Pumpkin Granola

I can’t believe I’m going to Portugal this Friday already! Seriously time, what are you running a race or something trying to whiz by? Take a step back and relax!

Even though I’m excited to be going to Europe, a part of me is actually looking forward to accomplishing many new things this fall, yet sad that I wont see the trees beautifully transform into rich gems or feel the wind become cooler. I don’t know what’s come over me, but I’ve really been procrastinating and leaving everything to be done at the last-minute. Then again I don’t think anyone would jump at the chance to pack their life away, on top of packing for a 3 week vacation where the weather can’t manage to stay constant longer than a few hours. I don’t mind packing but I’m also not the type of person to survive with just a bed and their clothes. I need photographs, art, and small trinkets that put a smile on my face and bring a part of me into my home. It keeps me sane knowing I have my crafts box or hand-painted plate {by aunt} or bunch of dried lavender from my garden with me.

Yes, you can see why someone would become frustrated and what does one do to get over the stress of packing…well spend the entire Sunday making as many “fall flavored” goodies as possible. I was baking and experimenting with my favorite flavors, my kind of relaxation, and declared this “Pumpkin Week.” {My egg white pumpkin and spinach scramble gave me the energy to start my day off right} Since, no one will be home for the next few weeks, the challenge was to use up ingredients I already had in my pantry or would spoil in the refrigerator. Oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spices, and pumpkin puree…the perfect ingredients for a simple Fall granola!

I just love the deep caramel-amber like color, it’s such a warm yet rich tone which is everything Fall evokes.

I learned from my last time making granola, to coat my Medjool Dates with a little flour to prevent the chopped pieces from sticking together.

Makes life a lot easier!Warm, golden, and slightly crispy.Warm granola is too tempting! I just couldn’t resist topping some Greek yogurt and fresh berries as soon as it came out of the oven.Simple, comforting, sweet, spicy and just down right delicious. Hope you have a lovely week!


Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients {Makes about 3 1/2 cups}

3 1/2 cups – Rolled Oats

3/4 teaspoon –  Pumpkin Pie Spice {Homemade or store bought works well too}

3/4 teaspoon – Ground Cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon – Ground Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon – Salt

1/3 cup – Unsalted Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup – Brown Sugar

1/3 cup – Pumpkin Puree

1/8 cup – Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

1/8 cup – Organic Honey

2/3 teaspoon – Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup – Medjool Dates {Chopped into small pieces}

Recipe

Pre-heat your oven to 350*F, with a rack in the center.  Combine the oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, apple sauce, honey and pumpkin puree and mix until everything is incorporated well. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until well coated.

Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Stir the granola and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes {should be golden brown and crisp} Let it cool completely on the baking sheet and stir in the dates. Place in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.


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