autumn granola

pumkpingranola5

Yes. I realize that we’re in the middle of winter.

…but let me just start with one thing. I am a lover of fall flavors. From pumpkin to cinnamon, allspice to squash, I have always been enamored. This recipe is my ode to autumn, and my love of granola.

I am a firm believer that you don’t need to add tons of extra sugar, chocolate, etc. to granola to make it taste good. Quite the opposite, in fact – we have so many great flavors to naturally enhance it, why not take advantage of them? By adding so many unnatural (and unnecessary, in my opinion) ingredients, you’re taking away from the natural goodness of what granola is supposed to be!

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In this particular recipe, nature’s ingredients shine. We’re making a base with pumpkin puree, pure maple syrup, and my “semi-secret” ingredient of apple cider. Raise your hand if you love cider – I know I do!

This is an excellent breakfast, stirred into warmed milk, or layered with Greek yogurt and fruit, parfait style. It also makes a great afternoon snack. The hubs and I like to take this on hikes for a power snack (so many good things going on in this mix!).

By no means is there a steadfast, set in stone way to make granola…most often, I use what I have on hand. A little bit of this, a dash of that, toss in a wing and a prayer, and hope it turns out well. Trust me on this, my dears, you will not be disappointed with this one. And if you decide to tweak it (which I always suggest!) leave me your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to hear your spin on it!

Autumn Granola {original recipe}

.servings vary.

4 C old fashioned oats

1 C nuts, assorted (for this particular batch, I used a mix of walnuts and peanuts)

1 C raisins

1 t cinnamon

2 t salt

3 T pure maple syrup

1.25 C pumpkin puree

2 -4 T pure, organic honey (amount depends on how sweet you like it, I tend to opt for less)

1 t pure vanilla extract

1/2 C organic cider

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix well so that they are all incorporated, and set aside.

In a smaller bowl (I used a Pyrex with a pouring spout), mix together the remaining five ingredients.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and toss to coat, making sure the wet mixture is evenly distributed. If it looks a little dry, add in a bit more cider.

Spread into a half baking sheet, which has been generously greased (I use a non-stick baking spray).  Place in the center rack. Granola will bake for a total of 45-55 minutes; be sure to take out every 15 minutes to give a stir.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Granola will keep for several days; or for extended life, store in the freezer.

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7 thoughts on “autumn granola

  1. Pingback: pumpkin-apple doughnuts with maple & bourbon drizzle | kitchen konfidential

  2. Pingback: bourbon caramelized apple scones | kitchen konfidential

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