Two Years Ago: Wild Mushroom & Wild Rice Chicken Soup
"Baked pumpkin spice granola" - doesn't that just sound good? Like it will make your kitchen smell great. And it's true.
The Lawyer and I like to sprinkle granola over yogurt for breakfast, and it's also fabulous in pancakes to add crunch. Or, eaten straight out of hand, it makes a delicious mid-afternoon snack. One time I gave some homemade granola to a friend who didn't particularly like to cook, and she told me later that she had it for dinner every night for a week. However you eat it, granola is delicious. This particularly granola is only lightly sweet but has the most wonderful flavor combination where no one flavor overwhelms. At first you taste the spices, then a hint of coconut comes in, and then the pumpkin comes through.
This granola is slightly darker than most you'll find at the store, due to the spices, dark brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin. It's about the color of "normal" granola before it's baked, so don't freak out when it turns slightly darker during baking. Just be sure to stir every ten minutes and it won't turn too dark.
Granola is incredibly easy to make and much less expensive than buying it in the store. Its a fun little weekend project that you'll appreciate during the following week. And it makes a great gift, too.
Baked Pumpkin Spice Granola
Yields approximately 5 cups
3 ¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325d.
Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats, coconut, almonds, spices and salt together until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil, brown sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened. Divide evenly between the baking sheets and spread out into a thin layer.
Bake each batch for 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Allow granola to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes. Cover tightly and store at room temperature.
* Or use ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground allspice.