September 11, 2013
Day 2 of 10 Days of Pumpkin is all about breakfast. I think I go through more granola than any other food out there. I love the stuff. What I love even more is how creative you can get when making it! It can be sweet or salty; spicy or plain; with or without nuts; with or without dried fruit. Your options are really limitless when it comes to the stuff. Now, I don’t make granola very often; even though I should since it’s one of the easiest things ever to make. I often buy it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are some really great granolas out there. I thought pumpkin granola would be a fun and easy alternative to the store-bought stuff. It’s perfect for Fall and packed full of sugar and spice. Oh, and the aroma that fills the house while making…oh oh my. This recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas morning. It is light which makes it easier to chow down all of those Holiday fixings later on in the day!
1. It is very important to give the granola a toss a couple of times while it’s baking so that it cooks evenly. If you don’t do this, you will most certainly have a crispy top and a mushy bottom. We certainly DO NOT want this. I would say 2-3 times during the course of it baking is sufficient.
2. Baking time with vary and will be contingent on personal preference. I prefer my granola to be extra crispy. In the recipe below I have a cooking time of about 45 minutes. When I make granola, I usually cook it for at least an hour for extra crispiness. This all depends on how you like it. Just make sure to watch it closely and you will be just fine.
3. You don’t have to follow my exact instructions for dry ingredients. I know that there are those of you out there that prefer different dried fruits and nuts. I chose these ingredients because I believe they represent the best that Autumn has to offer. Feel free to sub out (and in) a few ingredients of your own =).
I know what you are thinking. Beer for breakfast? Personally, I don’t often crack open a cold one at 8 in the morning. I also wouldn’t suggest doing this =); unless of course you are at a tailgate or something, in which this is totally ok =). If you plan on breaking this granola out later on in the day for a snack or dessert, I would most certainly pair it with Southern Tier’s Pumking. Pumking has always been one of my favorite pumpkin beers. Southern Tier doesn’t distribute to our area, so we always stock up when we head back East for the holidays (even though this won’t be happening this year). We do however have some lying around from last year that will get us through the next year. Yes, we have a problem. Even though this is last year’s edition of a great pumpkin beer, it is still a great provider in pumpkin flavor! It smells like pumpkin, tastes like pumpkin, and is really just like eating pumpkin pie. Pick up a bottle! It should already be on the liquor store shelves (if you are lucky enough to live in an area where the distribute).
Happy Hump Day everyone!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
This granola recipe is perfect for Fall and packed full of pumpkin flavor!
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup pepitas, unsalted and unroasted
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line a large lipped baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, flaxseed meal, cashews, pepitas, dried cranberries, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and sea salt. Toss to combine and set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture over top of the dry oat mixture. Stir to fully coat. Now pour the now moistened oats onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, making sure to give the ingredients a stir every 10-15 minutes. When the granola is brown and crispy on top, remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Store the granola in an air-tight container. It will keep for about 2 weeks. Serve with milk, yogurt or vanilla ice cream!
- Hardware: * Baking Sheet * Parchment paper * Large Bowl * Spoons * Whisk * Medium Bowl * Air-Tight Container *