I have often wanted to make granola but always thought the stuff from the store is good enough, why bother. Well now I get it. Before I even tasted the granola, I was won over while the granola was baking by the heavenly smells of the pumpkin spices, roasting nuts, and oats permeating through my house. This was enough to convince me that I will never buy packaged granola again! Give it a try and feel free to substitute types of nuts/dried fruit that you prefer and spices that you prefer or that are seasonal. Thank you to Jen Jones of Sweet Green Kitchen for the recipe. I only made very minor adjustments.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Healthy and savory homemade granola with pumpkin spice.
- 3 Tablespoons of safflower or canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar (or honey, I like the flavor of honey but I have read that the delicate enzymes will be destroyed by the heat)
- 1/2 cup of no sugar added, 100% fruit jam (apricot or strawberry is recommended)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups of rolled oats (I like thick old fashioned rolled oats)
- 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, shelled)
- 1/8 cup flax seeds
- 1/8 cup ground flax
- 1/8 cup psyllium husk (ground)
- 1/8 cup wheat germ
- 1 -2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ginger or just 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit-sweetened dried cranberries
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Line a large 12″x17″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (or grease the pan). Set aside.
- Mix the coconut oil, sugar and jam in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until well combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla and water, stir and set aside to cool slightly.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a large bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are fully mixed with the wet. Add a little water if necessary.
- Press granola mixture into the pan, press mixture down so it all sticks together. Press hard (with a back of a measuring cup for example).
- Bake the granola in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the granola and re-press into pan. Cook for 10 more minutes and stir again adding the chopped cranberries and re-press into pan. Place back into the oven for 15 more minutes, but make sure not to let it burn, granola can be perfect one minute and burned the next!
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. It may cook a little longer after you take it out. When cool store in a large airtight container. Enjoy!
Notes: updated 2/6/19
- I don’t use coconut oil anymore. It has a great flavor but is very high in saturated fat and I haven’t seen any actual research that says it is beneficial (and may be harmful but the jury is out), so I now use safflower or canola oil, something light and with a neutral flavor.
- Don’t add dried fruit right away, it tends to burn (harden). I have had more success adding it in the last 15 minutes of cooking, although a lot of recipes say add it after cooking, but then it won’t stick to the granola and I like my granola chunky. I have has some success soaking the dried fruit in hot water for 15 minutes or so and draining the fruit and adding it with the rest of the ingredients.
- I have tried both cooking the wet ingredients and not cooking them and I see the logic in cooking them, the ingredients emulsify that way, but I am not sure the end result is any different. I re-wrote the recipe to include the cooking of the wet ingredients step, but I am still on the fence about this.
- Overall cooking granola is pretty tricky! I am finding that it can burn very quickly, so cooking it low and slow is my mantra. I have experimented with cooking it at 280 degrees, but maybe that is too conservative, seems a little raw, so I think 300 is better.
October 30, 2017, updated 2/6/19