I love this time of year because you get to play around with pumpkin recipes.
And when the weather gets chilly, a spiced autumnal granola only seems fitting. This version is based on my original go-to recipe with one major difference; clusters.
I’ve learned that if you want a granola with clusters, using quick oats is key. They’re not as thick as old fashioned or rolled oats, allowing them to easily absorb the wet ingredients. When combined with oat flour, they make the perfect cluster. There is no need to purchase oat flour either. You can easily make your own in a food processor or coffee grinder (I use my Vitamix). I try to do this in advance because I’ll be damned if I have to grind flour every single time I want to make granola! Homemade stuff needs to be easy, not annoying ;)
But enough technical talk…
For the add-ins, I use pecans which lightens up the texture (random discovery) and flax seeds. I also throw in plump, dried cranberries and golden raisins. It’s a pleasant combination of tart and sweet. Even better, your whole house will smell like a Yankee Candle. It’s like cinnamon-spice heaven.
And let’s face it, here’s the real reason why I make granola; to enjoy with dollops of thick Greek yogurt and maple syrup. I love to eat this sort of thing for breakfast. These clusters make a great healthy snack too.
- Granola likes space. Make sure to spread it out evenly, in one single layer on lined baking tray. If it’s piled too high, it will cook unevenly leaving you with a mix of soft and crunchy pieces.
- Only add dried fruit to your granola in the last 10 minutes of baking. If you add it too soon, it will burn.
- The moisture in dried fruit tends to soften granola clusters when kept at room temperature in an air-tight container. To keep it crunchy, store in the refrigerator or freezer. It will last for ages.
- Freeze leftover pumpkin purée in ice cube trays or in snack size ziploc bags. If you’d like to make your own purée, click here.
- 3 c. quick oats, divided (not old fashioned or rolled oats)
- 2/3 c. homemade oat flour
- 1 c. puffed rice cereal
- 1 c. pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. flax seeds
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
- 1/2 c. pure maple syrup*
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. golden raisins
*Instead of maple syrup, substitute with 1/2 c. brown sugar, honey, or a combination. If using honey, reduce your oven temperature as it tends to brown quickly!
- Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
- To make the oat flour: Place 1 c. of quick oats into a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Process until powdery, and no chunks remain. Set aside 2/3 c.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Stir the mixture; it will be quite stiff. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so that the oats can absorb some of the liquid.
- Spread the granola out evenly, in one single layer onto the prepared baking tray. *See Notes below.
- Bake, stirring occasionally until golden, about 45- 1 hour.
- Add the dried fruit in the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Cool completely on the baking tray.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
*Granola likes space. Make sure to spread it out evenly, in one single layer on your baking tray. If it’s piled too high, it will cook unevenly leaving you with a mix of soft and crunchy pieces.