patiently waiting for it to come out of the oven, it smelled even more awesome. As I put it into the container to place in the pantry, I could hardly contain my excitement. Pumpkin granola! I can’t believe I haven’t thought to do this sooner. Homemade granola is very easy to make, and this is a perfect fall flavor. I chose to use cranberries and almonds in mine as I think the flavors work well together, however you could substitute these for any dried fruit and nut combination you prefer with the pumpkin flavor.
This has become my go-to fall granola flavor, and I’m sure I will be making plenty of batches throughout the season. What are some of your favorite types of granola?
Yield: about 12 cups
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Make the granola
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, honey, oil and vanilla. Whisk together to combine. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the oats. Stir the mixture until all of the oats are well coated.
Spread the granola into the baking dish, leaving a few clumps for texture. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the granola out of the oven and stir using a spatula. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and lightly crisp.
Remove from the oven and stir in the dried cranberries and almonds. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites