This fall, I’ve embarked on a quest to appreciate pumpkin. I’m convinced it’s an acquired taste, much like coffee and wine. Seeing as how I’ve grown to love these beverages over time, then exposing my taste buds to more pumpkin this season must be the solution. My first attempt at Operation: Appreciate Pumpkin? Protein-Packed Pumpkin Bread, which proved to be a success. Plan of attack part deux? Pumpkin Crunch Granola.
Between the maple oats, fall-flavored spices, and toasted pumpkin seeds, this granola has a lot going on.
Yet, each taste and texture manages to complement its counterparts.
Do me a favor and make a batch. You won’t regret it. And try your hardest not to eat it all in one sitting. Been there, done that.
Pumpkin Crunch Granola
For spice mix
1 generous tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice
For candied pepitas
1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, raw)
1/2 tbsp. butter
1/8 cup honey
1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. spice mix
2 cups old fashioned oats
remaining spice mix
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1. In a small bowl, combine spice mix ingredients and set aside.
2. In a skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Add pumpkin seeds and 1/2 tsp. of spice mix. Toast seeds, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Add honey and brown sugar. Continue to cook while stirring for another two minutes. Carefully transfer and spread out candied seeds on a large baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper. Let cool for about 12 minutes, until no longer sticky. Break seeds up with a spatula to avoid sticking and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine oats with remaining spice mix and salt. Mix well.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. In a large skillet or small saucepan over high heat, combine maple syrup and coconut oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Carefully pour hot syrup over oats. Toss well.
6. On large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out granola. Bake for about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. When done, remove granola from the oven and let cool.
7. Combine toasted pumpkin seeds and granola.