Christmas Gift #5: Pumpkin Granola

I love granola.  For some reason it always makes me feel better about myself and the idea of eating granola makes me think I am getting fitter.   (It’s all about perception, right?)   Therefore,  I am always trying to find a healthier way to make it.

Yes, there are healthier ways to make even granola.     Most conventional recipes call for LOTS of oil.  I have found some recipes that use olive oil (which I adore), but the following granola definitely has the flavors  for the season—pumpkin and all the spices associated with pumpkin pie.   Most importantly, it has no oil but uses applesauce.

Healthy Pumpkin Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp.  fine sea salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup (or maple flavored agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 t. freshly grated ginger
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325° F.   Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon pad and set aside.

In a LARGE bowl, combine oats, pecans and next four ingredients (spices and salt).   Carefully toss to mix well.

In a food processor or blender, add brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and ginger. Process until smooth.  Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated.  They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and stir.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.  Remove from the oven  and let cool.  Stir in dried cranberries.   Store in an airtight container.

Note:  Serve granola with yogurt, milk, or enjoy plain as a snack.

I adapted this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod (which they adapted from Baking Bites).

Granola in an antique jar.

Package this granola in an antique jar or other decorative sealable container.

Although this is now my favorite granola of ALL TIME, you can see my previous favorites:   Maple-Olive Oil Granola and My Favorite Granola (previously, of course).

For more gift ideas, see last year’s posts:  12 Days of Christmas Treats.

For more ideas for this Christmas, subscribe to Eliot’s Eats.


 

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My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
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