Pumpkin season! YAYAYAY! (October is my favorite month.)
Now that the SNAP Challenge is over and I’m all settled in my new place, I couldn’t wait to start cooking in my new kitchen. While packing I noticed that I had a couple cans of solid pack pumpkin purée hiding in the back of my pantry, so I decided to use some of that up in a super simple Pumpkin Spice Granola.
Granola is very easy to make. Just mix your oats, nuts, dried fruit, or whatever add-ins you like with a mixture of sugar, oil, and spices. To make this granola extra pumpkin-y, I mixed a whole can of pumpkin purée into the sugar mix. It coated the oats nicely, giving them a vibrant orange color and a distinctly autumn flavor. I like my granola on the not-so-sweet side, so if you’re wanting something a little more dessert-like, increase the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and/or the honey to 1/4 cup.
Pecans or walnuts are the obvious nut choice for an autumn granola, but to keep costs low I went with sunflower seeds, which are about 1/3 the price. They have a nice earthy flavor that blended well with the pumpkin and toasty oats. Cranberries are also a given for autumn inspired dishes, so I tossed some of those into the granola as well. Dried cranberries can be expensive, so to help the cranberries “go further”, I chopped them into smaller pieces. Other add-ins that might be nice would be: shredded coconut, ground flaxseed, oat bran, or pepitas.
This Pumpkin Spice Granola is great over yogurt, with a splash of cold milk, or even just to nibble on dry. I’ve been grabbing nibbles of it every time I pass through the kitchen! YUM!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
- 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin purée ($1.29)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.24)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil ($0.08)
- 2 Tbsp honey ($0.24)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.28)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ($0.30)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant oats) ($1.03)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped ($0.74)
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds ($0.60)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a medium sauce pan combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, honey, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir and cook over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and the sugar has dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry oats, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin mixture. Stir very well until the oats are evenly coated with pumpkin and there are no dry oats left on the bottom of the bowl.
- Spread the oat mixture over one or two baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake the oats in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until they are mostly dry. Stir the oats once at 30 minutes, and again at 45 minutes. The amount of time needed to bake the granola will depend on how thick they are piled onto the baking sheet. If using one baking sheet it will take about an hour, if they're spread between two sheets, it will take about 45 minutes.
- Once the oats are finished cooking, sprinkle in the chopped cranberries, stir, then press and pack the mixture down onto the baking sheet to cool. Packing it down before it cools helps solidify the granola and create chunks rather than individual flakes. Once cool, store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
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How to Make Pumpkin Spice Granola – Step by Step Photos
For this recipe, you’ll need one 15-oz. can of solid pack pumpkin, also known as pumpkin purée. Make sure not to accidentally buy canned pumpkin pie filling, which is pre-sweetened and seasoned.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Add the can of pumpkin purée to a medium sauce pot along with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp salt. If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice blend at the store, you can make your own with this recipe. If you want a sweet granola, increase the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and, if desired, the honey to 1/4 cup.
Cook and stir this mixture over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it’s heated through and the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Bonus: your house will smell like a Yankee candle.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin mixture with 6 cups of rolled oats (old-fashioned oats, not instant oats), and 1/2 cup of raw, unsalted sunflower seeds.
Mix the oats, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin mixture until the oats are completely coated and there are no dry oats left on the bottom of the bowl. Just make sure it’s REALLY well mixed.
Spread the granola over one (or two) baking sheets covered with parchment paper. The thicker it’s piled onto the baking sheet, the longer it will take to bake. Mine was pretty thick (I should have used two sheets), so it took about an hour to bake. If it’s spread very thin, it will bake faster. Bake the granola in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then stir. Return it to the oven for another 15 minutes, then stir. If it’s mostly dry at that point, it’s finished. If you have it piled thick onto one sheet, return it to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Chop the dried cranberries so that you have more pieces throughout the batch of granola.
Stir the chopped cranberries into the hot granola, then press it down onto the baking sheet to make it compact. Compressing the granola before it cools helps make it into granola chunks instead of individual granola flakes.
Allow the granola to cool, then store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
I liked it! It was a bit dry for me but I realized after that I forgot the honey. I used chopped pecans instead of sunflower seeds. It is definitely a bit of a crumbly, chewy granola rather than a crispy granola that we are used to, I think because store bought granola (and many “healthy” granola recipes!) just has so much more sugar and fat.