Granola was one of the first things my mother taught me to bake. I’ve since learned her recipe by heart and make it frequently. I love the ritual of stirring the oats every few minutes until they’re just the right golden-brown. A batch of granola in the oven fills the kitchen with a lovely scent. The warmth of cinnamon air is ever comforting.
Like many Fall-enthuaists, I’m finding ways to add pumpkin to anything I can. I’ve modified my mother’s classic recipe to include some of our favorite autumn gourd. Pumpkin granola makes a wonderful seasonal gift—and a sweet, healthy treat for yourself! I’ll be enjoying mine with a splash of almond milk.
Best Vegan Pumpkin Granola
(Makes about 8 cups)
7 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup natural, gooey sweetener of choice (I like coconut nectar because it’s low glycemic. Maple syrup works well, too).
½ cup coconut oil (warmed to its liquid state)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup pumpkin puree
Optional add-ins (mix in dried fruit and wheat germ after you’re finished baking):
Handfuls of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted wheat germ, dried fruit, shredded coconut, etc.
Preheat oven at 250 degrees.
In a large, oven-safe baking dish, mix dry ingredients (oats, spices, chopped walnuts). In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (sweetener, warmed coconut oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree). Pour mixed wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until oats are golden-brown. Important: be sure to stir your batch every 5-10 minutes to ensure even baking.
Allow granola to cool before storing it.
More healthy breakfast ideas: Hidden Superfood Porridge
Photo: Mary Hood