Here we are, smack dab in the season of pumpkin spice everything. When you focus largely on seasonal and local foods, it’s a given that pumpkin will be showing up in your autumn menus, at least where I hail from. And where there’s pumpkin, pumpkin spice isn’t far behind. After all, plain pumpkin without any adornment isn’t exactly crave-worthy (at least not for me, and there’s probably a poll somewhere to back up this contention).
Pumpkin is so versatile — not only does it hold its own in a variety of savoury foods like this curried pumpkin coconut chickpea soup, but when it comes to sugar and spice and everything nice, pumpkin is everywhere from the ubiquitous lattes to pumpkin pie (but of course) to granola. Whoa — pumpkin in granola? you ask. You bet!
While this quick skillet granola is a great kitchen hack when I absolutely must have granola on my yogourt but there’s none in the cupboard, I do like to plan ahead and make a big batch from time to time. And right now, there’s a one-litre jar of granola sitting on the countertop looking all stylish and ready for me to dip into it when the need strikes. And it’s not just any granola; it’s pumpkin spice granola.
I’ll be honest: like a lot of baked goods with pumpkin in them, what you taste here isn’t as much pumpkin as the pumpkin spice. But it’s there in the background in its best supporting player role, adding nutritive value, an earthy depth of flavour and a hint of ochre colour. Like any good granola, there’s pleasing crunchiness from nuts, chewiness from dried fruit and the aromatic sweetness of maple syrup.
Pumpkin spice bandwagon? Grab a big scoop of this granola and all aboard!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life 2016
Your kitchen will smell amazing as this granola gets all toasty in the oven. Add whatever combination of dried fruits you like to this granola, or keep it a dried-fruit-free snack — it’s up to you! I like the simple earnestness of raisins, coupled with the cheeky tang of dried sour cherries; to each their own.
Note, I’ve listed out the spice ingredients, but what you see here equates to 2-3/4 teaspoons of my pumpkin spice blend.
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF, and if you prefer, line your largest sheet pan with parchment paper.
- 3 cups large flake oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seed kernels (pepitas), salted
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
- 3/8 cup maple syrup
- (optional) 1/4 cup raisins
- (optional) 1/4 cup dried sour cherries
Put all the dry ingredients except the dried fruit in a large bowl and stir well until everything is well distributed. Add the pumpkin puree and maple syrup, and once again stir until everything is coated.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
Set the tray on a rack to let the granola cool, then stir in the dried fruit if you’re using it and store the granola in a mason jar — keep it on your countertop for easy access; just saying.