Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
One of the items that we regularly keep around our house is homemade granola. I make a variety of flavors all year long that we enjoy with milk (like a cereal), in a bag or bowl as an anytime snack, with yogurt in a parfait, and even on ice cream. We really enjoy our granola around here. In fact, the last batch I made was a Walnut Banana Bread mix, with our homemade dehydrated banana slices. Yum!
Well, it just so turns out that we were coming to the end of our granola store right in the midst of my autumn recipe season. With the cooler weather coming in, we've been enjoying seasonal recipes galore for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and yummy desserts—and I couldn't believe that I hadn't made some fall-inspired granola yet. It seemed about time to make some Apple Cinnamon Granola and Pumpkin Spice Granola.
I'm glad I did! My husband and oldest son have torn into it like they've been waiting for it all year long. My husband's favorite is the Apple Cinnamon, but my toddler really loves this one. The first time I made it I was worried about mixing pumpkin puree right into my oats. My traditional granola flavors don't include this much wet. I was concerned that it wouldn't all dry out and bake in. I wanted granola that could be stored in the pantry and would last awhile.
But there was no need to be concerned. It turned out crunchy and crispy and has stored well every time I've made it. Let me show you how I made it!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 gallon of granola
- 5 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pour each ingredient one at a time into a large mixing bowl starting with your oats.
- Add in all of your dry ingredients first.
- Then add in all of your wet ingredients, melting the honey before pouring in.
- Save your cranberries and pumpkin seeds until after you bake your granola.
- Mix your granola really well and pour it out into a thin, even layer on your cookie sheets so it bakes evenly.
- Pop it into the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- When you pull it out, immediately pour it back into your large mixing bowl and stir to cool.
- Pour in your cranberries and pumpkin seeds and stir in.
- Store your granola in a cool, dry location, in an airtight container and it should last you indefinitely, or until you finish it.
Read More From Delishably
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Instead of using canned pumpkin puree, and all of the extra ingredients that come with it, I like to can my own pumpkin. At the end of the fall season each year, just after Thanksgiving, when everyone is done with their pumpkins, I go around and collect them. So many people are willing to give them to me for free. I then take them home, roast them, slice them up and can them to use in our meals all year round. This also makes all of my fall recipes easy as I have a personal store of canned pumpkin chunks in the basement, with no added ingredients.
Pumpkins have so many great nutritional benefits as well. They are highly nutritious and a great source of beta carotene, that your body turns into vitamin A. Pumpkins also have a high antioxidant content that can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells. This reduces your risk of future chronic diseases and stabilizes your body so that it can heal from current illnesses and issues.
They are also loaded with nutrients that can boost your body's immune system. How ideal this particular fruit is for the fall season. As the weather gets cooler and kids return to school, this is a popular time for illness. By boosting your immune system, and giving it the nutrients it needs to protect you, you could potentially avoid illness this season altogether. What more motivation do you need to enjoy some great pumpkin recipes this fall season?!
Pumpkin is also made up of about 94% water, like cucumbers and watermelon. Simply put, pumpkin is a weight loss friendly food because you can consume more of it than other sources, like rice and potatoes, but still take in fewer calories. What’s more, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, which can help curb your appetite. There are so many more health benefits of eating pumpkin, but they speak for themselves. Don't fear enjoying some yummy pumpkin this fall.
This granola has always really impressed me. Not only is it beautiful when finished, but it tastes amazing! It's green and red and orange, crunchy and crispy, and it tastes like you'd think fall should. You could even toss in a cup of pecans for a special treat. I didn't include them in my recipe because I already have a delicious Homemade Cranberry Pecan Granola that's very similar.
In order to create your own unique granola flavors all year round, simply switch out those items you don't want for those that you do. In my Homemade Banana Bread Granola, I added in dehydrated bananas and walnuts instead of cranberries and pecans. I also make a yummy coconut almond version that's my favorite, and you guessed it, I added unsweetened shredded coconut and chopped almonds in place of the fruit and nuts above. Don't be scared to toss in different spices, dehydrated fruits, nuts, or seeds, etc.
And granola bars are just a simple step away. Instead of mixing your granola right after baking it, leave it on your trays to dry completely, drizzle homemade caramel syrup, melted dark chocolate chips or whatever over the top and then break it into pieces. Yum! Have fun with this recipe!
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness