Crunchy chunks of spiced granola made with almond butter, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and no added oil.
First of all, good luck to any eclipse chasers out there! As I’m sure you’ve heard, there’s supposed to be a solar eclipse passing over parts of the US today. So, if you’re in the eclipse’s path – and, most importantly, have reliable safety glasses – keep your eyes on the skies!
Moving on, if you’re starting to dream about pumpkin pie – and pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin milkshakes and everything else pumpkin – but you’re also thinking, ‘It’s only August. It’s way too early for all that pumpkin jazz’, then I have a possible solution for you: pumpkin seed granola.
While the great pumpkin baking season doesn’t get started until September, pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are eaten all year round. They’re a common ingredient in cereals and granola bars, and are sometimes used in savory recipes. But they’re also from pumpkins, which warms my pumpkin-obsessed heart.
This granola is spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which adds a slight autumnal feel without adding pumpkin puree or the full pumpkin spice mix (which typically includes ginger too).
To add some crunchiness and texture to the cereal, this recipe includes shredded coconut and sliced almonds. Plus pumpkin seeds, of course. For sweetness, there’s a mixture of maple syrup (another one of my food loves), brown sugar and blackstrap molasses. If you don’t have any blackstrap molasses, just leave them out.
Even though there’s no oil in this recipe – unless there’s some in your almond butter – it still yields big, crunchy chunks of granola. The key is to avoid stirring the granola while it’s baking or while it’s cooling. Just leave the granola alone, and you’ll be rewarded for your (lack of) effort.
Behold, large chunks of granola!
This granola is also vegan friendly, and can be gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats. (But please note that not all people with gluten allergies/intolerances/sensitivities can tolerate oats).
If you’d like to add some dried fruit (or something more fun, like chocolate chips) to the granola, make sure you add the fruit (or chocolate) after the granola has been baked. Otherwise the dried fruit will burn and/or dry up into tiny, inedible rocks.
And, on that lovely note, have a wonderful week! Happy it’s-nearly-pumpkin-time-but-not-quite season!
- ⅓ cup (80mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (35g) almond butter
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (195g) rolled oats
- ½ cup (45g) shredded coconut
- ½ cup (55g) sliced almonds
- ¼ cup (40g) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, almond butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, blackstrap molasses, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the rolled oats, shredded coconut, sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 19 – 24 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until the granola is golden brown. Avoid mixing or stirring the granola.
- Allow the granola to cool completely. Once cooled, break it into chunks and store in an airtight container.
Don’t mix the granola around during baking, or while it’s cooling.