It’s official. I have embraced fall. Which seems a bit strange, since as I’m writing this I’m in Fort Lauderdale on the balcony of my hotel room in 80+ degree weather… but at home, at home I’m feeling fall. And I’ve fallen hard.
Last weekend, R and I headed upstate to do our annual hike/wine tasting/apple picking weekend. Normally we stay up for a day or two, but due to my crazy schedule this month we only managed to get a day trip in. We took the pup and spent 4 hours hiking around the Minnewaska State Park – one of my favorite fall things to do. And while we were expending all our energy on the mountains, we needed a bit of a pick-me up. Luckily, I had made a batch of granola to take with us.
I’ve actually never made granola before and I am so amazed at how simple it was. I may end up making it again and again and again. I really thought about what I had laying around and what I could work with and I decided to embrace fall to the fullest and go a step beyond simple, normal granola, to pumpkin spice granola. Because what’s better than hiking in the woods and eating pumpkin granola? Doesn’t get more hippy than that – and it was absolutely perfect.
I knew I would need to start with rolled oats as the base and I wasn’t sure what else I would toss in so I went to my favorite local health food store and wandered around the bulk bin section. I came across millet – which I’ve never actually used on anything but I figured it looked kind of like birdseed and would be great in granola. When I also saw pumpkin seeds, I knew I needed to try a pumpkin granola.
To the millet and oats I added chia seeds, flax seeds and slivered almonds to bulk it up a bit and add some extra omegas. And then I used canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice – cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and all spice – to really send the pumpkin flavor over the top. I also added some pure maple syrup as the sweetener and it all came together amazingly well.
One of the best parts of preparing the granola was the baking process. It made the apartment smell absolutely amazing. If I could, I would have bottled the smell to keep on hand and spray as needed. It was warm, sweet, a bit spicy and totally fall. It was like walking into a pumpkin spice latte.
The entire process only took about 25 minutes and I ate quite a bit of it when it was warm and right out of the oven. It was irresistible. Between the smell, the crunchy-chewy texture, and the full fall flavor made this an instant favorite. It made enough to fill three mason jars and was gone in under a week. It’s perfect as cereal with almond milk, sprinkled on top of an apple slice with peanut butter, or just straight out of the jar. I’m already craving it and can’t wait to whip up another batch in the near future before fall turns into winter.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked millet
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
What You’ll Do:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Add all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
- In a second bowl, add together the wet ingredients (the pumpkin, vanilla, maple syrup)
- Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well. It might seem a little dry at first but after you mix a while it will get a bit more wet
- Lay the granola out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking process
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes on the pan
- Add to mason jars or other sealable container and enjoy immediately or anytime!