The idea for this pumpkin pie granola recipe came from a lovely attendee at one of the food workshops I held earlier this year (hello and thank you if you are reading!). I used my Crunchy Maple Banana Granola as a topping for a chia pudding recipe I demonstrated, and everyone commented on what a great idea it was to use banana as the whole food sweetener for the granola. At the end of the workshop one lady came up to tell me she used pumpkin to sweeten her granola and it was so good she also used it as a trail mix. I kept meaning to try out the idea but it wasn’t until I saw all the Halloween pumpkins about recently that it occurred to me; a pumpkin pie spiced granola would be pretty fabulous!
This granola recipe is reminiscent of a mildly spiced, slightly healthier version of a pumpkin pie. As it is sweetened with pumpkin and only a small amount of pure maple syrup, it’s not an overly sweet granola and the sweetness will vary depending on the type of pumpkin you use. I chose to use a butternut squash for this recipe, as it has a slightly sweeter flavour than the other pumpkins that were available, and when pureed it gives a nice smooth texture.
By using pumpkin puree to sweeten this granola you gain the benefits of all the inherent antioxidants and vitamins present in this humble vegetable. Pumpkins contain high amounts of vitamin A and C, which are great for eye health, skin and immunity. They are rich in carotenoids which gives them their orange colour, particularly beta-carotene, which also converts to vitamin A in the body. And last but not least, they are a great source of fibre and potassium. So together with oats, coconut and nuts, this granola makes a very nourishing breakfast.
Serve the granola with your choice of milk (I am loving Little Islands drinking coconut milk at the moment!) and/or your choice of yoghurt piled on top (check out Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for THE best coconut yoghurt I have tasted to date!). This granola is also great as a topping for fruit or ice cream or simply eaten by the handful like a trail mix and will keep for up to a month if stored in a sealed container in your pantry. Enjoy! x
Do you have a favourite granola recipe using natural sweeteners or any questions about this recipe? Leave a comment – I love to hear from you!
Pumpkin Pie Granola
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut thread
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
To make the pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin into quarters (leaving the skin on), scrape out the seeds and place on a baking sheet. Spread a little coconut oil over the flesh and place in the centre of the oven for approximately 30 minutes. The pumpkin is cooked when you can easily cut the flesh with a butter knife. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150ºC fan bake. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, you should find the pumpkin skin easily peels away from the flesh. Either use a hand masher or food processor to puree the pumpkin flesh.
Measure 2 cups of pumpkin puree and combine it with the maple syrup, spices, salt and melted coconut oil. This can either be done in a bowl by hand or in a food processor. You are aiming for a smooth spiced pumpkin paste.
In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, cashews, pecans and pumpkin seeds. Add the spiced pumpkin paste and the best way to combine it all is to roll up your sleeves and use clean hands to rub it all together in the same way you would make a crumble topping or scones. Aim to rub all the pumpkin paste into the oat mix so that the mixture resembles a chunky crumble topping. Spread the pumpkin pie granola onto lined baking trays and place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. When opening the oven beware of escaping steam from the pumpkin as it continues to cook. Check occasionally and stir if it looks like the edge areas are cooking faster. The granola is ready when it has turned a yellowy golden brown and started to crunch up. It may still be a little soft when you remove it from the oven but should crunch up on cooling. If not, simply return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
Store the pumpkin pie granola in airtight containers in your pantry for up to a month.