Tis the season for everything pumpkin. I’m not complaining. Just stating a fact. Pumpkin Spice Lattes appeared this year on August 28, which always signals the start of fall and all things pumpkin.
I am a fan of most things pumpkin except pumpkin pie. Weird, huh? I almost never make pumpkin pie for thanksgiving and if I am a guest at someone else’s house and pumpkin pie is all that’s served for dessert I’ll pass on dessert. This has to tell you something about how much I detest pumpkin pie. When do I ever pass on dessert?!
This year I began stocking up on all things pumpkin early thanks to the PTSD I developed last year when I went to Trader Joe’s before Thanksgiving and they were out of pumpkin butter. I was planning on making a pumpkin butter pie for Thanksgiving dessert and Trader Joe’s was OUT of their famed pumpkin butter. I was pissed. I had to order some from Walmart and it cost me a fortune. (I grabbed two jars of pumpkin butter as soon as I saw it on the shelves this year. Incidentally I have no plans for pumpkin butter anything this year.)
At any rate, I came across a recipe for pumpkin granola at Life Made Sweeter that looked so good I had to break open one of my cans of pumpkin immediately kicking off the all things pumpkin craze.
I love granola but find it slightly putzy to make. Coupled with the fact that it’s highly caloric, I almost never make it, buy it or eat it. (“Highly caloric” doesn’t stop me from eating most things. It happens I don’t eat breakfast regularly.)
For my version of the recipe I swapped out maple syrup for yacon syrup, which I started using recently even though I’ve had a bottle of it for longer than one probably should. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a low glycemic sweetener that’s touted as a weight loss aid. I got it because it was recommended for use in Superfood Snacks by Julie Morris. It worked well in this recipe.
I absolutely loved this recipe. If I ate breakfast and could eat whatever I wanted, I might eat granola every day. I ate it a few times with almond milk and a few times with yogurt. The yogurt option stuck with me longer and helped keep me full for hours.
- ½ c. pumpkin puree
- ½ c. yacon syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 c. old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ c. pecans
- ½ c. pumpkin seeds (I used candied pumpkin seeds sold at Trader Joe’s–amazing!)
- Pinch of salt
- dried bananas (optional)
- dried raisins (optional)
- dried papayas (optional)
- sliced almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the oats and salt and stir until evenly coated. Stir in the pecans and pumpkin seeds.
- Spread mixture evenly onto baking pan and press down the granola with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten it out to stick together.
- Bake for 40 minutes; DO NOT STIR; rotate the pan halfway through. Gently move around any pieces that may be cooking unevenly at the edge with a wooden spoon or spatula, if necessary.
- Once baked, remove from oven and allow granola to sit and cool completely. Break apart any very large pieces to your preferred size. Sprinkle with the additional optional add ins, if desired.
- Serve granola with milk, yogurt or eat on its own.