We are risking the wrath of the seasons today in the sweet name of Pumpkin Granola.
Posting the first pumpkin recipe of the year always feels a little like jumping into a giant pool of cold water. I hold my breath, close my eyes, dangle my foot over the edge, and 1, 2, 3…
It’s a little shocking at first (really? pumpkin?), but at the same time, it feels so good.
And, in the case of today’s maple-sweetened, crispy-crunchy, healthy pumpkin pie granola recipe, it tastes so good too.
About This Pumpkin Granola Recipe
Over the weekend, two girlfriends from college came to visit for a mini-reunion. While we did a few things around the city, the absolute best part of our weekend was the hours we spent on my back porch, talking long into the night the way only best friends can do. We’ve known each other for 13 years, and there are few people with whom I feel more myself.
At around 1 a.m., we realized we were starving, and a post-midnight snack was in order. I broke out the container of Pumpkin Granola, and by the end of the weekend, we’d munched the entire batch.
I had originally planned to share this Pumpkin Granola in a few weeks, but it hit the spot so sweetly for us that I thought that it might for you too. Pumpkin plunge, here we come!
A version of this pumpkin quinoa granola recipe first appeared on my blog back in 2013, four years and what must be four dozen batches of homemade granola ago. Since then, I’ve learned a lot of tricks to make homemade granola healthier, crispier, and more satisfying. You’ll see that wisdom applied to today’s new and improved version of the recipe.
I’ve replaced the brown sugar with more natural sweeteners: maple syrup and a touch of coconut sugar. The oil has been swapped for an egg white, which makes the granola extra crispy and adds protein too (see notes if you prefer to omit the egg white or make the granola vegan).
I also added helpful notes about how to cook and flip the granola to maximize the chunks. Does anyone else pick through bags of granola looking for the biggest pieces? If yes, you are going to adore this recipe!
For even more crunch and satisfaction, I added uncooked millet, which is a delightful, healthy whole grain. If you can’t find it, quinoa is a perfect substitute. To up the pumpkin factor, I stirred in pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pecans, and dried cranberries. The result is a fall-spiced pumpkin granola that tastes good at all hours, including the wee ones.
Need a gluten-free granola? Try this Gluten Free Granola recipe.
How to Serve Pumpkin Granola
While this granola is delicious eaten as is, here are a few ideas of how to serve it:
- With Milk. Serve this recipe with milk and sliced fruit (bananas would be tasty).
- With Greek Yogurt. The perfect breakfast combination!
- With Ice Cream. I haven’t tried it over ice cream yet, but I have a strong suspicion that would be quite yummy too.
Recommended Tools to Make This Granola
- Fish spatula: Ideal for flipping the granola and keeping it nice and chunky
- Parchment paper (I love these precut sheets)
- All-purpose rimmed baking sheet
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats gluten free if needed
- 1/4 cup uncooked millet or substitute ¼ cup uncooked quinoa or an additional ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raisins or golden raisins, or additional dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir in the maple syrup, coconut sugar, 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. In a small bowl, briskly whisk the egg white until foamy. Pour over the granola and stir to coat.
- Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and press down with the back of a spatuala or wooden spoon. Bake for 20 minutes, then with a large spatula, such as a fish spatula, flip the granola in as big of pieces as you can, being careful not to break it apart too much. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the granola smells fragrant and the pecans are nicely toasted. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet for about 1 hour. It will continue to crisp as it cools. Break into chunks of desired size, then stir in the dried cranberries and raisins. Serve the granola with milk, yogurt, or atop ice cream, or shovel directly into your mouth.
- Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or freeze for several months.
- To make the recipe vegan, replace the egg white with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil or canola oil.
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