The arrival of autumn always inspires me to incorporate fall flavours into my recipes. One such recipe is this hearty autumn-inspired pumpkin coconut granola.
Homemade granola never used to be a staple recipe in my repertoire but over the past few years I’ve come to enjoy it more and more and find myself making it on a regular basis during the fall months, of course along with some other pumpkin-inspired faves, such as Pumpkin Pie Spiced Carob Chip Biscotti, Pumpkin Spice Muffin Bites, and Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Muffins
Making granola is almost an art, or at least an art that involves a bit of patience (read on to find out why). However, preparing granola is well worth the effort. This hearty and healthy any time snack is ideal for kids of all ages as well as adults.
Here are some creative ways to incorporate granola into meals and snacks:
1.) Add to cereal for extra crunch.
2.) Use as a topping on crumbles instead of flour, sugar, and butter.
3.) Create your own parfaits with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and granola.
4.) Use as a topping on your favourite flavour of ice cream or frozen yogurt.
5.) Use as a topping on baked apples or applesauce.
6.) Add to muffins for extra texture.
7.) Use it as a garnish on pancakes and waffles or add directly into the batter for some crunch.
(Yields about 6 cups)
3 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup ground flax (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil or butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
3/4 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
*TIP: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats can be found in most grocery stores in the organic section. (If gluten-free isn’t your concern than any regular brand of oats will do!)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
In a small saucepan, heat wet ingredients (maple syrup, agave, coconut oil, pumpkin puree) on low heat for about 5 minutes or until melted and combined.
(You can also heat them in a microwave until combined, if you prefer.)
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with a wooden or plastic spoon until combined.
*TIP: If the granola is slightly dry simply add more of a wet ingredient (sweetener or pumpkin puree) until you get the desired consistency.
Cook, stirring every 8-10 minutes, for about 45 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
*NOTE: DO NOT turn up the heat
because you are too impatient to wait for the granola to cook with the notion that the granola will cook faster. It WILL cook faster and it will also BURN faster too! I learnt the hard way…
(I’m embarrassed to admit that my husband and I actually sifted through the burnt bits and scarfed down the rest-it was still THAT yummy-burnt and all!)
Much better the second time around…
Serve alone or with a dollop of Greek yogurt and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.
For a more baby-friendly (under 12 months) variation, soak granola in yogurt of choice, formula or breast milk for 30 minutes or until soft enough for baby to “chew” on.