I found a recipe a couple of weeks ago for Pumpkin Granola that sounded amazing. Oats and brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree and applesauce and maple syrup and pecans…Oh goodness, I really wanted to make that granola! I could taste it in my mind with all of its earthy, spicy wonderfulness.
So, I made it today.
It was terrible.
I couldn’t find a single redeeming thing about its taste. Oh wait. The pecans got beautifully toasted.
It’s sitting in a plastic bag on the bottom shelf of my pantry because I didn’t have the heart to toss out something with a cup and a half of pecans in it.
Sigh. Maybe I can add enough brown sugar to it in my cereal bowl to salvage it. For the sake of the pecans.
I kept going back to the pan and taking nibbles of that granola trying to convince myself that it was good. After 5 hours I remained unconvinced. Then I got irritated. I looked up my tried and true granola recipe and stared at it for a while trying to think of some way I could use it as a base to make the pumpkin granola that really wanted to be born. I took some ingredients out of the recipe and added in other ingredients. Then before I baked it, I took a little taste and adjusted the spices once more.
It feels good to say that I am pleased with the end product. This granola is lower in fat than my regular granola because pumpkin puree replaces some of the oil. Nutmeg and cloves join cinnamon on the spice parade, giving the suggestion of Autumn. Dark brown sugar replaces the light brown sugar, adding depth to the sweetness with a hint of molasses. And the pecans…I do love toasted pecans.
The picture shows the granola with dried cranberries as a topping because that is what I had on hand. I’m thinking that dried apricots might work really well, too. Or maybe some apple bits. Of course raisins are always welcome at the party, too.
- 5 cups oats
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup canola oil (Don’t use olive oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, and chopped pecans. Set aside
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the dark brown sugar, pumpkin puree, honey, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Distribute the granola evenly in the parchment lined baking pan.
- Bake in the 325-degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir with a wide turner. Bake another 15 minutes. Stir again. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and test the granola by taking a few pieces out of the pan and blowing on them to cool them. Taste. If the granola seems too soft, put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow granola to cool in the pan. Store in a plastic food storage bag or other airtight container. Serve with dried fruit as desired.
- Note: Do not add the dried fruit until you are ready to serve the granola. Otherwise, the fruit will become hard as the granola draws the moisture out of it and the granola will become softer. Not a good plan.
All photos and written content Copyright 2010.