CRUNCHY PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA WITH BIG CLUSTERS
Super crunchy, big clustered pumpkin spice granola is made without any refined sugars. This granola cereal is the perfect fall treat thats lightly sweetened and packed with pecans, pumpkin seeds, and lots of pumpkin spice.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing like a big bowl of homemade crunchy granola cereal. I love stumbling upon jumbo clusters of granola on the rare occasion that they find their way into my store bought granola. It’s seriously as satisfying as finding a gem. Okay, maybe just slightly less.
I’ve always been a big fan of making granola at home. Not only is it cheap, it’s easy (!), you can make as many big clusters as you want, and you control what goes in. That means, no excess sugar, please. In fact, my pumpkin spice granola recipe has absolutely no refined sugars. Which makes it the perfect snack to munch on while snuggling up on the couch with a big blanket and a 30 Rock marathon or Criminal Minds. Gotta keep it fresh, don’t cha know.
I made one big batch of this pumpkin spice granola and sent some over to my parents place as well as Anees’ sisters. My husband doesn’t care for anything pumpkin and I didn’t think eating the whole batch by myself was a good idea. Also, I wanted to get a few additional opinions on the flavor, crunch, and what not. I asked the hubs to at least try a bite. And guess what? He couldn’t get enough! He said he loved the fact that it was just lightly sweetened and the clusters! They’re so adorably poppable. ♥
This super crunchy granola recipe is bursting with yummy pumpkin flavor. Its lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and just a few tablespoons of honey. Although the add-in possibilities are endless (more on that later), i’ve jammed packed this fall favorite with pumpkin seeds or pepitas, coconut flakes, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and of course, pumpkin puree.
Let’s take a second to discuss the ingredient possibilities for this pumpkin spice granola.
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS FOR PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA:
– Add your own favorite nuts or dried fruit. I used pecans for this granola recipe. If you’re not a fan swap them for almonds, or use dried fruit instead. Cranberries would be an amazing addition.
– Not a fan of coconut flakes? Leave it out.
– Add chocolate chips. This granola is lightly sweetened so adding in 1 cup of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips once the granola has cooled down would allow you to add a little more sweetness without altering the recipe. You know what else would be delicious? Peanut butter chips. YUM.
– Like your granola on the sweeter side? Instead of adding 2 tablespoons of honey like the recipe suggests, up the amount to 1/4 cup (that’s 4 tablespoons).
– Don’t care for quinoa or chia seeds. Omit them without an issue.
– Sweeteners. Want to use agave nectar or honey instead of the maple syrup, be my guest.
To get the big clusters, shape as many or as little of the granola cereal by firmly pressing teaspoon sized amounts into a ball. Be careful when tossing the cereal between baking. Either lightly shake the pan to flip or use tongs to get the job done. It’s important to shimmy the pan every 10 minutes so the granola doesn’t burn. Make sure to just be a little careful if you’re making clusters. Try not to shake the pan too aggressively.
Now go treat yourself to this delicious homemade granola cereal. Have it in a bowl with milk or use it as a topping for your vanilla greek yogurt. You’ve gotta make this pumpkin spice granola, it’s all the flavors of fall, in a bowl. ♥
- 3 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, packed
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar*
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Place two racks in the oven equal distance apart. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut flakes, quinoa, chia seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and ginger. Toss to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt. Continue to whisk until smooth and combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened. To get the big clusters, shape as many or as little of the granola cereal by firmly pressing teaspoon sized amounts into a ball. Evenly distribute the granola mixture between the two baking sheets. Bake the granola cereal for 40 minutes, stopping every 10 - 15 minutes to stir or flip the big clusters. Allow the granola to cool for at least 20 minutes. The granola will get crunchy once it's cooled. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. Granola will lose it's crunch over time because of pumpkin. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes to refresh. Allow to cool before enjoying.
- This recipe makes a lightly sweetened granola. If you prefer your granola on the sweeter side, up the amount of honey or agave nectar to 1/4 cup.
- Feel free to add or omit the addins (pecans, coconut flakes, quinoa, etc). Some other suggestions include but not limited to: dried cherries, cranberries, almonds, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips etc.