I have mentioned it before but my Mom was a simple cook. If she was taking pride in her kitchen skills, baking was more up her alley. She was actually known for several of her baked goods, her pies, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, homemade jam, and granola.
I have vivid memories of my Mom making big batches of granola on Saturday mornings. Memories of her in the kitchen, the smell, and the taste. I don’t think I ever had store bought granola until I was grown and in college, and of course it wasn’t the same as my Mom’s homemade granola goodness. But for some reason I had it in my head that homemade granola was expensive and time consuming to make. So it is something I never really attempted.
Crazy. I. Know. It really is simple and only requires some baking time and most of the ingredients are pantry staples. And for my first real attempt at homemade granola this is a damn good one! All the classic flavors of fall and winter and the holiday season. This granola would be wonderful on top of yogurt, covered with milk, or boxed up and given to friends for a festive seasonal treat!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45-60 minutes Makes approximately 6 cups
1/4 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Melt the butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes and then stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt.
While pumpkin mixture is cooking, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, pecans, and coconut in a large bowl.
Once pumpkin mixture is done cooking, pour over the oat mixture. Stir to mix thoroughly. Grease 2 medium baking sheets with butter. Divide the granola amongst the two baking sheets, spreading into one layer. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 300 degrees, until granola mixture is golden brown and crisp. For best results, stir the granola every 15 minutes and pans as needed.