Pumpkin Granola

From time to time, and I find it therapeutic to admit, then embrace my own weakness. Pumpkin Granola is me, merrily munching my way to personal well-being.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

I tried to restrain myself from posting a pumpkin recipe until October; I really did. I told myself I was going to relish the fleeting days of summer before hurling headlong into fall. The scarves and cider and squash will come. What I should be doing in mid-September is baking Raspberry Scones and canning late summer tomatoes.

What I actually did in September was impulsively buy this Pumpkin Butter candle that smells so intoxicating, I about gave myself third degree nose burns by sticking my face it. {It also makes an enchanting campfire-esque crackling noise when lit, transforming our apartment from pseudo dorm room to cozy cabin. Lovely! I digress.}

Pumpkin Granola

If the pumpkin candle is lit, the pumpkin spice latte revived, and the pumpkin M&Ms on the shelves, who am I to resist? I surrendered to the power of the pumpkin and baked warm, crunchy, and hopelessly addictive Pumpkin Granola. Somewhere between my ninth and tenth handful, I realized how silly I had been to fight my attraction to this infamous fall flavor.

The best ever healthy pumpkin granola with cinnamon, pecans, and cranberries.

Pumpkin Granola

After all, why postpone pumpkin when we can turn it into irresistible, healthy homemade granola to mix into our yogurt at breakfast, snitch from the container for an afternoon (ahem, midnight) snack, and sprinkle over our ice cream after dinner?

This Pumpkin Granola is loaded with the warm spices that belong wherever pumpkin can be found: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice. Pumpkin puree, pure maple syrup, and a touch of brown sugar add flavor and bind the granola. Chewy cranberries are sweet, tart, and play well with our pumpkin-maple flavors. Pecans and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) provide protein, crunch, and an extra “pumpkin factor”. Finally, a mix of oats, flax, and millet bring the crunchy whole grain goodness.

Pumpkin Granola

If you are asking yourself, “What the heck is millet?”: Millet is a whole grain that came into my life recently, and I’m hooked. It’s been around for thousands of years, but until recently, most Americans considered millet for the birds. Literally—we used it primarily for birdseed. You and I will not be fooled, however. Millet is inexpensive, high in fiber and protein, and gluten-free. It also adds killer crunch to all kinds of goodies, including banana bread (throw 1/4 cup into your favorite recipe for a lovely layer of texture) to today’s autumn all-star: Pumpkin Granola.

{You can find millet in the bulk section of most grocery stores or online here. If you prefer not to use millet, I’ve listed substitutions in the recipe below.}

Big, yummy, crunchy handfuls of Pumpkin Granola mean scoops of autumn paradise, so why wait a moment longer? Don’t fight the pumpkin; embrace it!

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola is loaded with pumpkin flavor, warm fall spices, cranberries, pepitas, and pecans. Enjoy this healthy, crunchy granola with yogurt, milk, and even atop ice cream.

Yield: About 5 cups granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light will work here—I choose dark for its slightly stronger molasses flavor)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup uncooked millet (or substitute 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and patted dry or substitute additional 1/4 cup rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the oats, millet, and flaxseed, and stir until evenly coated. Stir in the pecans and pepitas until fairly evenly distributed. The mixture will be moist.
  3. Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and press down with the back of a spatuala or wooden spoon. Bake for 20 minutes, stir granola, press down again, then bake an additional 15-20 minutes until the granola smells fragrant and the pecans are nicely toasted. Allow granola to cool completely on the baking sheet for about an hour. It will continue to crisp as it cools. Sprinkle with the dried cranberries and raisins.
  4. Serve granola with milk, yogurt, atop ice cream, or shovel directly into your mouth.

Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. Millet is available in most grocery stores (often in the bulk foods section) or online here.

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

63 comments

  1. Yep..I could pretty much eat this every day. Fist pump for pumpkin!

  2. So healthy…would love this on some yogurt. I’ve given in to all things pumpkin too!

  3. my gosh! I LOVE millet! I can’t wait to make this!

  4. Love all things pumpkin!!! Just added some to apple butter I made. Pumpkin rules!! I think ill sub in gf oats and I’m good to go!!

  5. So glad you stopped fighting pumpkin! If you hadn’t we wouldn’t have this granola! I luuuuurrrrve pumpkin! but this is the first am hearing of pumpkin m&ms!!!

  6. Hehe! Our brains are think a like this week! I did pumpkin granola on Tuesday! So good! I LOVE the millet and flax added to yours. Sound freaking awesome!

  7. I’ll have to check out millet; it sounds great! And seriously, those two words “pumpkin” and “granola” are my two favorite – ever. And I’m not kidding. This looks so amazing and I totally forgive you for making some fall food:) It makes me happy! :)

  8. I love homemade granola, and this looks too good to miss it! I’ve never had millet, but I’m dying to do so. This recipe is a must make for me, it looks so delish! x

  9. Oh, I need to get that candle! And I need to make this granola ASAP!

  10. Oooooh, I actually have a bag of millet needing to be used! PERFECT. Bring on the pumpkin granola party!

  11. Yum, this sounds delicious! I think you’ve sold me on the idea of adding millet – I’ve actually never had it before. I’ll have to try it soon!

  12. Such a fantastic recipe! I love pumpkin flavored things and I have yet to make something with the flavor. I’ve never made homemade granola either but I do love it to top my yogurt with. This is great!

  13. I’m a sucker for granola, and this one sounds so warm and comforty. Can’t wait to try it!

  14. I have this huge pumpkin urge and wanting to bundle up in my snuggie already but living in Dallas, you cant do those things until December unless I want a heat stroke but I dont think pumpkin granola can wait any longer..

  15. Never too early for pumpkin recipes!! Love the idea of pumpkin granola. YUM!

  16. I love that you used millet in this granola!! Can’t wait to make this.

  17. I just made some pumpkin granola last night : ) I like the way you think. Yours sounds delicious! And I kinda want this candle now. My husband put all our holiday decorations in the attic when we first moved and when we took them down this weekend all the candles were melted…. I guess that means I just have to buy some new ones!

  18. Pumpkin granola is impossible to resist!!

  19. I love munching on granola! I think I need pumpkin granola in my life too!

  20. This looks yummy! What a great way to use millet.

  21. Never too early for pumpkin! And granola,well I’ll eat that year around! So now I’ll eat pumpkin granola all year around and be very happy! This looks to delicious!

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  23. Erin, this looks delicious. My kids love granola on yogurt for breakfast on school mornings. I’ve never had pumpkin-flavored granola.

  24. Hooray for pumpkin season! I love pumpkin and this recipe looks great–so glad you didn’t wait until next month :) I could totally munch on this all day.

  25. What a great breakfast treat!

  26. Do you have a recipe for making pumpkin puree ?

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  28. yes bring on the pumpkin Erin! and maybe you deliver…’cause really i am not that far away :-) and I am just loving your photos

  29. I just came across your blog and this sounds yummy. I’m gonna try it out since it’s October and my family is into everything pumpkin right now. You might like this Oatmeal Pumpkin Waffle recipe that I created. Check it out at http://www.justhismommy.com

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  36. Love this pumpkin granola – made it last night to top my yogurt. However, the raisins and cranberries burned, while the rest was nice and brown. Any suggestions? Lower temp, less time, put the fruit in after the first 20 min?

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  38. I didn’t see anyone else ask this question: Is there really no oil in this recipe? It sounds very healthy but I’ve never seen a granola recipe without at least some oil in it. ? I’m intrigued.

  39. Thanks, Erin! No oil is awesome. My husband is the pumpkin fan and the pumpkin spice granola that he used to buy in the store has been discontinued. :( I make my own granola all the time but had no clue how to make it with pumpkin till now. I’ll make him a batch for a treat and see how he likes it. :)  I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats – they’re the best!

    Like Shirley, I am now making my own yogurt. I use live culture so I have to make a new batch at least once a week. The flavor and texture can’t be beat – ever so much better than store bought with all those extra ingredients. I highly recommend trying it to go with your homemade granola!

  40. Thanks for this very wonderful recipe. You can even put this as cake toppings and on your ice cream. Thanks again.

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