There are few things as comforting as the smell of granola wafting through the kitchen early in the morning. Taking the time to make something sweet and nourishing first thing in the morning does a lot for the rest of the day. To this end, I’ve crafted a fall-scented granola filled with seasonal flavors and nuts to make any October morning a little extra special.
It’s really quite simple, so I only have a couple notes to add before we get on with the recipe.
First, you can feel free to use pre-made Pumpkin Pie Spice, I just like making a small batch at the beginning of the season since I already have the spices in my pantry. I also acknowledge the fact that mine calls for a lot of cinnamon, in addition to more cinnamon in the actual granola. This is obviously just a matter of taste, and you can alter it if you like. The other spices are just so powerful that I needed enough cinnamon to keep it all in check. Plus I love cinnamon.
The other interesting thing about this recipe is the inclusion of vanilla bean paste, my new obsession. I found mine at Trader Joe’s, but it’s a seasonal item so I haven’t been able to try it until recently. Oh. My. Goodness. Friends, if you at all care for vanilla extract, you will absolutely lose your mind over this stuff. The inclusion of vanilla bean seeds just makes the final product so warm and delicious, without the sharpness that extract can sometimes bring. Of course, you can always sub for pure vanilla extract in this recipe, but I honestly think the paste is what takes this recipe to the next level.
And with that, let’s get baking! You’re only an hour away from a scrumptious autumn treat…
PUMPKIN PECAN GRANOLA
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-1½ c old fashioned oats
-1 c chopped pecans
-⅓ c pumpkin seeds
-¼ c coconut sugar
-less than ½ tsp salt (a generous pinch)
-1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (below)
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-¼ c pumpkin puree
-⅓ c pure maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the pumpkin pie spice (will make more than you need)
-5 tsp cinnamon
-2 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp cloves
-½ tsp nutmeg
HERE WE GO:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
In a large bowl, combine the oats, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, coconut sugar, salt and spices into a fragrant mix, making sure the nuts are nicely distributed.
Whisk the melted butter together with the pureed pumpkin, then add the maple syrup and vanilla bean paste. Mix until it’s a nice uniform color and everything is incorporated.
Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir, making sure everything is coated nicely. Spread the granola mix over a parchment-lined baking sheet. I like to press everything down a little, it helps to create nice clumps. Place the sheet into the oven with the rack on the top third of the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the granola. I like to break up some of the little clumpy pieces and rotate everything gently. Bake for another 18 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. Once cool, feel free to break it up as much as you like, and store in an airtight container.
-Serve with cold almond milk like cereal, maybe add some berries
-Microwave with almond milk to make a sort of instant oatmeal. Feel free to top with peanut butter, bananas, berries, or stewed cinnamon apples.
-Serve over yogurt, chia pudding, or vanilla icecream.
-Literally eat out of the container as a snack. It’s that yum.
-I’ve thought it might even make a nice topping for roasted sweet potatoes or something. Any time you would add nuts, just try subbing this granola.
There you have it! Trust me, no store-bought granola, no matter how beautiful, tastes as good as this one. It's just enough sweet, just enough spice, and totally tastes like all the comforting flavors of fall.
Of course, we need a little music for the kitchen when preparing this recipe. It helps add the love, I think. Here's a playlist I made of some of my favorite autumnal jazzy favorites. Naturally, it's championed by the incredible genius of Vince Guaraldi in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," but there are several fall-centered classics, as well as a few tunes that just make me feel happy and cozy.
If you make this granola or have any notes, be sure to comment in the box below to let me know how it turns out! And if you'd like a little extra dose of warm fall inspiration, check out my latest podcast episode on the best movies to watch during the fall season.
Until next time, friends, happy baking!