Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Fall is one of my favorite times of year because it's when I tend to make more spiced and pumpkin filled desserts. I love the fruit in the spring and summer, but some of my favorite desserts are traditional fall treats like pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple pie, can you tell I'm a pie lover? I guess I could make these things year round, but I usually only make them to bring to a family gathering or when I have someone to share them with. I'm still on the hunt for a smaller pie plate, a 7 inch one would be perfect.
Anyway, to bring some of that fall flavor to my morning breakfast, I decided to make some pumpkin spice granola. I really can't believe that I was ever afraid of making granola after that one time that it didn't work out. Whenever recipes flop now, I just move on to another one or rethink it if it seems salvageable. Back to the topic at hand, granola is super easy to make, endlessly customizable, and it's great as a breakfast cereal, over yogurt, or for a snack. This one from Sally's Baking Addiction is very lightly sweetened, so much so that I've added just a touch more sugar in the recipe and because I love spice, I've also bumped that up just a bit. The sweetness could also depend on your maple syrup, though, so adjust as needed. Pumpkin is not a super strong flavor and there isn't a lot of it here, so mostly what you get is the pumpkin pie spice. I love the way this granola forms large clusters due to the egg whites, but you could certainly leave it out.

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Makes about 6 cups

3 3/4 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 large pinches of salt
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of dried cranberries, cherries, currants, etc.

Preheat oven to 325 deg F. In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, salt, and spices together.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for a minute or two to break them up. Mix in the coconut oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and the pumpkin puree. Add the wet mixture to the dry and thoroughly coat the oat mixture with the wet ingredients.

Divide the granola between two lined baking sheets and bake for 40 min until the granola is golden brown, stirring the granola every 10-15 min and rotating the baking sheets halfway.  Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets. Mix in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to a few weeks.

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