*Note: this is an updated post from 12/9/09. I have slightly changed the initial recipe that I posted, and updated the photos, as well. Enjoy!
Pumpkin is inarguably one of the quintessential flavors of Autumn. Most people reserve pumpkin treats for the months of October and November. I, on the other hand, enjoy the squash in its canned pureed form well beyond the fall holidays. Baked into muffins and breads, stirred into yogurt and smoothies, cooked into oatmeal and risotto, pumpkin puree is a staple in my year-round diet.
I have so many pumpkin-centric recipes saved that I should devote a separate folder, (on my computer and in my recipe binder), just for this ingredient. One of these recipes is Pumpkin Spice Granola. I don’t know why it took me so long to make this granola, but I am glad I finally got around to it! Less sweet and lower in fat than my favorite cereal-topper, this granola sill manages to give Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola a run for its money.
My modifications to the original recipe include halving the recipe and cutting down a bit on the brown sugar. I opted to include walnuts, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, and regular raisins to the mix, but any combination of nuts and dried fruit would be delicious.
The spiced granola is surprisingly crunchy considering the lack of butter or oil in the recipe. I love the crunch factor, but if you prefer a chewier granola, simply bake the mixture for less time.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds (such as pecans, walnuts, and/or pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (such as unsulfured dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Measure the oats & rice cereal into a large bowl, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin pie spice, salt, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk until very smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until the oats & rice cereal are evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the nuts & seeds into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove granola from the oven, toss with dried fruit, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.